I am back with another project inspired by Tim Holtz’s Christmas 2018 tips/hacks. This project was inspired by his use of alcohol inks to hand dye beads to look like vintage bulbs. This got those gears churning. When I first got into crafting I was into jewelry making so I knew I had a stash of pearl beads with holes. In his video, he talks about the ones without holes to use in your maker projects, but I wanted to use up what I had. I decided I wanted some vintage goodies for my tree this year so I set about to make a vintage-inspired pearl tree garland, that was hand dyed. I absolutely love how this turned out, and my strand was only 4ft 6 inches when done. I plan to throughout the year collect more beads so I can make a huge one to wrap my tree next year!
Note: it is best to do this project when you can open windows and have good ventilation as the alcohol inks are strong smelling.
Here is what you need:
1. A pack of mini cups, one per color, or any smaller container (I got mine on Amazon)
2. Alcohol inks in your favorite colors. Mine were Raspberry, Lemonade, Pool, Citrus and Mountain Rose
3. Mushroom Alcohol Ink to add the vintage element.
4. Gloves to protect your skin while you work.
5. Plastic pearl beads (whatever size, shape you would like)
6. Paper towels or an old towel
7. Pearl string- this will be strong and hold the beads longer as a garland as they are heavy.
(I’d recommend getting the string when you get the pearls so you can compare the hole size to string thickness)
Here is what you do:
1. Take out one of your containers, put in a few beads (depending on size), you want them to move easily, add say 3 drops of your first alcohol ink and see if that is bright enough, add more as needed.
2. Next, add 1 to 2 drops of mushroom alcohol ink to the container and swirl again, add more as needed to age the beads to your liking.
3. Pour the beads out on your towel to dry.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each color until you have all the beads you want
5. Get out the pearl string and start stringing your beads.
6. When the pearl bead garland is the length you want, tie off the end. I recommend using a found object like a bell on the end
to secure the beads in place.
You can watch my process video on my Youtube Channel here: Alcohol Ink Vintage Tree Garland
Here are some close-ups and photos of my finished garland:
It’s time to break out those beads and get to crafting. You can change this up in so many ways. Maybe include some found charms, holiday charms every so often or add in some clear crystal style beads to get extra shimmer. The possibilities are endless! Have fun and remember to ventilate well.
Below is the list of supplies I used in this project: