Painted Triangle Beads

Once you’ve mastered the basic kiln formed triangle bead, you can move on to more advanced beads. For instance, adding painted stripes to your triangle glass beads is a quick way to add color and fun to jewelry designs.

Start with

materials for painted beads
Materials for making striped beads

Clear glass

paintbrush

3 colors of glass paint (color and brand of your choice)

glass cutting tools

triangle bead mold and mandrels

Step 1 – Painting the stripes

Since we will eventually be cutting the glass into squares, I’m painting my lines on the diagonal.

paint 1st color
1st stripe of color
glass paint stripe
2nd color of stripe
third color of paint stripe
3rd stripe of color

Now, set that aside and let it dry.

Step 2 – Molds and Mandrels

Kiln wash the mold and coat the mandrels with bead release and set them aside to dry.

molds with kiln wash
Kiln wash the molds
bead release
Mandrels with bead release

Step 3 – Cutting the glass

Once your paint is dry, flip the glass over and cut the unpainted side.  Start by marking off strips.  If your glass is thin (single strength float or art glass), make your strips 1/4″ wide, if your glass is thicker (bottle glass) cut your strips 3/8″ wide.

marking glass strips
Mark off strips

Cut strips the length of the glass using a square to keep lines straight.  Don’t run the glass yet.

Cutting painted glass
Cut strips of painted glass
Scored painted glass
Scored strips

Step 4 – Cutting the bead lengths

Now turn the glass sideways and mark the glass at 1/2″ intervals.  This is how long our beads will be.  You can adjust the size of your bead by varying how far apart your cuts are on this step.

mark bead lengths
Mark bead lengths
cutting glass strips
Cutting the glass for bead length
scored painted glass
Painted glass scored in a grid

Now run all of the scores and make a big pile of tiny painted glass rectangles.

painted glass squares
Painted rectangles for beads

[I feel compelled to add this disclaimer before I get a ton of e-mails:  I am aware that a lot of people don’t like to run a score over a previous score because it is ‘bad’ for your cutter.  My cutter is a tool and it’s meant to save me time, so that’s what I do with it.  You are welcome to do it whatever way works best for you.  J.]

Step 5 – Assembling the beads

Start assembling the beads by adding a row of glass rectangles to the mold.  Keep in mind that the 1/2″ long side is the horizontal side of each rectangle.

Assembling the beads - side 1
Assembling the beads – side 1

I’m doing two rows of beads with the paint side in, and two rows with the paint side out, just for fun.  After you have the first side of the triangle bead in the mold, add side two.

triangle bead assembly
Assembling the beads – Side 2

Now, add a mandrel to each row.

assembling kiln formed beads
Adding the mandrel

And add a last piece of glass to each bead.

triangle kiln formed bead
Triangle bead, side 3

Step 6 – Fusing

Now fuse the beads using the full fuse firing schedule for 1/4″ glass or if you are using art glass, follow manufacturers guidelines.

Fused triangle beads
Fused painted beads

Step 7 – Finishing

The beads can easily be removed from the mandrels by twisting them off. Let’s have a look and see how the paint on the inside vs. paint on the outside look.

painted triangle bead
Paint on the outside of the bead
striped triangle beads
Paint on the inside of the bead

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