Dear Sandra, Another Orchidian (thanks, Donna) shared with me that to
raise cabbed stones to a desired level, use the plastic (comes in
variety of thicknesses) that model train people use to make the
little windows in the train cars. You can cut to size, stack, and
set. And it doesn’t deteriorate. Use this instead of sawdust to
back the stones for example.
I have used it that way, and also have used permanent paint pens
found at art stores to color the plastic shape that will back a
stone or bead. The resulting color under the translucent stone or
glass bead (cut and cabbed) can be very subtle by mixing, stacking,
etc. or very obvious. Turn the painted surface upside down for a
very subtle difference, but of course, the color effect would be
Find the plastic sheets (fairly more expensive than you think they
might be) at model train shops. The clear plastic does come in some
colors, as I remember, aqua and yellow, and of course clear.