How to: Recycled Paper Beads!

These beads are so easy and fun! Limited supplies are needed, and most of them you can find in your home right now. They’re very versatile; I’m making these for a kids’ craft for an event I am holding, but they can easily look great on adult jewelry.

Materials you will need:

  • Magazines, newspapers, scrapbook paper, and any other paper materials
  • Scissors
  • Ruler (optional, but suggested)
  • Glue (I used a simple glue stick, but Elmer’s glue or higher quality craft glue could work)
  • Toothpicks, kabob skewers, or some sort of narrow stick to wrap the beads around
  • Mod Podge or clear nail polish

Start off with a stack of magazines and newspapers. If you want a thicker, bolder bead that may be stronger, go for the magazines, but I’ve found that the newspaper holds up just fine.

Cut the papers into triangular strips. They should be widest at one end, and then slant into a point. The length of the wider end is going to be the length of your bead. This can be up to you, but I would suggest 2 to 3 centimeters. The longer you make the triangular strip, the thicker the bead will be.

You can use a ruler to make sure that the sides of the triangle are perfectly straight. However, I am lazy, so I did the best I could to cut in a straight line.

Next, coat the triangular strip with glue on the side you do not want showing.

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I used toothpicks for the wrapping of the beads. Place the widest end of the strip on the stick, and begin wrapping the paper very tightly. This may take a few tries, especially if you are manually challenged like I can be.

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When you are done, you get a finished product like this!

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One last step. In order to seal the bead, it needs to be covered in either Mod Podge or clear nail polish. While making my first beads, I didn’t even own clear nail polish, so I used transparent sparkly purple polish, which worked just fine and gave it a pretty shine. However, for a more “polished” (ha), sleek look, use clear nail polish.

At first, I just dried the beads on newspaper, but then they began sticking. I found that using a jar or glass with a narrow opening works much better!

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Have fun beading! 🙂

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