Usually, when you think of beaded jewelry you think of strings, cord, hardware and tediousness. That’s because most beaded jewelry requires you to design patterns, count beads, string them, add closures and much more. That’s too much trouble for some people who don’t care for the whole ordeal. If you want to make cool beaded necklaces for your kids, or even decor embellishments for your home, get rid of the needles, wires, clips and assorted supplies. Instead, get out the glue, the beads and a peanut butter jar lid and you’re well on your way to owning all sorts of new things for basically the cost of the beads. Don’t have any beads? Don’t worry! There are lots of other things you can use instead!
No matter what type of medallion you’re making you’ll need a mold. You don’t have to run out and purchase a soap or candle mold; you have lots of molds already in your home. A mold can be made from a peanut butter jar lid, a coffee jar lid, the lid from a mayonnaise jar or something similar. If you want a particular shape, like a star, you can even make a mold from foil. Tear a piece of foil off the roll and fold the long side of it over about an inch. Fold it again and again until you have a long strip that has several layers. Now shape the foil into the star you want and tape the ends together. Use this method to make ovals, squares, octagons and more.
If you’re using a mold that has a bottom, like a jar lid, you can use it as-is. If you’re using a foil mold or even a cookie cutter you’ll need to set it on a piece of waxed paper. No matter what type of mold you’re using spray the inside of it with non-stick cooking spray or wipe it down with petroleum jelly by using a paper towel or napkin. This process will make it much easier to remove the finished jewelry or decor piece from the mold.
Decide on the beads or other objects you will put inside the mold. A small list of things you can use include b-b’s, elbow noodles, colored sand, pellets, marbles, potpourri or even confetti. Fill the mold partially with the chosen beads or other objects. You don’t necessarily have to fill the molds with things which are similar. For example, you can set a large, fake jewel in the center of the mold then pour tiny beads in around it. The item you’re making will help you decide how full to fill the mold. For example, if you’re making a medallion to glue to a clothes hamper you might want it to be a chunkier piece than if you’re making a child’s necklace. Decide how thick you want the medallion to be and fill the mold accordingly.
If the medallion you’re making requires a cord, like for a necklace or even curtain tie-backs, you’ll need to cut the length of cord now. Bring the ends together and position them in with the beads or other items. Leave the loop of the cord hanging outside the mold. After arranging the cord and beads or other objects begin pouring white glue over the tops of it all. Pour in enough glue so that all the objects are completely covered. Now set the molds aside to allow the glue to set.
It takes a long time for the glue to dry – sometimes a couple of days or more. To test whether or not the medallion is ready to remove from the mold slightly push down in the center of the glue. If any wet glue oozes out anywhere you’ll need to allow more drying time. When it’s time to remove the medallions from the molds you can simply pop them out. Pull gently on the cord – if it has one – or gently nudge the side of the mold with a knife.
Use hot glue or even double-sided tape to attach the string-less medallions to hampers, lamps, mirrors, picture frames, cornices and much more. Tie the stringed medallions around a child’s neck, around a lampshade, around curtains or even hang them on poster beds. You can even hang them on the rearview mirror of your vehicle. The potpourri medallions work great for this purpose. No matter how you decide to make the medallions, or in what manner you use them, you’ll find they’re fun and cheap to make!