Paper Bead Crafts News
Paper Bead Crafts Group
Bead Drying BlocksA lot of people who make paper beads, string them onto string or wires then spray them but I found that the beads look their best of they are glazed individually and allowed to dry without touching each other. I use drying blocks and toothpicks to dry most of my beads. Well the beads that have a 1/16" hole in them that is. I haven't started making beads with bigger holes in them yet. I do plan to though and when I do, I will come up with a way to dry them the same way as these. I will probably use nails or dowels. I will let you know.
You can use various things for drying your beads after they have been glazed. My favorite thing to use right now is foam blocks that come from packaging materials. They are free and they are really easy to use. Of course if you don't have any, you could go to your local craft store and buy a sheet of styrofoam. That will work just as well. You can use pieces of rigid foam insulation as well. It comes in different thicknesses but the one I found that works well enough is the one that is about 1" or 3/4" thick. You really do not need it to be thicker than that.
Right now I am only making beads that have a 1/16" hole in them which is just the right size to put on a round toothpick. Then the toothpick can be inserted into the foam block.
After time, the foam blocks will be so riddled with holes it will be hard to use them so it will be time to get new ones, or make some permanent ones from wood which is explained below.
Wood BlocksI used a block of 3/4" pine 4" x 6" with holes in it for drying the beads after glazing them. I made the holes by drilling them about 5/8" apart using a tapping hammer and plastic push pins. You may need to have a few push pins ready since they do break after they have been used for a few holes. I generally used 2 or 3 push pins per block I made. Or if you don't want to bother making wooden drying blocks, you can use foam. I have also made a few wooden drying block with a piece of 1x4 5" long with holes drilled into it. I used push pins and a tapping hammer to make the holes in the block instead of drilling with a power drill.
You will want to make your holes in your block at least 5/8" apart. Wider if you plan to make even fatter beads made from brown paper or wallpaper.
Below you will find a template you can use to mark your holes in your wooden block if you want to make one.