So just what are bead racks and why do I need them ?
Bead racks are use to keep the beads you make safe from being damaged until then can be baked, painted, or glazed.
There are plenty of different types of bead racks to choose from. Different types of beads will need different types of racks, Plus every bead maker has their own way of making the racks they need. Since The IBDCraftyLady Paper Bead Project is focusing on Paper beads. I have made and used a ample amount of different types of racks while making paper bead. Below I will discuss them all telling you both the good in them and the problems I had while using them. In 2 days I will then post a DIY to show you how I make the racks I now use for my paper beads .
The first racks I used were just a piece of cardstock, by just making an accordion fold out of a piece of card stock. Rolling the paper beads on a toothpick then balancing them between the folds
Good side of making this type of rack it costs nothing
Problems with this method is that it is not very sturdy and the paper beads are easily disturbed. Just walking by them could cause a breeze and they would be everywhere but where I left them. You can also go thru a lot of toothpicks.
After the folded paper racks I moved onto the use of Styrofoam block
Good side of this kind of rack is it was very cheap as I had Styrofoam just laying around in my art room. It is also nice if you are not making a lot of beads
Problem with this type of rack was that it was only good for putting on 1 layer of glaze or paint. When I would go to do another layer I would have to spend time removing all of the paper beads one at a time glazing them then replacing . It also knock over easily, and made a mess with tiny Styrofoam pieces all over the place.
Where the Styrofoam block was to light and I hated the tiny pieces all over the place I decided I need heavier and something that would not make a mess so I moved onto a slab of clay with holes in it.
Good side of this was it stayed in place, and it was still cheap to make as I had clay laying around.
Problems with this rack was that it was sort of a hit and miss type of thing. Sometimes the toothpicks stayed in and other times they would just go in any direction they felt like going usually taking all the beads around them with them.
I had it with these types of racks and took a good look at my favorite racks that I used for my polymer clay beads. These racks I had made from flashing that was purchased from the hardware store. Since I did not want to use metal racks for my paper beads I decided to make them out of cardboard. So I cut a Cracker Box in Half and cut some notches on each side 1 inch apart.
Good side of these racks are that they keep the beads in place. I can reuse the wires used to place the beads . I can paint or glaze more that 1 paper bead at a time. It is easy to do multiple layers of glaze or paint without upsetting the other beads. They are the perfect size for when I am making paper beads for a single project.
Problems with this rack If you want to make a lot of beads you will need a bunch of racks. You can paint or glaze more paper beads at a time but you cannot dip them.
This is the bead rack that I will be creating The DIY Project for next week.