Friday, September 17, 2010

Bead Masking Basics

Bead masking is a technique I haven’t played with in awhile! 

Thanks to Marianne Colschen for reminding me about this fun beadie way to embellish!  Today’s post is a little notepad that Marianne shared with me.

Years ago I did a photo tutorial of bead masking for one of our free online classes.  We have lots of those tutorials on our website now for your use.  I’ve edited the bead basics masking class to update the information for this blog post.

bead masking

My photography has definitely evolved over the years and I apologize for the poor quality of photos below!

This project idea comes from the Design Originals book “Stuck On Beads” Volume 1 (which is no longer in print. )


O’So Sticky Tape sheet, micro beads in various colors, plastic tape liners from used up O’So and something to stick it all onto.

I have chosen to use a dark piece of cardstock to contrast and set off the bead design on my card.


Step 1

Cut a piece of O’So Sticky Tape (from a sheet) into card front size 5.5” by 4.25”

Apply to the front of a card by using our tried and true “tape trick” which is done by only peeling back a corner of the liner.  This allows you to move and manipulate the tape sheet until it is perfectly in place on the card.  Press down on the exposed corner to anchor the tape sheet and then slowly pull away the liner smoothing the tape down onto the card as you go.

For this project, it really doesn’t matter which liner you remove first, the paper or the red plastic.  (Please note that our paper liners changed from a mustard color kraft paper to white paper in 2004).

When you are finished with Step 1 the front of your card should be completely covered with O’So Sticky Tape – like this:


I am showing you two examples – in the one on the left, I peeled the red liner first. In the one on the right I peeled the paper liner first – it doesn’t matter which way you do it.

Use whatever size tape liners you have on hand.  Strips can also be cut from sheet liners but you must take care to only put the release side down on your project if you use any paper liners.

In this tutorial I’ll be using 1/4” size but it really can be any size.  If all you have is 1” liners, and you want a 1/4” line, then just trim the liners.  If you have a lot of paper liners left over from other projects, you can cut those up to use.  In fact, you could even get fancy and cut the paper with decorative scissors if you want to.  Remember though that the red liners are made of plastic and have a “rubbery” texture to them – so I wouldn’t recommend that you try to cut them decorative scissors.

Step 2

Remove the liner from the tape you placed onto the card front, exposing the entire adhesive. Try not to touch it or bump it – cause you’ll get stuck.

Lay the liners onto the exposed adhesive in any pattern that suits you. It is okay to cross over with this method – it’ll come back up easily.

You’ll want to press the liners down firmly onto the adhesive – I used a pencil eraser to rub along each piece to make sure it was stuck down good! You may also want to trim any long ends – to keep them from catching and pulling off before you want them to.

This is what I did:


Step 3a

The adhesive from the sheet placed onto the cardstock in step 1 showing through the criscross design I made with the liners. This open area is what will be beaded first.

Press the card front into whatever color you would like.

Insert Picture

I was planning to insert a picture here – but when I peeled away the first liners I got so caught up in the moment that I totally forgot I was preparing for a class and I steamed onto the next step. Oops!

Step 3b 

Next, remove the top layer of liners from the card and press into another color of beads.


So far, I used the Light Blue Opaque in step 3a (the one I didn’t get a picture of) and then Royal Blue Opaque.

Step 3c

Remove the last layer of liners and press into a third color of beads.

I chose silver, and am now thinking that I would have liked it much better had I used the silver FIRST, so that all my “diamonds” were silver rather than light blue. That’s okay – I’ll try it again another time!


And don’t forget that you can SAVE THESE LINERS TOO! Yep – you can just keep on using them over and over and over – they don’t wear out!

Masking Notes

My husband, Brian really gets credit for coming up with the whole “Save Your Liner” campaign. This is what he created with recycled liners:


Our son Jordan created some very cool beaded pens using the masking technique:


He also made a neat vase with just ONE sheet of O’So Sticky Tape and LOTS of recycled liners:


Here’s a larger view of Marianne’s little notepad:

bead masking


  1. Wow those are all awesome. Why wasn't I recycling my liners? LOL

  2. very tactile, have never seen this technique, tfs these detailed instructions!

  3. Great tutorial. Need to start working on some wow but inexpensive gifts for the holidays and I'm getting inspired by Jordan's pens and Marianne's notebook. Dar L


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