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Beaded Coasters

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television

Introduction

Beaded coasters add sparkle to any occasion. To make them, use seed beads called rocailles, which come strung together in bunches called hanks. Make sure your beads are all roughly the same size, so the surface of your coaster remains even.

Use your imagination or the color scheme of your home to choose the color and luster of your beads. Remember that you'll be using a lot of them, so you may want to look for inexpensive beads. A waterproof glue that dries clear is ideal for this process.

materials

  • Beads

  • Cork coasters

  • Waterproof, clear-drying, permanent-adhesive glue

  • Straight pins

  • Small paintbrush

  • Black felt

  • Scissors

  • Compass

  • Construction paper

  • Pencil

steps

  1. Carefully remove several strands of beads from the hank, one at a time, by pulling gently on the end of the string, preventing any of the beads from slipping off. Once removed from the hank, tie a slipknot around the last little bead on either end of each strand. You'll need to prepare enough strands to fill up the entire surface area of each coaster.

  2. Coat the edge of a coaster with glue. To cover the edge, pin the first bead into the edge of the coaster with a straight pin. Slowly lay the beads into the glue. Working slowly and gently, slide the beads down the thread as you wind it around the coaster. Keep the string of beads as taut as possible. When you've completed the circle, trim off the unused beads, leaving a half-inch or more of thread. Pin the thread to the cork. Spread some glue on the topside of the coaster, near the end of your string, and tuck in the thread ends there. Let dry for about 15 minutes.

  3. To determine the center of the coaster, use a compass, or make a template by tracing the coaster on construction paper, and cut it out; then fold the paper circle in half and again in quarters. The center of the circle will be the point where the two folds intersect. Set the template on top of the coaster, and poke a pencil through the template at the point where the folds intersect. You have now marked the center of your coaster.

  4. To bead the coaster, spread some glue on the center of the coaster with a small paintbrush. Using a straight pin, attach the first bead of the first strand to the center point of the circle. Wind the strand of beads around the center point, making a tight spiral pattern, sliding the beads forward on the thread, and taking care to be consistent and neat. Gently press the beads down into the glue as you spiral. Make sure the beads don't bunch up too tightly. You may need to use another pin or two to help guide the spiral as you go. When you have reached the end of the strand, pull the thread gently, and pin the last bead to the coaster, leaving the tail of the string to be covered by the other beads.

  5. Apply more glue as necessary, and start a new strand by pinning the first pin on the thread to the coaster. Continue spiraling outward until the entire circle is covered. End by pinning the thread close to the last bead and tucking the tail under the side. Run a small stripe of glue around the edge to complete and to strengthen. Remove the pins, and trim any strands before the glue dries.

  6. To make the bottom, cut a felt square that is slightly larger than the circle. Cover the bottom of the coaster with glue. Press the felt onto the coaster, and smooth it out with your hands, pressing securely on the edges. Using scissors, trim the felt as closely to the beads as possible.

  7. Make sure you wash your brush with warm tap water immediately after using the glue; if you don't, the glue will dry permanently.

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