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4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit

Updated on January 26, 2014

Green Crafting

Paper Bead making is not new craft. I couldn't tell you exactly how long it has been around, but it goes at least as far back as the Victorian era.

Paper beads are versatile. They can be used for making many things ranging from beautiful jewelry to unique bohemian curtains! They can be made in any color, and almost any size.

Since paper beads are made out of PAPER, there is a never ending supply of materials to work with. Look at the amount of paper, in the form of junk mail, newspapers and old magazines, are tossed out on a daily basis.

Once that paper has been cut and rolled, it turns into something magical.

If you are unsure about nice a bead made from junk mail might look, just look at the picture right here. The beads in this image were made using an advertising flyer for a fast food chicken restaurant.

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All photos (excluding images on any module links) on this lens were taken by Winona Morris or Robert Morris (her husband) ©2013 to present

Making Paper Beads - Rolling Paper Beads

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You start with a magazine page (or other type of paper) with colors you like.You cut the paper into triangles.  The size of the triangle base will be the LENGTH of your bead.  The height will determine how thick it is.One page can make many beads.I rolled these the old fashioned way, using mini-dowels instead of the roller tool.  Toothpicks and other small round objects can also be used.Last but not least, they get stuck in some Styrofoam and coated with many coats of sealer to help make them hard and water resistant.
You start with a magazine page (or other type of paper) with colors you like.
You start with a magazine page (or other type of paper) with colors you like.
You cut the paper into triangles.  The size of the triangle base will be the LENGTH of your bead.  The height will determine how thick it is.
You cut the paper into triangles. The size of the triangle base will be the LENGTH of your bead. The height will determine how thick it is.
One page can make many beads.
One page can make many beads.
I rolled these the old fashioned way, using mini-dowels instead of the roller tool.  Toothpicks and other small round objects can also be used.
I rolled these the old fashioned way, using mini-dowels instead of the roller tool. Toothpicks and other small round objects can also be used.
Last but not least, they get stuck in some Styrofoam and coated with many coats of sealer to help make them hard and water resistant.
Last but not least, they get stuck in some Styrofoam and coated with many coats of sealer to help make them hard and water resistant.

Paper Bead Bracelets - Made from junk mail.

The Bead Roller

This is what the tool itself looks like. At the bottom is a part for it to either screw on to a handle (which is included) or onto a bottle.

So not only can you use this wonderful tool to make jewelry (and other things) out of recycled paper, but you are also recycling a bottle to use as part of the tool!

I find screwing it to the bottle to be the easiest way to use it. The bottle gives you more to grip on. I usually sit cross legged when I'm working and hold the bottle in my legs. That way both of my hands are free to turn the crank and guide the bead.

To make the bead you slip the fat in of your bead paper between the two small metal rods (on the left in this picture). Then you turn the crank, and it winds the paper around itself. You can turn the crank either away from you or towards you, whichever one is easiest. It works both ways.

When you've rolled your bead almost to the tip you can put a little glue on it. The 4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit comes with some white glue and a sponge aplicator, but I prefer to use an old fashioned glue stick.

Paper Bead Roller

The Green Creativity Recycled Paper Beads Kit by 4M is great to have if you are going to roll a large amount of paper beads. It helps you roll MANY beads in the time it would take you to roll one the "old fashioned" way I've showed above.

It has become one of my most used tools in fact.

Even better, its so simple to use that even a child can do it. In fact, it was made as a child's toy! So it would be a great gift for any adult or kid crafter in your family!

4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit
4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit

Deceptively simple, but a great device to have around for bead rolling.

 
Elmer's All Purpose Glue Sticks, 12 Pack, 0.77-ounce sticks
Elmer's All Purpose Glue Sticks, 12 Pack, 0.77-ounce sticks

When chosing a glue stick, make sure they do not say "washable" or "school glue" as those will not hold as strong.

 
Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue 8oz
Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue 8oz

If you prefer liquid glue, get one that says "fast grab" or "quick dry" that way you don't have to worry about holding your bead closed while the glue dries.

 

Sealing is Important

While the paper beads are pretty, we all know that paper is not the most durable material in the world. If you work just the paper beads they would get dirty quickly, and tear. If they get wet, even just with your sweat, they will start to disintegrate.

So, sealing the paper beads is a very important step. Many paper bead artists use different methods of sealing, including everything from nail polish to embossing powder.

The two items below are what I use to seal all of my beads, and its worked great so far.

Mod Podge Hard Coat for Furniture, 8-Ounce (CS11245)
Mod Podge Hard Coat for Furniture, 8-Ounce (CS11245)

After my beads are rolled they each get about 5 to 6 coats of Mod Podge Hard Coat. I hand paint the mod podge on each bead individually, so it takes some time.

 

Sealing your beads make them water RESISTANT. Which is not the same was water PROOF.

A sealed paper bead can stand up to a sweaty arm, or a little rain, but should never be submerged in water.

Doubles as Storage

One thing that every crafter I've ever known has needed more of is storage space.

That is another good thing about this wonderful Recycled Paper Bead Roller.

If you choose to attach it to the bottle, then you have also attached it to its own storage space!

You can't really see it in the images I've shared, but underneath the 2 metal pins on the left there is a hole. As you finish rolling each bead, after you have glued it, you gently pull it off of the pins and drop it into that hole.

