Beaded Thumb Drive using Preciosa Seed Beads
Preciosa Ornela has Beads for Blog Posts program that accepts and picks recipients internationally. As a recently chosen recipient, I got a kilo of Preciosa Ornela seed beads, some pattern books, a pen, a pencil and a notebook for my own ideas.
I'm a huge fan of their beads, the newer shapes are used to great effect in Anna Elizabeth Draeger's Great Designs for Shaped Beads which I reviewed here. You might remember the Twin Bead bracelet, Twins are Preciosa beads.
So I'll be working out of this box of beads for a while. It's like they read my mind and got all my favorite colors. Heavy on the green and hematite, with a bit of pink and purple!
So on to the thumb drive. This is not a bead by bead project, because various things can affect how it turns out. Rather it's an overview. Since it's just a small amount of beadwork, it's pretty fast and allows some fun color play.
The first part is getting the right thumb drive. There is an Amazon link at the bottom of this article to the thumb drive I used. It's a Kingston DataTraveler 16 GB drive, it doesn't retract or have a cover, just a clean design.
You will also need:
- Seed beads- I used size 11 rocailles, hexagons and squares.
- Beading needle
- beading thread
- Scotch Magic Tape
Start by putting the thumb drive into your USB port and noting how deep it goes. That helps you figure out much coverage your beadwork can have and still have a usable drive.
Now you'll create a lip to hold the beadwork in place. This is where the tape comes in. In my photo below, I made a mistake and had to re-tape it. The mistake was using the full width of the tape, it's too wide. To cut the tape down neatly without having to deal with a couple feet of tape just getting stuck to everything, create a mini-roll. Fold a 4 inch piece of tape in half, sticky sides together for the core, then wrap that with a couple feet of tape to create a small roll. Cut across the top of the roll. I cut it about a 1/3 of the way down and used the 2/3rds of the total width to wrap the thumb drive. Burnish the tape down well. Use enough layers to build a small thick part that the beadwork can grip.
The beadwork works best for me in even count tubular peyote. For my design, I wanted a stripe down the middle. For bigger projects, the variance in bead size will cause distortion, but because this is so small, distortion wasn't an issue. After tape, it took 20 seeds, 4 hexagons and 2 squares for 26 beads total to go around the taped section. Just bead it however you want. Because it's very small, if you hate it (I didn't like my first version!) you can rip out the beadwork and start over.
After you completely cover the tape section, cinching it down is easy. You'll go through just the "up" beads, or the last round on top and on bottom except for the bigger beads you use, just pass your needle and thread through all of those. You're cinching down the rocailles. This is where Presiosa seed beads shine! Because of their rounded shape, this method doesn't leave huge gaps, those bottom beads have enough play to move close together. Go through the same beads a second time to reinforce, pull tight, knot off, weave through, and do the other side.
My husband keeps his unbeaded plain thumb drive on a quick release ring on his key ring, not very attractive, but it works well for him. What I did instead was a quick release ribbon using snaps. This way, I can hang it from a keyring, necklace or even a purse. The ribbon could be embellished with beadwork as well.
You can get the thumb drives from Amazon using the link below. 16 gb and 8 gb are available.
The beads were provided to me at no cost. The enthusiasm is all mine!
Amazon links provide extra income to me personally. I provide them both as a service and as a way to help fund my own book addiction.
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