Still reeling from Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” finale? Wondering how you’re going to wait for the season 8 premiere? Well, my mixed-media friends, I have the perfect project for you. These dragon egg beads designed by Rachel Stewart were first featured in our September/October 2016 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors — and they’re perfect for any GoT fan. In fact, they’ll make you feel like you’re right at home in Westeros. You may even start to think you’re the Mother of Dragons herself. OK, that may be an exaggeration, but you’ll at least be awesomely accessorized as you talk to your friends about the show.
Follow Rachel’s step-by-step tutorial below to get started making your dragon egg beads.
Dragon Egg Beads by Rachel Stewart
I am both a mixed-media artist and a jewelry artist, and I love to combine the two. Paper plays a significant role in my work, and I wanted to find a way to create wearable and durable pieces of jewelry using it. This project uses punched and inked circles of paper that are glued onto a wooden bead and then covered in ICE Resin to create a finished bead that resembles what I like to think of as a dragon egg.
1. Punch approximately 150 circles from the paper. (FIGURE 1)
2. Pick up a punched circle with the tweezers, and roll the edges of the circle over the inkpad so that the edges are slightly inked. (FIGURE 2) This helps define the circle edges once they are adhered to the wooden bead. I find that this also adds to the scale-like appearance of the beads. Repeat for all of the circles.
TIP: Once I have inked the edges of all of the circles, I like to place them in rows of 10. Each bead will take approximately 105–150 circles, depending on how you overlap them. I find that laying them out this way helps make the assemblage phase a little quicker.
3. Apply a thin layer of matte gel medium to the area around the top hole of the wooden bead, using a disposable paintbrush. Place the paper circles around the hole, making sure that the circles touch each other and are at the edge of the hole. (FIGURE 3)
4. Apply another thin layer of matte gel medium to the bead and continue to place paper circles in rows running around the sides of the bead, overlapping slightly so that none of the wooden bead is visible. (FIGURE 4) Continue the process until the entire bead is covered. Allow the bead to dry overnight.
TIP: As you place the circles on the bead, be sure to turn the bead in the same direction as you work so that the overlap is going in the same direction around the entire bead.
5. Mix the resin according to manufacturer’s directions and, using a disposable paintbrush, paint the bead with a thin layer of resin. Place the bead on a craft mat or on a wooden skewer stuck into foam. Allow the bead to dry overnight.
6. String the bead directly on wire, sari ribbon, or thin leather cording. Or, slide one onto a head pin and deck it out with bead caps and other small beads. (FIGURE 5) These beads look amazing by themselves as focal pieces, as well as strung with other beads.
P.S. Our sister magazine, Sew News, recently had the opportunity to chat with Michele Carragher, embroidery artist for “Game of Thrones,” in their June/July 2017 issue. Check it out!
Rachel Stewart is a mixed-media artist whose work is a fabulous blend of rich color, whimsical layers, and eclectic themes bound together by precision handiwork. She resides in Frederick, Maryland. Visit Rachel’s website at circusmeetsboardroom.com.