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Microbeaded Card, Pen and Box Gift Set

Use microbeads to design a decorative box gift set.

Projects by Suzanne Glazier from North Bend, Wash.

Suzanne is cuckoo for microbeads! In this project, the "Queen of Beads," as her friends call her, transforms a plain wooden box into a ‘beadiful’ gift box using microbeads. A hand-stamped collage of African images completes the lid of the box, and a beaded trim embellishes the edges. But it doesn’t stop there--a hand-stamped and microbeaded pen accompanies an Africa-inspired shaker card as the gift within the gift!


clear, black, gold, brown microbeads
glass glitter micro beads
super strong double-sided tape sheets, roll
wooden photo box
beaded trim
card stock
clear acetate sheet
1/2" foam tape
3" x 5" large plain sticker or label
rubber stamps
ink pads
Bic Round Stick Pen *
.5mm size clear glass no-hole beads

* The measurements in these instructions are specific to this particular pen, but any pen will work. Just adjust measurements as needed. The easiest way to accomplish this is to start with a piece of scrap paper a little larger than the Bic measurements of 4-1/4" x 1-1/32". Wrap this paper around the pen you wish to use and see where you need to adjust! Be sure to add a little more to the width when you are cutting your tape, as the label adds just a smidge to the diameter of the pen. Pens that are perfectly round and not tapered or beveled will ensure the best results.

To make the box:

1. Cover the sides of the box with sheets and strips of double-sided sticky tape.

2. Peel away the liners from the bottom edges of the box to expose tape and press into a shallow dish of colored micro beads (piles of black, brown and gold). Bead all four sides.

3. Peel away the liners from the edges of the lid and press into just black micro beads.

4. Run a line of 1/4-inch-wide double-stick tape all the way around the top outside edge of the box.

5. Peel the liners and save them. Place the pre-purchased beaded trim onto the exposed tape.

6. Add strips of tape to the entire top of the box, going over the trim that was just put on. The trim should be sandwiched between two tape layers.

7. Put a rubberband around the beaded trim to hold it down while working on the top of the box. Remove the liners from the tape on the top of the box and places the 1/4-inch liner that was saved above and place it as a mask around the window of the box.

8. Add gold cord to the exposed tape on the top of the box.

9. Swirl all three colors of beads together (not clear) to make the mixed beads for the top.

10. Peel off the 1/4-inch mask liners and press into black micro beads.

11. Use stamps to create African imagery to slip into window of box. Slip stamped images inside.

To make the shaker cards:

1. Draw and cut a shaker template from card stock and cut out center. Score all fold lines. Cut a square from card stock and a square from acetate plastic. The size depends on the size of your template; these need to be about 1/2 inch larger than the opening of the window in your template.

2. Cover one side of template with desired stamp images, and stamp one side of the square card stock. You will see this through the window of your card.

3. Place a strip of scrap double-sided tape on the right hand tab close to the outside edge and remove the liner. Place your stamped square behind the window with the design facing out through the window and align it where you want it to be. Then fold over the sticky tab so that the tape catches your square. Now it will be perfectly aligned when you are done!

4. On the back side of the template, place four pieces of double-sided tape the width of each side around the cut out window. Overlap if you must but do not leave any gaps or your beads will spill out! Tip: To fight static cling inside your shaker, spray glass cleaner onto a paper towel and wipe it over both sides of your acetate. Let dry completely before going to next step.

5. Place acetate piece on top of double-sided tape. Rub down to adhere. Don't worry if the square isn't completely covering the tape.

6. Place four lengths of foam mounting tape on top of acetate. Try to make sure pieces touch on all four edges to form a box surrounding the window. Take the paper lining off the foam tape now.

7. Carefully fill the center with beads. Use less than you think you need! There should be enough room for the beads to shake back and forth when it is put together, but if you put too many, it will cover your image.

8. Fold the right tab with the square card stock attached in and secure to the sticky foam. Add double-sided tape to left tab, fold in and secure. Add tape to top and bottom tabs and fold in to secure.

To make the beaded pen:

1. Pour your beads into a craft tray and remove the lid from the pen. Note that 5 ounces of beads will cover approximately 25 pens!

2. Stamp a design on the label, and then cut to exactly 4-1/4" x 1-1/32". This should be the exact size to wrap the label around the Bic Round Stick pen lengthwise and not have an overlap. Consider stamping a full label sheet and then cut it up to make lots of pens!

3. Peel the backing from the label and wrap it as straight and as tight as you can around the pen, placing it as close to the top edge (not pointed end) as possible. This way you can still put the lid on it! A small overlap is okay. Roll it on the table to ensure that it is stuck on good!

4. Cut the tape sheet to 4-1/4" x 1-1/16". Note: One 6" x 8" sheet will make eight pens.

5. Peel down just one edge of the protective liner and carefully align the exposed tape with the edge of the label; make it as straight as you can. Press the sticky edge down, and then remove the rest of the liner to cover the pen. Press the tape together at the joining line to be sure that there is sticky tape all the way around without a gap.

6. Peel away the second liner (Try not to touch the tape, because oil from your hands will make the sticky tape not so sticky.) Roll the pen into the beads by pressing firmly as you turn it, making sure to fill all of the gaps and spaces. Look closely! You won’t be able to feel the empty spots, but you can see where you need more beads. You may need to repeat this to completely cover the pen.

Note: Tape left exposed will tend to attract dust and fibers, eventually leaving your pen looking dirty. So full bead coverage is important!

7. Once completely coated with beads, roll the pen tightly between your palms to press them into the tape. Brush any loose beads back into the craft tray.

Tip: If your beads are not staying on your pen, it could be that your tape is too cold. Also, avoid playing in your beads! Natural oils on them from your hands will interfere with the adhesive.

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