How to Make Paper Beads in Different Shapes

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Making beads can be part of recycling.
Making beads can be part of recycling. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

There are many sizes and shapes of beads that you can make from paper such as recycled newspapers and magazines. Collect the items that you have at home to recycle and combine these with supplies from bead or craft stores to make beautiful jewelry. You can do this craft alone or help children to appreciate conserving the environment when you do this craft.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Stock pot
  • Spatula
  • White glue
  • Glue stick
  • Store-bought beads
  • Beading wire or beading thread
  • Wooden skewers or toothpicks
  • Scissors
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Colander
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill and bits
  • Clear varnish or fingernail polish
  • Metal beads crimps
  • Metal clasps

Irregular Beads

Shred newspaper into small pieces and put these into a large stockpot that you are not using for cooking. Put water in the pot, bring to a boil and then turn down the water. Let the paper rest in the water for an hour. Be certain that adults use the stove top to boil the water.

Drain off the water with a colander and stir the mix in the stockpot with a spatula to break up the paper. Stir white glue into the paper so that it is sticky.

Pull off chunks of the recycled paper in the size that you want to make the beads. Roll the paper in the palms of your hands to form ball shapes. Squeeze out the excess water in the paper. Set the beads on wax paper on a cookie sheet to dry for two days. .

Poke toothpicks in the paper balls while they are drying to form holes. Remove the toothpicks after the balls are dry. Alternatively, drill holes in the balls after the paper is dry. Clip away the edges around the drilled holes with scissors or with fingernail clippers.

Sand the paper balls with sandpaper to make the beads smoother. Paint the beads and let them dry. String the beads with beading wire or thread. Dip the beads into clear varnish or paint with clear nail polish to make them shiny and protect them.

Tubular Beads

Take out the staples from magazines and remove pages. Cut the pages into long isosceles triangles if you want large beads. Use the entire length of the magazine pages. Cut the magazine pages horizontally into triangles if you want shorter beads.

Run the back of a magazine strip across a glue stick.

Roll the magazine strip up loosely between your fingers. Leave a hole for bead stringing. Alternatively, roll the magazine strip around skewers or toothpicks to make uniform stringing holes. Let the bead dry and pull it off the skewer or toothpick.

Paint the bead and spray or coat it with varnish. Let the bead dry and string on beading wire. Alternatively, coat it with clear nail polish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vary the stringing pattern of the paper beads with store-bought beads. Use metal crimps to keep clasps in place if you use these for the necklaces.
  • Do not wear the beads where the beads will become wet. Water will damage the beads.

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