Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Beaded Pixie Sticks

My love of glitter scares my sisters. I'm a bit of a magpie. But I'm a jeweller so I think a love of glittery things is probably necessary. Though even before that, I was collecting beads and stones, because until the end of first year uni, I was convinced my path was destined to be in textiles.

Now, I could be completely anal and buy lots of matching containers to store of all these, but that would be expensive, so I found a very cool storage solutions for a grand total of 12p.

Clear drinking straws. Yeah, I know that sounds mad, but I bought 100 straws for 12p in a local (but despicable) supermarket, and I have managed to get nearly all my seed beads in them. Because essentially what you're doing is making sherbet straws, a.k.a. pixie sticks, full of beads.

How to:

Using a pair of pliers to pinch closed one end of the straw, you then gently heat this clamped end with a lighter (parental guidance if needed) to melt closed the end of the tube. Fill them with beads and seal with a stopper.

According to the tutorial I found, you're supposed to use packing peanuts to create stoppers. I didn't have any, so I tried cutting the ends off a cotton bud, which worked well but I decided to try and make a sturdier cap which wouldn't gave the potential to get stuck in the straw.

To do this, I used a few straw coloured straws cut into 1cm sections and repeated the sealing process. I then gently stretched the open hole out using the pliers so that it fitted snugly over the open end of the straw.

Now I have a two tin cans full of beads and have rid myself of loads of mismatched containers which had a tendency to open themselves. Generally, most packets of beads needed two or more straws, but I even went through my box of mixed up beads and separated them out. It's a strangely hypnotic process to sort them all out.

But that might just be me.

Here is the full tutorial: Bead straws on Wiki How
Listening: The Strokes - Between Love & Hate


MoonBell said...

What a fabulous idea! I need some way to store my seed beads so that they're still visible.

Charters said...

They look great. It beats putting them in scrappy little plastic bags like I usually do!

Charters said...

Great idea, it beats using scrappy little plastic bags!

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