Friday, October 30, 2015

Hand Drawn Fuzzy Flocked Beads

Ooh!  Just look at this cute, oh-so-tiny, fluffy, fuzzy hummingbird bead.  (It's only half an inch tall!)



I also made a hedgie...


...and flowery vines...


...very groovy polka dots...


...and little Mr. Hootiepants, here.


Aren't they fun?  I used some fuzzy-coated beads I found online.  Flocked beads - who knew?



I bought mine at Fire Mountain, but have seen them elsewhere, too.

THE DIY

The technique turned out to be really interesting.  I drew on them with fine and ultra-fine Sharpies, but at first I found that the ink wanted to run and smear all over.  Then I discovered a very important trick.  Here's the HOW-TO!

Start with the ultra-fine point and do your black outlines.


Then add color - and immediately blot the color dry by rolling the bead on tissue or paper towels.


Do just one or two small bits of color at a time to avoid smears.  Keep adding color until your drawing is done.  Let it sit for 15 minutes before handling it much, in case there's a still a bit too much ink saturated in the fuzz.  That's all there is to it!

My vine bead is an inch and a quarter high and soft as a bunny's butt.


The thing I like most about this technique: you can get some almost painterly effects by adding colors and blotting in between.  Some bits even remind me of watercolor - you can see it pretty well in the hummingbird body!


Let me finish up this post with a couple of tips.

TIP 1.  I am not very good at drawing things, but I did once manage to teach myself a freehand owl, and never forgot how.  (To see, check out this old Halloween post.)  For the hedgehog and hummy, I googled "how to draw a hedgehog" and "how to draw a hummingbird," and practiced on paper first.

These flocked beads are usually pretty cheap, so I didn't mind messing up a few times.

TIP 2.  Do your best to avoid getting them wet.  Interestingly, this is not as critical as you might think.  I assumed they would be Gremlin beads, i.e., one should never never never get them wet!  But to my surprise, they can withstand a bit of moisture without any drama at all.  So just use common sense and come in from the rain.

What would you draw?  Ideas, please, because I have a bunch of flocked beads and want to make more.  I hope you enjoyed this fluffy post!







14 comments:

  1. Good morning from Malaysia...it's 9am here now. The little fluffy is so tiny and cute. You have amazing creativity and very very artistic hand...My hands and eyes don't works well with my mind...they just don't deliver the result I have in my mind. Great work and idea, Mitch! Love you always!

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  2. For someone who doesnt draw well you did an awesome job! Love the little owl and the hummer. I have seen these online and thought they were kinda cheesy, now I am rethinking that idea. Love this work

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    1. Yes! That's exactly what I thought about them - cheesy and what would I ever use them for? I'm so glad you like what I figured out. Thanks for the sweet comment!

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  3. The hedgehog is pretty sweet and so is the owl. I guess you could draw a good old butterfly, some stars,some flowers - a rose maybe? For more complex designs you could use a lion cub or a baby elephant - they would be really cute

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  4. This is too cute, I like your drawing skills.. Don't think its not fine drawing! it is pretty nice. I have these beads in blue color but never thought about designing these with a marker :) Well done.

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  5. LOVE this fun tutorial! The drawings came out well! My favorite is the hummingbird one!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Pearl! I do love the hummy, kind of shocked it came out looking like anything. Amazing what you can do by following instructions, eh?

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  6. I've never seen fuzzy beads before. These are just the sweetest with the addition of your awesome artwork!

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  7. Wow, great idea with fantastic results, love the necklace too! thanks for sharing on craft schooling Sunday, and glad you didn't give up when it didn't work out at first!

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  8. Thanks, Sara...you would not believe how long I saved those beads, trying to come up with something to do with 'em. I believe about four years. Just call me She-who-never-gives-up-on-a-crappy-bead!

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  9. Michelle, these beads are so sweet and delicate!! I love how you put your own detail on them. You did an amazing job!!

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  10. How about a dragon or other zodiac symbols? You could even pair with Chinese coins. I also like owls. This is really cool!

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    1. Ooh, dragons! I will need to practice on paper quite a lot, but now I am determined because I desire a fuzzy dragon bead. Thanks, my dearie! the Zodiac idea is really cool too, that would make a nice gift for someone who is into horoscopes and such.

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  11. How adorable are these! Love the beautiful little bird one!! x

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