Saturday, March 30, 2013


At Synergy III in Atlanta this month, I attended Jeffrey Lloyd Dever's session where he shared his favorite unconventional materials with us. (Check the link above to see an installation of his charming, biological-ish pieces made of polymer clay and oddball ingredients. At about 2:05 on the video you can see a close-up of the pieces in the wall-mounted display.)

Among the many good tips he provided was how to find beads for a fraction of what you would pay at a bead or craft store.

I remembered his advice today when I was out shopping and enjoying the glorious sunshine.

<<<< And look at my fast, easy, and fun new necklace, made with less than $4 in materials.

So what is it made of?

Bamboo bead placemats that were on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $2.99 each (and I only used about 1/4 of the beads in one mat). The small turquoise stones were on sale at Michael's for $2.50.

There are 100+ beads in each placemat -- enough to make several pieces of jewelry. Sweet!


  1. Who would have thought of that? That is a great idea! Love the necklace!

  2. I love the unconventional. Gonna keep my eye out for placemats like that in the future.

  3. While finding beads from inexpensive sources such as a placemat sounds like a good idea, it has a serious problem inherent in sourcing these materials. Anyone else can make their work from the same placemat. Thus, it will be really easy to copy your idea or make similar work. In fact, even if they aren't trying to make the same or similar work it will look markedly similar.

    Making your own beads means your work will be more unique from the very the very beginning.

  4. I too had heard about the placemats, but living in a small West coast town it wasn't until I was in Maui that I saw some. I believe I also paid $3 a mat. I had seen collage or decoupage pieces similar to how they use dominoes in the stamping, collage and altered look art work. Pulled dome apart (black) but haven't made anything...yet!



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