They fall down into the bottom of the bottle and viola, you have made and stored a bead.

HELPFUL TIP

You really want to make sure that the bottle you choose to use as the base of your Green Creativity Recycled Paper Beads roller is clean and dry. If you drop a paper bead into a damp and/or sticky bottle they will be ruined!

More Storage

Once you have made enough beads to fill up a bottle, you might want to expand your storage options.

Darice 1157-11 No Spill Organizer 13.7-Inch-by-8.6-Inch-by-1.37-Inch
Darice 1157-11 No Spill Organizer 13.7-Inch-by-8.6-Inch-by-1.37-Inch

Just a simple, sectioned bead box will do to sort your beads by size and/or color.

 

I've Made a Billion Beads

Bead making can get VERY addictive. I know I've made more beads than I'll ever manage to get sealed and used. But it is good to have them around.

There are, however, tons of fun things you can do with the paper beads.

Jewelry making is the most obvious. All you have to do is add some elastic cord and you have a bracelet. A head-pin and ear wire can turn what was once trash into a darling pair of earrings.

However there is one thing that I just KNOW these paper beads will work fabulously with, and it's a very popular item right now.

I think that making a wonderful rubber band bracelet on the marvelous Rainbow Loom, and accenting it with handmade paper beads would be the PERFECT use for the beads. They can help turn your Rainbow Loom creation into something truly unique that nobody else can recreate!

The Rainbow Loom

Right now everyone wants a Rainbow Loom. I know this because I work in a store that cannot keep the Rainbow Loom, or the Rainbow Loom rubber bands, in stock!

If you are unfamiliar with it, the Rainbow Loom is a loom that comes with a hook, and rubber bands. When all used together you can make many different styles of fun, bright and colorful bracelets, all out of rubber bands.

You can wear these bracelets plain, or you can accent them with beads and charms.

I think that handmade paper beads would be the most excellent charm to accent a Rainbow Loom bracelet. Other people might can make the same color and pattern of bracelet, but adding handmade beads makes it 100% unique and original.

Rainbow Loom Crafting Kit includes Loom, Metal Hook, Mini Rainbow Loom, 600 Rubber Bands + 24 Clips
Rainbow Loom Crafting Kit includes Loom, Metal Hook, Mini Rainbow Loom, 600 Rubber Bands + 24 Clips

The origional Rainbow Loom. Helpful hint, every child in the world wants this for chrismas this year. Girls and boys too!

 
Loom Rubber Bands - 1000 Rubber Band Refill Variety Value Pack with Clips (Rainbow Colors) -  100% Compatible with all Looms
Loom Rubber Bands - 1000 Rubber Band Refill Variety Value Pack with Clips (Rainbow Colors) - 100% Compatible with all Looms

Of course you MUST get more rubber bands. Lots of them. Because band bracelet making is just as addictive as bead making.

 
100 S-Clips  Value Pack
100 S-Clips Value Pack

You will also need tons of clips, to hold those creations together.

 
Official Loom Box [Holds Up to 5,000 Rubber Bands & Bracelet Making Accesories!] Perfect for Rainbow Loom
Official Loom Box [Holds Up to 5,000 Rubber Bands & Bracelet Making Accesories!] Perfect for Rainbow Loom

And last but not least you'll need even MORE storage to hold all those parts!

 

Share Your Thoughts - You don't have to be a member of Squidoo to comment!

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    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 3 years ago from Iowa

      I've always wanted to try this. I have a friend who has made some gorgeous jewelry from making her own paper beads.

    • amytrumpeter profile image

      Amy Trumpeter 3 years ago from Oxford

      Yay I love it! I have made them by hand before but the paper bead roller looks really good!

    • profile image

      nonya222 3 years ago

      I didn't know there was a tool for paper beads. How wonderful! Thanks for a very informative lens.

    • noner profile image
      Author

      noner 3 years ago

      @Tamara14: You should give it a try. I bet your girls will love it a lot, and if you're crafty at all you'll probably enjoy it too!

    • Tamara14 profile image

      Tamara Kajari 3 years ago from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

      What a cool activity. My ten year old girls would love making those. I didn't know about the paper beads at all and the roller is news to me too. Thank you for sharing this unique kind of craft.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 3 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Fun! I didn't know there was a bead roller! We used to make these paper beads by hand. Fun stuff!

    • noner profile image
      Author

      noner 3 years ago

      @janice03122: Janice, I use a combination of Mod Podge and a spray sealer. Can't believe I left that off. I'll add that now!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Looks like an interesting craft.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      I actually really admire ant art form that involves recycling. Good post!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      I had no idea these bead rollers existed. One of the products sold by the women of Amazima are these beautiful beaded necklaces and bracelets. This could really help them speed up the process.

    • profile image

      janice03122 3 years ago

      What is the sealer that u need to seal them

    • profile image

      marsha32 3 years ago

      We used to make these in Girl Scouts all the time! My mom was my scout leader.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 3 years ago

      I'm hoping we can teach some of our Asante Africa Foundation "mamas" to try this technique. They're already making beautiful beaded bracelets. Thank you for explaining the process and necessary supplies so thoroughly.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

      Interesting article, I know many of my crafty friends could use something like this, I will have to show them this link