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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. It's also fun for kids to learn, and easy enough that most catch on to the technique quickly.
Approximate Time: 3 minutes to 3 hours!
The "wrong" picture also shows beads made from a single piece of paper. The bead design doesn't come out very pretty. The "right" picture shows beads made from two, different colored, pieces of paper (or junk mail). This gives the cool "spiral" effect. You just line the pieces of paper up and carefully roll them into a bead, just like you would with a single piece of paper. But make sure to put glue on *both* pieces of paper when gluing the bead at the end.
Having paper with photos, or many different colors also makes a prettier bead. A piece of white paper with black writing will make for a rather boring looking bead. Of course, pairing that white paper with a piece of red construction paper will give a great spiral effect.
Approximate Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Try it. Soon you will have jewelry to match every outfit. The beaded jewelry makes great Christmas gifts as well.
By Pam from McMinnville, TN
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.
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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.
By LINDA CHAMPLIN from Stony Creek, NY
Sounds like you are going to have some great projects! Old magazines are great for making the beads, because of all the colors.
Best of luck to you!
Newspaper beads are great for painting when dry. Pages from magazines can be rolled and cut into whatever length of beads you want. Sometimes they are so colorful you only need to spray them with acrylic sealer. You can use any paper product, even toilet paper can be gotten wet and molded like clay for beads. Look on the internet and you can fine numerous ideas about making paper beads.
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.
I'm new at this, and I'd like to know how to make the round paper beads. I can make the others, but not the round ones. Are there square ones too?
The best advice I can give you is to experiment. I'm sorry I don't have the link but someone posted a photo or two of the same paper cut all the same length for each width of bead they rolled, stacking strips so the first bead was one paper, the second had two...and so on. The thinner the base the easier it was to get the round shape (fewer strips).
I discovered that scrapbook paper weight cut into triangle tips gave me a round bead, but the same 1/4 inch base tapered to a 1/8 inch tip gives a "square" looking bead. The length of the strip is 12" and using a toothpick to wrap around. Larger dowels will change the shape.
Try stacking your bead strips (just glue the bases together until you finish winding or you'll have a bumpy bead) and see if you can get a round bead with a thicker base...