On a Mission: Paper Bead Workshop Recap

Oh man, we had fun!   You might remember some time ago I posted that I was having a paper bead workshop in my home for people who wanted to learn how to make paper bead jewelry.  Eight women showed up the day of the event and each of them made something unique and beautiful!

Before I go any further though, I have to say thanks to my two friends, Liz and Barb, for helping me facilitate the event.  I had taught them how to paper bead some time before the workshop so they already knew the ins and outs of the skill.  They were able to help demonstrate and answer questions that my guests may have had.  There were times when several people needed help at the same time and I was thankful to have a couple clones.  I couldn’t have done it without you two.

As with any event, the day starts the night before for the hostess.  I set up all of my card tables so that the supplies needed would be within arms reach.  I tried my best to divide out the colors evenly through the trays of beads which were on each table.  The skewers were set up that night too, which involved slicing the flat end about an inch or so and then slipping a small fold of paper into the slit down about 3/4 of an inch.  Because I struggle with knowing what goes with what, I figured my guests might like to have a color wheel and a color suggestion sheet to help her match her paper beads to glass beads.  I’m not sure if anyone used them or not, but it made me feel better that I provided it.

The night before the event, I set up card tables complete with a tray of glass beads, color wheel, color suggestions and paper bead sticks, aka bamboo skewers.

The night before the event, I set up card tables complete with a tray of glass beads, color wheel, color suggestions and paper bead sticks, aka bamboo skewers.

I had gotten some fruit and cut it up in a divided container which served as part of the snacks for the event.  The morning of the event, Barb brought muffins of different types to share as well.  That was much appreciated.  We had coffee and a cooler sodas for refreshments.

After everyone arrived, I shared my testimony of how I believe God has called us to India to serve the orphan and sex trafficking population.  I also shared my testimony about how I came to learn the paper bead skill.  Naturally I couldn’t make it through the first sentence without getting emotional.  God is so good.  He has moved in my family so much and I can’t help but be overwhelmed by emotion with how good he truly is.  When I finished, the invitation was put out to everyone to pick out approximately 20 precut pieces of paper and return to their seats.

Afterward I demonstrated how to make the beads.  From that point through the end of the event there was a buzz of busy work all through my home.  I loved some of the comments that people said.

  • “I can’t believe that that slip of paper made this bead!”
  • “Oooohhh!  Look at this one!  It’s so pretty!”
  • “This is so easy!”

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Here are some of the beads people made:

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Once people started to finish up their beads I passed out the necklace lengths and we helped everyone pick a color scheme and pattern.  A hush came over the place once this started.  People were serious about their bead projects!

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Let me tell you though it paid off!


Kelsey’s masterpiece!


She is so excited about her pretty necklace that she made! She also picked up a handmade paper bead headband from my display table while she was there!


Misty’s necklace. I believe it was her necklace that has a bit more of a close up picture above. It is so pretty!


Kathy’s UT (University of Tennessee, lest you confuse it with another) and the earrings I made specially for her!


Nancy’s necklace. She ended up finding a pair of earrings on the display table also. I have seen her several times since the workshop and each time she is wearing something different and each time her necklace matched perfectly!


Kimberly made hers with the school colors at which she teaches. She was excited to get to wear it the first day she reported!


Mrs. Linda’s necklace. She took a no-pattern-pattern approach and it looked amazing. She coordinated the colors but didn’t get overwhelmed by things being exactly strung the same in a pattern. I love it!


Gina’s necklace was truly a labor of love! She worked hard on it to get it to look just the way she wanted it to look. I just really love the way it turned out.

The only problem I have with the workshop is that the pictures don’t do the pieces justice at ALL!  They are just really beautiful.  It is hard to see here but if you know one of these ladies, I encourage you to ask to see their piece in person.  They are naturally beautiful…just the way the beads roll up and end up looking completely different than you think it will just by looking at the piece of paper.

I am having another workshop on September 27th here at my house.  If you would like to attend let me know via facebook or by calling or texting.  My promise to you is that you will leave with a pretty piece.  If you don’t care for the one you make, you are welcome to trade it in for something that is on my display board that you like!  Either way you will have a great time!

Once you have learned to make beads, you are welcome to come to work days for India, yourself or me.  Ok let me explain because it sounds like I am recruiting for my own sweatshop.  No.  I am not.  We may be putting together kids to give to women currently being ministered to in India who are using small skills like this to better their families lives.  It will include several pieces worth of glass and paper beads for them to create with.  You can help us build those kits.  If you have projects you are working on,  you are welcome to just come and talk and work.  Or, if you want to make them to help me raise money for mine and my husband’s trip, I will gladly accept donations in that way as well!  Mrs. Nancy brought me a BEAUTIFUL set of teal and pink beads just this week!  I was thrilled to get them!



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