Can you believe this stunning necklace is made from a supermarket carton?
You will need:
✤ Egg box
✤ PVA glue
✤ Cocktail stick
✤ Chopstick or knitting needle
✤ Fine-grade sandpaper
✤ White acrylic paint
✤ Acrylic ink or paint
✤ Bead cores
✤ Decorative glass beads
✤ Waxed cotton necklace cord
✤ Kitchen sieve
✤ Medium and small bowls
✤ Varnish or embossing powder
✤ Spray adhesive
✤ Heat gun
✤ Board to protect work surface
Note: One cardboard egg box for a dozen eggs will make about 40 beads.
1 Tear up the egg box into tiny pieces and place in a bowl. Pour in some boiling water and leave to stand for at least an hour.
2 As if you were making a crumble, work the soggy box with your fingers until you have a soupy mass. You can speed things up by using a stick blender instead.
TIP If the clasps are too big to thread your beads on, you may need to take them off using two pairs of long-nosed pliers.
3 Tip into a kitchen sieve and press out as much water as you can. Squeeze about four tablespoons of PVA glue into the mix and work it well with your hands.
4 Pull off a small piece of the ‘clay’ and shape it into a ball by rolling it in your hands. Give it a good 30-second roll so that it’s smooth and round, pressing over any visible cracks.
5 Carefully push the cocktail stick through the middle of the ball. Then use a chopstick, or knitting needle, to make the hole large enough for the bead cores. Repeat to make six more beads.
6 Leave the beads somewhere warm overnight to dry. Then, once completely dry, sand them a little to make them as smooth as possible.
TIP You can speed up the drying time by placing the beads over a radiator.
7 Apply a coat of white acrylic paint – this will make the top colour much more vivid. Then, once dry, paint the beads any colour you like with either acrylic paint or ink.
8 Either finish with a coat or two of varnish or, as we have, use embossing powder: first, pop a bead on the end of a chopstick and apply a little spray adhesive in a well-ventilated area.
9 Pour some embossing powder into a small bowl and dip the adhered bead into it, so it’s completely coated. Then aim the heat gun at the bead, keeping it turning – the embossing powder will melt and dry almost at once to give a lovely glassy appearance.
10 Use a little PVA to glue in the bead cores.
11 Thread the egg box beads on to the waxed cotton cord, alternating with decorative glass beads, or whatever you have handy.