Google+ House Revivals: How to Make Pretty Jewelry From Paper Scraps

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Make Pretty Jewelry From Paper Scraps

The other day I had a bunch of tiny paper scraps strewn around my dining table. The paper was left over from the Chinese New Year wreath project, and from the Chinese Paper Lantern project.

The paper scraps consisted of handmade papers, colorful deli papers, and Chinese red envelopes. The colors looks so pretty all jumbled up together, that I didn't have the heart to toss them in the waste bin. Does this happens to you? My husband suggested I may have a special kind of crazy, but I told him seeing beauty in mayhem is part of my charm. I'm not sure he was buying it....

In spite of the fact that it was already way past my bedtime, I snapped a quick cellphone shot of the papers, then grabbed a bottle of glue. I envisioned turning the pile of tiny scraps into pretty multi-media pendants.

Also sitting on my table was a pack of index cards, that I shared about in my $1.50 store post.

I grabbed two of the cards, and proceeded to glue the tiny scraps all over them. I just kept layering the papers on, occasionally dry brushing a bit of gold craft paint between layers. When all the papers were used up, I glued the two cards together, back to back, and brayed them down really well, so they would be nice and flat.

Then I grabbed a pair of old scissors and cut the card into rectangles. I wasn't worried about making them perfect. I rounded the corners a bit, then brushed some more gold paint around the edges.

The rectangles still needed "something", so I wrapped them all with strips of handmade paper.

Next, I hardened the rectangles by brushing several generous coats of wood petrifier over them (affilliate link: PC Products PC-Petrifier Water-Based Wood Hardener, 16 oz Bottle, Milky White).

This is where I ran into a little problem. Do you see how the strips of handmade paper, above right, are really dark? That's from the wood petrifier. The rectangles in the middle were only coated with Mod Podge, and they darkened a little, but not too much. The rectangles on the left have not been treated at all. After some thought, I decided to petrify all the rectangles, then go back and wrap another layer of handmade paper strips right on top of the previous wraps. Then I sealed the whole thing with Mod Podge. It all worked out in the end -- in fact, I love the extra dimension the little rectangles have now!

I definitely love how the wood petrifier soaks into the paper and hardens it -- living in the pacific Northwest, you never know when you're going to get caught in the rain -- but you will always want to test it to see if it darkens your paper too much.

To turn the rectangles into jewelry, I grabbed some thin craft wire and some beads from a couple of broken vintage necklaces.  I simply wrapped the wire around the rectangles, and occasionally threaded a bead through the wire.

I LOVE how the paper and wire and beads look together! I made several pendants, and even made a set of earrings.

For the earrings, I gently bent the paper rectangles while they were still a bit damp from the wood petrifier.

I could not have been more thrilled with how these pieces turned out! You do not need any special tools to do this --just an old pair of cheap scissors. I cut the wire with the old cheap scissors (don't use your good fabric scissors), and wrapped and twisted it with my fingers. On a scale of one to five, this projects requires a skill level of one!

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