Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Upcycling: paper beads

I found a tutorial on paper beads and had to try it. I just have to say…beware. This craft is so addicting.

To make paper beads, here’s what you need:
  • colorful paper – I used magazines
  • glue
  • cutting board and x-acto knife
  • something to roll the bead on like a toothpick or shishkabob stick, knitting needle or wire
  • wax paper
  • string or jewelry cord
  • optional – a small paint brush

Choose your paper and cut into tapered strips. Starting with the wider end start rolling onto your toothpick. Tip: do not roll too tightly or your bead won’t come off easily. When you are almost to the end of the strip apply glue to the last couple of inches and finish rolling. Spread the excess glue all over the bead with either your fingers or a small paint brush. Slide the bead off and dry on wax paper.

As your beads are drying roll them around every now and then so they don’t stick to the wax paper.  

Once your beads are dry, string them up. I used clear stretchy jewelry cord to make these bracelets.
Continue rolling beads until you have to stop yourself because nothing else in your life is getting done.


  1. These are beautiful. I especially like the blue. Such a simple craft... I will definitely be trying these.

  2. These are super cool! Thanks for showing us!

  3. Thanks so much for the comments. These were super fun to make. The blue beads were made from a magazine tear that had a pool image on it.
    Have fun making the beads! Please feel free to forward pictures of your finished projects.
    - carolyn

  4. I've seen these beads many times, but never as nicely done! Maybe I will try them. Thanks!

  5. I love these...every time I make them, we have a glut of them in the house because they're so habit=forming!

  6. I love this upcycling idea. I am featuring this at

  7. Hi, Great blog

    I hope you don’t mind us leaving an additional note to tell you about our fabulous Ugandan Recycled Paper Mzuribeads, Barkcloth, Banana leaf, and recycled Glass beads ON SALE at

    Here you can check out a selection of ethical and eco beads all made by groups building sustainable businesses and promoting environmental awareness.

    Thank you for your support, and for promoting sustainable bead projects.


  8. pretty and unique! .. I wonder how newsprint would look?... hmmm..

  9. There are several ladies at church who have been wearing these (I think they were bought as a fundraiser for Haiti??) but seeing how beautiful they are has made me want to figure out how to make my own. Thank you for this inspiration.

  10. can I just say - ADORABLE!!! Oh yes, I strongly suspect that it would be SO hard to stop. But I do believe that my (next year's) Christmas tree just NEEDS one of those paper bead garlands. So I suppose I will need to make 4 or 5 hundred. Oh yes. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  11. Hi! I recently made these and posted on my blog but I wanted to say thank you so much for the idea and inspiration! This was such a fun craft and has so many possibilities. I always love your blog <3


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