Learn how fun and easy it is to make Paper Beads for Colorful Jewelry with this step by step Tutorial
Making Paper Beads is one of those fun crafts we did when I was a kid. It was one of our go-to projects that was perfect for teenager birthday parties or just a rainy afternoon.
The cool thing about this craft is that you only need basic materials which you probably already have such as old magazines, construction paper, matches, some Tacky glue and sealer, such as Mod Podge.
In This Article
- What are Paper Beads?
- Supplies for Making Paper Beads
- Basic Paper Bead Template
- Cutting the Magazine Strips
- Rolling Up the Paper Beads
- Sealing the Paper Beads
- Making a Bracelet
What are Paper Beads?
Basically, paper beads are exactly what it sounds like. They are beads that are made out of strips of paper. The paper is cut into a template and then rolled around a match.
Once the match is removed, you are left with a hole running through the center of the bead for the string.
The type of paper you use can be anything but for this tutorial, we will be using old magazine pages. Magazines are fun to use for paper beading because the pages are often bright, shiny and colorful.
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Supplies for Making Paper Beads
- Old Magazines or Construction Paper
- Tacky Glue
- Mod Podge or Acrylic Spray Sealer
- Pen or Pencil
- Jewelry Cording or Yarn
- Darning Needle
Basic Paper Bead Template
Basically, different shaped templates will give you differently shaped beads. For this particular project, we will make a long bead that is tapered at the ends and has a thicker center. The shape of this template is a long triangle.
Cutting the Magazine Strips
First, you need to look through your magazines and choose the pages for your beads. These can be any color or color combination you want.
Keep in mind that the paper will be rolled up, so you will only see one side of each page.
Next, you will mark your pages as follows (see template above):
All along one edge of your paper, make a mark at every inch. On the opposite edge, make the first mark at 1/2 inch and then every 1″ from then on (i.e. at 1 1/2″, 2 1/2″, 3 1/2″, etc.)
This side marks the center of the bead which will measure half of the length of the whole bead.
I made two different sizes of beads: 1″ long and 2″ long. So, for the 2 inch sized beads, mark one edge at 2″, 4″, 6″, etc. and the other edge at 3″, 5″, 7″, etc.
Now, using your scissors, go ahead and cut out all of the triangles.
Rolling up the Paper Beads
I had a little trouble getting the glue to come out as I needed it. It was just a bit too thick. So, before you begin rolling your beads, you may want to squeeze out a glob of glue onto a scrap piece of cardboard.
Now, lay one of the triangles on a table in front of you, pointed end up. Place a match across the bottom edge nearest you, opposite the point.
Holding the paper and the match together, slowly begin rolling the match and thereby wrapping the paper around it. Try to keep this somewhat tight, but remember you will also need to remove the match later.
To help hold the paper, you will want to add a bit of glue every now and then. You can easily do this by dipping one of the matches in the glue and applying it to the paper.
When you get to the end, add more glue to the tip of the triangle to hold the bead together.
Repeat rolling up paper beads until you have enough for your project.
Sealing the Paper Beads
Making a Bracelet
Once the sealer has dried, take your beads and string them onto the cording or yarn. If you are using yarn, simply thread it on the darning needle and then add the beads. Tie a knot at the end or add a closure.
As I said above, there are other shapes of paper beads that you can make. The difference is the shape of the template.
This article shows you three different ways that you can make paper beads.
Since you are probably home with your kids right now, give this fun craft a try! And I would love to see your finished projects so make sure and share photos in the comments below.