Paper beads

paperbeads01 Last weekend I spread all of my collected paper stuff across the kitchen to make some collages. And failed.

But there was a bag full of paper strips I wanted to use for weaving projects. At the office we always got lots of advertising mail on all kinds of coloured paper. Some time ago I ran a couple of sheets through the office shredder as mine does particles.

Making paper beads was already on my list for 2017. So I grabbed a wooden skewer and started making some beads instead of collages. There’ll be more to come, it’s quick and fun. I have rediscovered a big box full of more strips, a little narrower and in different colours. They roll around the skewer even better.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with the beads, but definitely no necklaces or jewelry.

paperbeads02

120 Minutes Of Pure Entertainment

I haven’t only got crochetitis, I’ve also got severe corallitis. When I was leafing through the internet recently I came across a picture of a crochet coral made from an old audio tape. I’ve still got my tapes, but some of them don’t run anymore. You just don’t throw them away for sentimental reasons.

This was the only C-120 tape I had still left, these things were very delicate and most times didn’t run properly or got tangled. Also, it was already dumb. The perfect victim for a quick round of recycling.

Well, ‘quick’ doesn’t quite describe it. You have to be patient. Very patient. A little while after starting I was about to throw it against the wall. I didn’t dare, though. Have you noticed the label’s green colour? Maybe an enchanted frog. Or an enchanted prince. I haven’t got any use for neither. So my motto was:

KEEP CALM AND CROCHET ON

And now it’s finally finished.


Vinylia ferromagnetica – Brown magnet coral
A rare specimen. The Brown magnet coral is filtering small iron particles from the water and builds them into its surface. That’s where the brown colour comes from and it’s also the cause of its slightly magnetic property. The Brown magnet coral is a delicate species and grows very slowly. This example is 22 cms wide.

I can see the glint in your eyes, dear readers. You want one for yourselves. Enjoy doing it, but better take a C-60 for your first try because the tape is thicker and shorter. (No, the tape reel from your daddy’s tape machine in the corner of the basement is no good choice.) Caution – This is only for those with nerves of steel and definitely not for beginners.

Chain about 25 stitches. Rows 1 – 3: alternate 1 dc, 2 dc. From row 4: work 2 dc into each stitch. I used a 2.5 mm (US: B or C) metal crochet hook (I suspect a plastic one will stick to the tape). Work directly from the cassette and let it keep the tension. Put something heavy onto the case so it doesn’t move, or stick it between your knees. Or borrow your better half’s vice (vise), sit it onto the coffee table* and fix the tape. You’ll find a solution, I’m sure.

Health & Safety: The tape will leave stains on your hands. Wash hands before touching food.

I love the lace-like structure.

*bonus idea: This is very decorative, so you might even leave it there after finishing your project. Adorn with seasonal flowers.

Threads Are Art, Don’t Discard

You’ve just finished a quilt or some other project. You’ve discarded lots of colourful thread snippets. Maybe you even have got a little bag for collecting them while sewing. And after finishing your work you simply throw them away.

You’ve just thrown away a work of art. This must never happen again.

To create a unique piece of art, you’ll need some water-soluble embroidery film. For the examples in this post I used Solvy Film (60µ) by Pfaff. Chose any brand you like, they’re all expensive.

I hope you’ve got an embroidery hoop that fits under your sewing machine without massive disassembling and reassembling your machine. No? I have neither. But I manage. Somehow.

You need to prepare a little sandwich of two layers of embroidery film with one layer of thread snippets inbetween. Put as much material as you like or have onto the bottom film layer and cover with another sheet of film. Pin the layers together and put them into your embroidery hoop (you don’t necessarily have to use one, it also works without one but may get tricky). Now sew across the snippet area densely enough that the threads don’t fall apart. You can use any kind of stitch – straight, zigzag, fancy or all of them. Finish by sewing around the edges a couple of times. Carefully wash away the embroidery film according to manufacturers directions. You’ve got some lacy piece of new fabric now.

Put the wet lace between a towel folded in half, pull into shape and gently press with your hands. Let dry in the air or iron dry.

This is a great project if you have some sewing threads in odd colours left that you won’t use anymore. Use them for sewing or cut them up and use them in the sandwich. Or use different colour thread in bobbin. Use some fancy knitting yarns or little bits of fabric in your sandwich, too. Be creative.


The finished lace can be used in other projects as well. Think greeting cards, book covers, art quilts.

Have fun!