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How to Make Paper Beads

Updated on May 1, 2013

Paper Bead Tutorials

Paper beads are the perfect example of an eco craft. This can be a great project for kids as they will have the chance to learn something about saving the environment (one bead at a time) as well as for adults as you can easily make stunning jewellery pieces.

There are many different shapes of paper beads and I will show you how to make some of them. I am sure when you will learn the basic technique behind making a paper bead only your imagination will be the limit.

I let the paper inspire me. When I see a paper (magazine...) and I love the colors on it I use it for making a paper bead. If there's enough of it you can easily make a whole jewlery set.

How to Make Paper Beads


What you will need to make your paper beads

paperskewer, toothpick or anything simmilargluescissors or crafts knife (adults only)Optionalgloss varnish

colors (you can color the beads so they will all be the same) jewellery making suppliesYou can use all kinds of papers, you can use old newspapers, posters, wrapping paper (love it), origami paper...

While I would never recommend this for kids if you are planning on making paper beads yourself and don't have a craft knife I think it is well worth considering.

Martha Stewart Crafts Knife
Martha Stewart Crafts Knife

If you do a lot of paper (and other) crafts you will love the crafts knife. It's super handy for paper beads as you will be able to cut it in seconds. This knife will be also great with various other crafts, especially the ones that require a lot of detailed cutting (if you ever tried to make a paper craft 3D project you know what I'm talking about)


Making Paper Bead Stencils - Basic Paper Bead

I like my paper beads even so I draw the shapes with a pencil (on the back side) before I cut them. For a simple round or oval bead you will need a long triangle. I usually make my beads out of old magazines, store newsletters and commercials but here I used a plain white paper.

When you decide on the width of a bead divide it in half and you will get the unit that you will use to help you make the stencil.

Step By Step Instructions - In photos and words

  1. Cut the paper strip with either craft knife or scissors
  2. Take the skewer or a toothpick (the thickness of it will be the diameter of the hole) and start wrapping the bead around it - wider end first.
  3. Continue wrapping the bead adding glue here and there (there's no need for the glue to be applied to the whole paper strip).
  4. When done you can leave the bead on the skewer for a while for the glue to dry. When it dries take the bead off of the skewer.

Make your beads last (and shine) - Making them water resistant

Glossy varnish won't only protect the beads it will also make them look more glamorous. It will make sure they won't scuff and will protect them if you get caught up in the rain.

Studio By Sculpey Glossy Glaze
Studio By Sculpey Glossy Glaze

I usually use polymer clay glossy varnishes as they do a great job, are safe to handle and don't smell as bad as some other ones.

I apply about 3 layers on each bead.


Some ideas for the bead shapes - Be creative

As I already said there are lots of different bead shapes you can do with paper. These are just a few basic examples.

In order to make a round paper bead you will bead you will need a long strip.

A simple necklace anyone can make - Super easy project

I made this simple necklace (and a pair of matching earrings even though I actually don't have holes in my ears) out of 3 pages from a children's magazine. I used a flexible cord, crystal beads which I put in between paper ones and that's basically it.

I really love how it turned out, the colors are great. It's a perfect piece for the summer.

Love paper beads? What will you do with them?

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    • profile image

      WinWriter 4 years ago

      Cute necklace and easy to follow instructions. Thank you for sharing your crafting with us :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I think this is super cool! I love your tutorial! It's one of the simplest/easiest I've seen yet. I've been making paper beads for a while and I love the fact that you can make them from any kind of paper. I've made beads from newspaper (one of my favorites) and magazines, but even regular paper can be fun!

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image

      Two Crafty Paws 4 years ago

      @ohcaroline: I was lucky with this one, the paper came from a children's magazine where there was an "article" on 6 pages that had orange background and the text was in speech bubbles in various colors.

      Most of the time if you have a magazine that has colored borders with it's articles you will get nice uniformed beads.

      You could always color them. I have a bracelet made out of newspaper beads which I colored blue.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 4 years ago

      How did you get the uniformity of the colors to come out?