Thursday, 16 May 2013

FOG Tuesday + Tyvek Bead Tutorial

At our FOG session Tuesday, we spent most of the day making beads. If you could roll it, paint it, glue it or melt it, we tried it - paper, Tyvek™, fabric, magazine pages, paste paper, organza, plastic bags and wool. 

One of the very easy ways to make a very interesting bead is to use Tyvek. Tyvek is a product used to wrap houses during construction and is also made into very durable, non-rip envelopes. We bought a box of Tyvek envelopes at Staples and they worked out to about 75 cents each. You can get a lot of beads from one envelope.
Tyvek Bead Tutorial
  • Paint both sides of the Tyvek using metallic finish acrylic or Light Body Metallic Acrylic Lumiere paints by Jacquard™. Tyvek dries very fast and takes very little paint to cover it. Lumiere paints were especially wonderful as they combine a colour with gold, so you get a big bang for your buck, so to speak.
  • Cut a piece of the painted Tyvek in a long triangle, about 1 ½" wide at one end and narrowing to a point at the other, or straight edge rectangle, about 4” – 5” by 1”.
  • Snip along the sides of the triangle, putting 1/4 inch slashes either straight toward the middle or on an angle.
  • Roll the Tyvek around a bamboo skewer, or knitting needle, starting with the wide end first and finishing with the pointed end. Pin the end with a straight pin to hold it together.
  • Using the heat gun, heat the bead. You will see that the Tyvek quickly melts to attach itself together, so you can remove the pin right away or wait until the bead is completely finished. The slashes you made along the Tyvek curl up and melt and create a really interesting texture to the bead.
  • Wait until the bead cools, then remove it from the bamboo skewer by simply sliding it off.

Wow!  Aren’t these great? They are a perfect addition to your next jewellery or mixed media piece.


  1. I think this is a good technique to make decorative buttons for the jacket that I making. I could easily make the size &color to go with each new outfit. Oh great more fun projects to keep me busy.

  2. Hi Summer, thanks for the comments on our tutorial. We had lots of fun making those beads. I'm not certain how robust the Tyvek beads would be to washing, but they would make a fun accent on a sweater or jacket that might not need to be washed very often. Let us know how you make out with them.

  3. How big are the finished beads?


  4. Hi Kathi, the turquoise beads in the one photo are about 3/4" long, but following the tutorial you can make them in any size. I think that they would look good quite long as branches or stems in a mixed media collage.

  5. Great idea! I've been wanting to learn to do this for awhile!

  6. Have fun with it. They are quick and inexpensive to make.

  7. Awesome - wanted to learn how to make these. Sharon