How to Create Nubby Recycled Glass Beads

Make your own recycled glass beads for necklaces or bracelets using glass bottles and lampworking tools.

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Materials and Tools:

glass bottles, assorted colors
glass cutter
lampworking tools and bench burner torch
pot
vermiculite
pliers
mandrel (metal rod dipped in bead release)
small file

Steps:

1. Wash and remove labels from tall glass bottles. With a glass cutter, cut off the bottom of the bottle. Score and cut bottle lengthwise into strips that are approximately 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide.

2. Heat a strip over the bench burner torch. When the glass is hot and molten, wrap it around the mandrel to form a bead. Pull up at the glass with the torch to form nubs.

3. After the bead is complete, place it into a warm pot of vermiculite to anneal (a cooling process to prevent cracking).

4. After completely cooled (which depends on the size of the bead), hold the mandrel with pliers and twist the bead off.

5. Clean the inside of the bead with a small file and wash the bead.

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