These pumpkin beads are great all year round but are particularly suited to autumn.
Kids especially love them and I've written this mini tutorial with the children's charity Beads Of Courage in mind.
The Beads of Courage programme is designed to provide an additional treatment and offers support for children and teenagers undergoing serious illness and treatments. The beads help the children to take ownership of their journey and to make sense of the experience they are going through in a very visible and tangible way. The beads gives them a tool to explain it to themselves and others, adults, medical professionals, brothers, sisters, friends and says to everybody “this is my story, this is what I’m doing – its not nice but I’m strong and I will get through it”.With each procedure or milestone in their treatment, they get a special bead. Each bead is their way of saying “this isn’t easy, but I did it”. Another nurse said “I never would have expected for the beads to have such an effect on anxiety as well as compliance issues related to taking medications. I have also seen changes in patients coping skills and confidence with active involvement in this programme”.
To make them you will need
So let's get on and make our first bead for BoC.
** kids find it easier to string beads with bigger holes!
Be safe - use eye protection and ventilation when making lampwork beads
The link to download this is at the end!
Take your black stringer, and add a dot on each of the white dots. Heat gently and press in with your marver.
While I haven't melted them all the way in, I have made sure that each dot is securely attached and won't come off (there is no "undercut" on the dot). When adding heat to dots, it's best to take it away from the flame before you think it's melted in. The residue heat will keep melting it in, and it's best to re heat and press then to go too far!
TIP - use a saturated black when adding on top of a light base. Normal blacks are not saturated enough as they are really very dark purple and this will show up on top of a colour such as white. You could also use Effetre's Intense Black
I picked up this nifty tool at a fair .. I don't even know what you'd call it to be honest!
You could use anything with a similar shape .. or even skip this part if you like.
Spot heat the bead under the eyes, and gently push in the tool to add a mouth shape!
Give a gentle heat and place in your kiln or fibre blanket to anneal later (BoC beads must be annealed)!!
Now that's the first one done ... let's go make another!
I hope that you've enjoyed this tutorial, and I'd be grateful if you could spare the time to make a few of these beads and send them into Beads of Courage. You'll put a mile on a child's face!