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Easy Beaded Table Mat

Cheap Jewelry, Necklaces

If you’ve ever visited a dollar-theme store you’ve probably seen the wide variety of cheap jewelry they have. In some of these stores you’ll find necklaces for young girls that are made of very tiny beads. The beads are often called seed beads because they are so small. Seed bead necklaces are very inexpensive; you can sometimes find them in a pack of several for a buck or so. These necklaces might be cheap but they can be easily turned into something beautiful for your house.

There’s a really nice table mat you can make from seed bead necklaces. No matter how inexpensive the necklaces are the table mat will look beautiful. All you need is a base for the mat, like a piece of rubber shelf liner, a section of cork or even a circle of felt. Cut the base in a circle the size you’d like the mat to be.

Although it’s much easier to make the table mat if you purchase the seed bead necklaces you can also string the beads yourself. Use any string or thread to create a very long strand of the seed beads. Using fishing twine is even better since it’s nearly impossible to break.

To begin making the table mat mark the exact center of the base. Start by placing the first bead of the necklace or strand at this position. Necklaces must be prepared for the craft by removing any hardware and cutting the necklace, if necessary, to create one open strand.

Position the first beads to where they form a tight circle in the middle of the base. Spray adhesive works well to attach the beads to the base quickly. Spray the glue then position the next round of beads by creating a circle that forms around the first circle. Continue going around and around the previous circles as you cover the entire base with the beads.

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If you come to the end of a strand just start the next strand by butting the first bead of the next necklace against the last bead of the previous necklace. If you’re using one long strand, which you’ve threaded yourself, there’s no worrying about starting and stopping with additional necklaces.

If you’re stringing your own beads it’s much easier if you make a bead spinner. Use a small margarine tub to create the spinner. Poke a hole in the bottom then position a wooden dowel in the hole. Hot glue around the dowel, at the bottom of the bowl, and around the inside bottom as well. The dowel you use should stick up at least a couple of inches above the bowl and an inch or so below the bowl.

Fill the bowl half full (more or less) with seed beads. Place your threaded needle into the bowl, holding it at the eye of the needle. Hold the dowel at the top and spin the bowl. Try to hold the needle in a horizontal position as you spin. Beads will automatically collect on the needle. Stop every once in awhile, push the beads down to the end of the thread, then continue spinning.

After covering the entire base with the strands of beads you’ll have a gorgeous table mat. Place it in the center of the table and set a bowl of fruit, a centerpiece, or even a hot pan on it. The seed bead mat almost takes on a glass appearance. The beads are so tiny it’s difficult to tell it’s actually beads unless viewing it closely.

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Although you can actually make the table mats from most any size round beads the beads fit more snug if they’re the tiny ones. Larger beads will leave small openings all over the mat. Large beads don’t fit together as tightly as the smaller ones.

You’ll love the beaded mat which can be made into oval, square or triangular shapes. Make place mats that match the center table mat by following the same basic technique. Make similar mats for end tables, night stands and other flat surfaces. They’re fun to make and look fabulous!

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