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Find: Church Bulletin Beads

So many of the events in our kids’ lives have paper programs associated with them: Dance recitals, commencement exercises, the school play, a baby dedication. Maybe you’ll simply keep the program in a scrapbook forever, but you should know there’s another option for creating a keepsake.

Jewell Petras is a Birmingham grandmother and an artist with the Assistance League of Birmingham, an organization which has been serving the community for over 30 years. She takes paper mementos – mostly church bulletins – and makes decoupage bead necklaces with them. She has made these beads with programs from baby dedication ceremonies, memorial services, etc.

It seems there are numerous formal occasions that would be accompanied by a program, and you’re likely to have an extra copy from someone else in your party. In fact, your husband probably already has a small collection in his suit jacket pocket, depending on how many events have taken place since his suit went to the cleaners.

Even if you don’t care to wear the necklace as an accessory, there are some other sentimental uses for the beads. The necklace might be a sweet gift for a grandmother or a fun and unusual piece for your daughter to wear (it would be especially current layered with other pieces). Maybe your daughter will carry it with her wedding bouquet one day, who knows?  It just seems like a neat way to keep a reminder of an occasion, and, in any case, a folded paper program generally stays locked away in its scrapbook or frame.

You can spend a fortune on beads made of sterling or precious stones to commemorate an occasion, or you can have a piece of the real event for a nominal cost (talk about green!). The necklaces are only $12 apiece and can be ordered through Prime Time Treasures, the Assistance League’s consignment store on Oxmoor Road in Homewood. Bring in your program and the volunteers will get it to Mrs. Petras to make into beads.

All of the merchandise at Prime Time Treasures is created by Alabama senior artisans, and the shop has returned over $3.5 million to senior craftsmen since its inception. It’s a great source for handmade outdoor furniture (Chinese Chippendale style chairs and planters, for example) and simple white infant gowns.


  • http://HomeinSacramento! Phyllis Petras

    Aunt Lanky, Glad to read this!!!