Meet my new map necklace. It contains some of California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Idaho, Ontario and a smaller map of North America, and is long enough to drape around my neck twice. I love looking down and seeing little trees, the word “park”, an interstate sign, or half of a place name- it amazes me to think of all the locations rolled up into one bead and I think about the places I’ve been and those I’ve yet to discover…
I had a cut up road atlas sitting around in my old room at my mom and dad’s. The atlas originally supplied several special locations for a memory box I made for my partner back in 2004 and a few pages later became mail envelopes.
I’ve thought a few times about trying my hand at paper beads but this colourful and varied paper finally gave me the inspiration to start.
It is a very mindless activity and I constructed this while watching a DVD.
Not wanting to be strict about measurements, I used the half way mark on the map to guide me. I cut strips half way up the page (mine were 13cm), then cut them length-wise up the middle. I then cut each thin strip in half, width-wise at an angle. The beads are between just over a half a centimeter wide and 1cm.
With a paintbrush and some diluted elmers (just thicker than wet-ish, if that makes sense) on hand, I rolled a strip with the point on the outside, tapped the paper with glue solution and then rolled the bead in my fingers to seal.
Once they had dried, I painted them with thicker glue, again rolling between my fingers to ensure an even distribution. I also sealed about half of the beads with clear nail-polish. I didn’t find much difference between the two ‘sealants’ but both required a double coat.