Bottle Glass Bar Beads

Bar beads are made with 2 strips of bottle glass fused over 2 mandrels to make a long skinny bead with 2 holes. These beads can be used in a variety of jewelry designs, and can be mixed and matched for all kinds of colorful looks.

Start with flattened bottle glass sheets. I like to do a variety of these beads at the same time.

Step 1:

Cut the bottle glass into strips measuring 3/8″ wide by 1 3/4″ long (.375″ x 1.75″).
bottle glass bar beadsSet the pieces aside for just a minute. I like to use plastic cups or paper plates to store cut glass pieces.

Step 2:

Prepare the mandrels by dipping them in bead release and then letting them dry. You can use a thinly cut strip of fiber paper instead of mandrels, but be aware that the hole will be a different size and shape and may effect your design options later on.

bead mold mandrel rack

Drying rack for kiln formed bead molds

Step 3:

Assemble the beads on a prepared kiln shelf. You can space your mandrels any distance apart that you like, the important thing is to space them the same on every color of beads so the holes will line up after fusing.

Start by placing strips next to each other, make sure you leave enough room for the glass to expand during fusing.

fused bottle glass bar beadsPlace two mandrels parallel to each other on the glass strips. Make sure that the mandrel is coated for the entire length of the bead strips so the glass doesn’t fuse to the mandrel.

fused bottle glass bar beadsAdd a second strip on top of the mandrels to match up with the bottom strips.

Fused bottle glass beadsStep 4:

Once you have assembled all of your beads, fuse them using the fused recycled glass firing schedule.


Fused Bottle Glass Beads

Step 5:

Remove the mandrels. I like to twist each mandrel to begin breaking apart the bead release and loosening the bead. It seems to be easiest to ease each bead off both of the mandrels at the same time. You can also soak the beads in water to loosen the bead release.

removing bead mandrelsOnce you have all of the beads off the mandrels, you can begin to create your jewelry. Not quite sure where to start? We have the perfect tutorial for a Blue Spring Bracelet!