Paper bead making is a fun, eco-friendly craft. What a great way to create beautiful jewelry, embellishments, and decorations using colorful recycled paper such as magazines and junk mail. This is a guide about making paper beads.
This simple bracelet is made from colourful pages taken out of glossy magazines. It is easy to make and needs only a few materials. You could also add glitter, ribbons, or sticky jewels at the end to bling it up a bit if you like.
colourful glossy paper
1 knitting needle
1 ruler to measure
pen or pencil
string or cord
Choose your paper. It is best to choose pages from the same magazine so that your strips of paper are the same thickness and length.
Decide what length you want each bead to be and measure and mark accordingly. I made mine 1cm each.
Do the same along the opposite edge and use your ruler to join them up. Then cut along the lines to form strips of paper.
Remember when choosing your page, that only one end of the strip will show so it doesn't matter what is on the rest of the paper.
Apply glue to the wrong side of one end.
Stick this to your knitting needle and wind it up. I would recommend a thickness of between 2mm - 4mm. I used 4mm.
Stick down the other end with more glue.
Slide the bead off the needle and leave to dry.
If the bead unwinds a bit when you slide it off, just gently press it back in.
Use a piece of cord or string to measure your wrist and use this to work out how many beads you need.
Arrange your beads in order.
Now you will need to cut a piece of string or cord to use for assembling your bracelet. You could just guess, but this could cause frustration if you get to the end and there is not quite enough. To calculate how much you will need, double the measurement of your wrist (A). Then double the length of a bead and multiply this by the number of beads you are using (B). Add A+B then add another 12 inches or so. Now take your length of cord and double it up. Tie a knot near the end to form a loop. Thread your first bead onto one end.
Thread the other end through the same bead in the opposite direction.
Repeat this with every bead.
When you have used up al your beads, tie a double knot at the end.
Tie your fastener on tightly and snip the ends close.
Use a little PVA glue to ensure the knot doesn't work loose.
I have got lots of old magazines at home so I thought of making something out of them instead of throwing them away. I remember when I was in high school, one of my teachers taught us how to make accessories from magazines to add a little touch to our costume for the Panangbenga Flower Festival Street Dancing Parade.
Back then, we made it simple because we only wore it once, but now I add some things to it. I don't really know anything about jewelry making, but I learned the basics from YouTube. I am so satisfied with the outcome of my first jewelry project.
Approximate Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
For making beads:
old glossy magazine
toothpick or blunt needle
clear acrylic paint or nail polish
For the earrings:
2 fish hook ear wires
8 small glass beads, 2 small magazine beads, 2 big magazine beads
wire cutters and chain nose pliers
For the bracelet and necklace:
thick cotton yarn (3 or 4 ply), elastic cord, or string wire
Making the beads: Note: If you want a longer size beads, make the base wider and if you want shorter beads, make the base narrower. If you want wider diameter size beads, use thicker paper magazine and vice versa.
The appearance of the cut magazine should be triangular in shape. Measure the base for your desired size of beads and mark it with a pencil. Draw a line from that mark you made up to the tip of the magazine. Then cut.
Roll the cut magazine onto the toothpick or blunt needle from the base to the tip. Secure it with glue.
Paint all the beads you made with clear acrylic paint or nail polish to make it shiny.
Caution: When using the nail polish, use a mask because the fumes are so strong. *You can use any paint color you desire. I did not use colored paint on my beads because I used multicolored magazine pages and I liked it the way it is.
Earring assembly: Lower part (make two)
Using headpin, string a small glass bead, small magazine bead, and then the other small glass bead.
Use chain nose pliers to bend (90 degrees) the headpin wire just above the last bead.
Lay the bent wire parallel to your thumb nail, towards you.
Then use the chain nose pliers to roll the wire away from you to make a loop.
Don't close it completely yet until you have put/inserted the lower loop of the upper part of the earring you will make.
Upper part (make two)
Using eyepin, string small glass bead, big magazine bead, and then the other small glass bead.
Do the same procedure you did in lower part (step 2 and 3).
Then insert the loop of your fish hook ear wire into the upper loop of the *upper part. Close loop.
Measure your wrist so you'll know how long a piece of cotton yarn you need, but add an extra 1.5 to 2 inches on both ends before cutting. (You need the extra in tying a knot into the clasp and loop.)
String the beads.
Put clasp on one end and loop on one end. Tie a knot 3 to 4 times to make it stronger. Don't cut the excess yarn. Use blunt needle to hide it into the beads.
Note: I used thick 3 ply cotton yarn as an alternative because I don't have string wire. I think string wire is more durable. You can also use elastic cord (for this, you don't need clasp and loop).
Cut a piece of cotton yarn according to your desired necklace length. Add an extra 1.5 to 2 inches (same as in bracelet assembly).
Repeat steps 2 and 3 of bracelet assembly. I did a 24 inch necklace
Making paper beads is an easy, fun, and timeless craft activity. You can use the beads for jewelry, decoration, or anything else you usually use beads for. This is a great way to recycle paper, especially all that useless junk mail that piles up.
I make beads out of junk mail and make friendship bracelets with them and they are easy to do!
Use only the shinny paper that comes in the mail and cut or tear it in strips approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch by 2-3 inches.
You will also need a toothpick and glue. Take the strip and rub it between your fingers with the toothpick until it is wrapped almost completely around toothpick and add a drop of craft glue to the end and continue rolling through your fingers until it forms a bead. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes (which gives you plenty of time to make more) and allow to dry.
Then take string, thread, cord or elastic and bead to desired size, and voila! You have it a homemade friendship bracelet!
This is a great kids project, or if they are not around, I send them to my grandchildren!
I want to make my own paper (or whatever you might suggest that doesn't cost a ton and use $75 worth of product) beads to incorporate into crocheted jewelry, but I don't know how to start and what to use. Please help. Thanks.
You might try making your own polymer clay beads. You can usually get the clay (Fimo, Sculpey, Premo, etc.) for about $1 each in many bright colors and there are numerous web sites to tell you how to use it. Just google polymer clay instructions.