How to make pet hair beads

How to make pet hair beads

how to make pet hair beads

Being a crazy cat lady means I have to immortalize it for all of eternity.  What better way to do that than with making cat hair beads with resin!

studio kitty

This is the hardest part of  the entire project.

Find a willing participant.

I snuck up on studio kitty while she was relaxing and cut a hunk of tail hair for this project.

Note:  Depending on how cooperative your muse is, you may only have one shot at this.  LOL.

prepping cat hair for inclusion in resin

I ended up cutting off more than I needed.  Thank goodness Studio Kitty has a lot and I could easily do a nice comb-over.

I attached one edge of the hair tuft to the sticky side of clear packing tape.  This was to keep the hair in place while I sprayed it with a couple light layers of resin gloss sealer spray on each side.  You don’t need to saturate the hair, but the spray gives it enough texture to work with it later.  (Think 80’s and Aqua Net hairspray!)

Allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes after applying the last layer.

pull hair tight

For the first bead, I took a tuft of hair, then pulled it tight.

thread hair into silicone mold cavity

Next, I threaded the hair into the cavity of a smooth surface European style bead mold until it was completely enclosed in the mold.

apply glue to hair

I wanted to try a different technique for the other bead.

This time, I applied Mod Podge to the tuft of hair.  Not enough to soak the hair, but make it sticky.

wrap hair around knitting needle mandrill

Next, I wrapped the hair around a 7 mm knitting needle that I had taped wax paper to.  The center diameter of the bead in the mold is 5 mm, so I wanted something a smidge larger than that.

round bead of hair

After letting the hair dry for two hours, I was able to slip it off the wax paper and insert it into the mold.

cat hair in a silicone bead mold

You can already see that allowing the hair in loosely (left) will give a different look than the glued hair (right).

adding resin to a bead mold

I mixed Resin Obsession super clear resin and poured it into the mold.  I think the super clear resin is the best choice here because it mixes in a thin viscosity.  It would be quite tedious to get a thicker resin into the cavity without introducing a lot of bubbles.

Hint:  You can make the cavity opening larger by using a toothpick to push the ‘stump’ over while you pour.

demolding cat hair bead

Once the beads have cured, demold by pushing from the back, then grabbing the bead.

pet hair beads made with resin

For me, I like the bead on the left better.  This is the one where I placed the hair into the cavity without gluing it in a tube first.  I like how it takes up the entire shape of the bead.  The other bead trapped some bubbles.  I’m thinking that the glue made the hair more like a cotton ball and made it impossible for the bubbles to rise.

Note:  I think the difference in the bead colors here are related to the original color differences in the hair.  Studio Kitty has light and dark hair and I think I used lighter hair for the second bead.

cat hair beads top view

From the top view, you can definitely see where there are more bubbles in the bead on the right.  I don’t know that you can easily see them with the naked eye, but they are there nonetheless.

Like this post? You may be interested in  Resin and polymer clay ring tutorial

Which bead do you like better?

17 Comments

Sarah Tron

OMG! This is by far the funniest thing I’ve read today! While I like the idea of forever having a piece of my fur-baby with me…getting her to be a willing participant would be the tough part! It also calls to mind how often I’m shooing her AWAY from my resin projects! I never thought to make her a part of them. Literally!

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CT

These are a great idea and has been the basis of my business for almost 10yrs… how’s tos like this one are great, not that I set them the way you have set out, but ultimately they do take away business from those who use these as a source of income to feed their families… not just these beads, but most pieces created.

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Aimee T

Great timing! I have been experiment with exactly this type of cast however I am struggling with a sealer I find modge podge seems to leave a slightly cloudy layer in between the hair strands but as I am in New Zealand I can’t get aerosols sent to me because that resin spray seems perfect. Can you recommend a pump spray or something that could be shipped that would produce a similar result?

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Katherine Swift

I would try an acrylic based, clear spray. Maybe what you are seeing with the Mod Podge is what happened with my second bead?

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Cindy Davis

So after you spray both sides of the fur, do you cut the hair off the tape? There is no tape in the bead, correct? Thanks!

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Katherine Swift

Yes, that is how I did them. Thanks for asking for the clarification.

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Carol

Interesting fur baby beads. I have a Great Pyrenees and I brush her once a week or more and get a plastic grocery bag full each time so I’ll have plenty to practice with haha

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Rhonda J Hunter

We have a black cat and a mottled gray cat that shed mats of hair constantly in spite of daily brushing. No worries about not enough hair! I made tube beads by placing tufts of hair on waxed paper and dripping resin on them, and rolling them into tubes when in soft cure stage.

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Laurie

My one medium is paper so I won’t be making these fabulous beads, despite tons of ambient cat hair from my three cats. So my question is: would you make them for me and sell them to me if I send you the cat hair??

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Cindy Davis

Hi Laurie! I can maybe give it a try to make beads for you. I just received my bead mold yesterday so haven’t tried making any yet.

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Linda

Thank you for this project. I’ve been scouring the web for a memorial piece for a deceased dog. I have some of her eyelashes and coat, and couldn’t find just the right thing. I’ll make some beads, that way I can attach them to her old collar and still be able to see the fur and lashes when I feel the need.

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Nicole

Hi there ! I am really interested in making a few beads, but instead of hair I would be using my pets ashes. I have never used resin before and am curious to know if I would put the ashes in the mold and pour the resin on top, or mix the ashes in with the resin and pour together in the mold ? Any advice you can give I would appreciate it. 🙂

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