Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hinges 2: Fully Working Bead Type

Here are the craft beads I use. Each measures 3/16” x 1/16” with a hole that’s a bit over .032. They are made by Bead Treasures and called “Czech Glass Beads, #2 Straight Bugle Black” and come in a tube. $3.00 for a whole lot of ‘em!

In the upper right is my little beading tool. It’s a piece of .032 piano wire. I Super Glued a bead near one end and it‘s quite handy when trying to manipulate these tiny beads. Just slip one onto the end and use the wire as a handle to hold it in place. The plain end of the wire also works to pick up small dabs of glue for application and unclogging Super Glue openings as well. Multi-use!

By the way, a damp finger works well to pick these tiny guys up, especially when they decide to roam all around the work table.

Closer view of the beads. Remember, they’re only 3/16” long!

OK, time to make a hinge…
- Cut a strip of black card 1/8” wide, make a mark 1/2” from the end, bend a tab down 1/8” from the end.
- Pre-curl as shown (I wrapped it very loosely around the beading tool).

Put a bit of glue starting at the mark for 1/4” towards the end. Set a bead into the glue to keep it in place. The beading tool helps place it.

Fold the tab over the bead, trapping the bead. Then force the back edge of a craft knife up against it lock it in place tightly until the glue takes hold.

Nice and tight and all dried. Just needs dots of Super Glue to permanently hold the bead in place and it’s done. The hinge can be kept attached left to its strap or cut off. Your choice.

Here’s wire I use for the hinge pins. The one on the left is 22 gauge black annealed steel. On the right is 20 gauge copper with a bronze finish.

Parts for one barn door: The door, its straps, hinge pins, and jamb straps. I’ll be gluing the straps on, then trimming them to length.

Strap hinges have been glued to the door and dried. I then glued the jamb’s parts to it, using the beading tool to ensure alignment.

Removed the beading tool and inserted the hinge pins. Here are both doors all finished and handles added (wire and card).   Painting Tip: Acrylic paint doesn’t stick to beads or wire so I first primed with Vallejo Black Primer 73.602, an airbrush/brush on primer. It worked great!

SURPRISE! It’s Mr. Frogmonsta!


I found that while I continued to work on the building I kept bumping the outer frame hinge parts, knocking them out of alignment. I added some tiny blocks of wood for reinforcement. MUCH stronger!

NEXT: Wrap Around and Other Examples


  1. Great how to article here and a really awesome solution to a fiddly problem with scratch built buildings!!

    Thank you sir! Great blog btw!!

    1. Thanks for the thanks! The hinges aren't as "bulletproof" as I'd like but it's an inexpensive solution. -d.

  2. Wow, thank you so much for a very "simple and easy way " to make hinges. You are incredible it so fantastic, (maybe easy and simple to do now but it's a great credit to your creativity!!

    1. Thanks, Anon, for the nice comments. And I apologize for the late reply. -d.

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