Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tutorial: Paper Beads

Hey Paper Crafters,
I recently made a metric ton of paper beads for a project out of magazine pages. I was laid up for a week after injuring most everything under my knees and I needed something to keep my hands busy. I also watched a metric ton of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (every season now on Hulu; you're welcome).

Making paper beads is extremely easy and the beads are surprisingly sturdy. When I was young I had a cheap-o plastic machine to help roll the beads up but as an adult I don't have room that for that kind of junk so I used a drink stirrer to help curl the paper and hand rolled the beads. It felt like a joint rolling intensive.

  • Scrap Paper, fashion magazines and National Geographic tends to be a great place for colorful, low text images but sheet music or scrap booking paper would be nice too.
  • Scissors
  • Stick glue
  • Something long and round; drink stirrer, pencil, chop stick
  1. Grab your paper and cut long triangle shapes. No need to make them exact. I just ripped out magazine pages and cut about 6-8 strips.
  2. Curl around the stirrer starting with the wide end of the paper to make curly.
  3. Swipe glue along wide end to start and add when needed, especially at the end to finish.
*You could do your gluing around the stirrer but I found free rolling worked better for me.

Uses for paper beads include children's crafts like stringing beads for jewelry and gluing to frames in place of pasta noodles or stringing them for garlands for parties and Christmas trees (try spraying the garlands with glitter for festive shimmer) or making paper chandeliers (which is why I made mine, stay tuned for those).

Have fun!