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I found this great site, because the beading thread inspired me. I didn't even know you could make different shapes of beads. I may play around with some of this today.
 

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Here's a tip:

Instead of a drinking straw, ours were rolled around toothpicks. That made it easy to stick the straws up on a piece of styrofoam to dry. The glue wasn't put on the part where you started rolling on the toothpick, to make it easier to get it out. Just don't roll too tightly in the beginning, or it can be a pain to get it out, and the bead will come unraveled in the process.
 

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Some more links. The first one says to dip the toothpick in vaseline to keep the blue from sticking to it. That makes sense!

http://www.tanashabitat.com/gear/0312192of2.asp
http://www.hiraeth.com/ytg/projects/beads/bead1.html

This site mentions dipping them many times into a "secret sauce" then pearlizing them. Pretty. Wonder what the "secret sauce" is?

http://www.nanosite.com/confab/m-mpbeadj.htm

This site mentions coating them with modpodge several times.

http://www.nanosite.com/confab/m-mpbeadj.htm
 

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Oh... neat project! Think my grandmother had a necklace with the ones that start out as triangles. Only checked out the first link, but will check the others too. Looks like this would be such a fun project! :)
 

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I used to make these all the time. They're fun--I also use to use clear nail polish.
 
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