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Paper Bead Tips And Ideas

Paper crafting has been my passion since I was a child. I love sharing paper projects, ideas, and products. Get more from your paper.

Paper beads can be made in so many color combinations. You can create the beads in the combinations that make you happy.

Paper beads can be made in so many color combinations. You can create the beads in the combinations that make you happy.

The Art Of Making Paper Beads

The process of making paper beads has been around for quite a while. But recently it has rekindled an interest in this art.

The nice thing about this paper craft is that you do not have to have any skills at all to create a custom piece of jewelry. If you can cut paper, roll it and glue it, you can become a jewelry designer in very little time.

Just about any paper can be used. The most fun you can have is to use those paper scraps from other projects to create one of a kind beads. Rather than throwing them away, you can create something for yourself as well as gifts. You could for very little money, create jewelry to sell as well.

Creating these custom pieces will bring out your creative side. Start with a few easy projects to see if this is something that you would like to persue. Once the paper bead bug hits you, you will find yourself making many projects for yourself, family and friends.

What Kind Of Paper For Paper Beads?

It all comes down to the weight of the paper. If the paper that you are using is too thin, you will have problems rolling it. If the paper is too thick, it will be difficult to handle.

Before you start rolling the paper, take a bit of the paper and apply the glue that you are planning to use. You can check to make sure that the color will not run from the glue. Once you have checked, you can start cutting and rolling your beads. Doing this test also helps you know if the glue that you are planning to use will adhere your paper.

The thicker the paper, the fatter the bead. Experiment with different papers. Try using wrapping paper. It is colorful !

  • Card Stock (Scrapbook paper )-You can also consider scrapbook paper (card stock) both printed and solid colors. The paper variations in scrapbook paper is endless, I especially like the printed papers. They come in several different sizes. 12'x12" and 6'x 6" are probably the most popular.
  • Stamped Paper- You can stamp paper with an intricate design for your beads
  • Scrap Paper-You can also use those scraps of paper that you are hoarding
  • Pre-Cut Bead Strips-You can buy strips all ready pre-cut This option saves a lot of time. The come in packages of 40 strips and often come with a paper roller
  • Magazine Pages-I have used magazine pages to craft paper beads, It is a little bit flimsy to cut and roll, but the color options on these [ages make very colorful beads..
  • Copy Paper-Copy paper comes in all kinds of solid colors and is a good choice for paper beads.The great part of copy paper is that you can run it through your printer with your template and the template copies will be easy to cut.
  • Junk Mail-Save all that mail that you are planning to heave and make beads with them
  • Newspaper Beads-Because of the texture and weight of the paper, the best use for newspapers is to make tapered beads.
  • Brown Paper Bags- These give you a rustic bead. They appear like wood once varnished.
  • Wrapping Paper Beads-The quality of most wrapping papers make it a perfect choice for paper bead crafting.

Bead Size Guide


Paper Bead Shapes

There are a number of paper bead shapes that you can create with your paper strips. Paper bead shapes are largely dependent on the shapes of the paper that you cut.

Almost every paper bead starts off as a rectangular or triangular shape.

There are three things that define what kind of shape that your0 paper bead will be:

  • The paper thickness
  • Strip shape
  • The strip length

Longer strips or thicker strips will create larger beads. Likewise, shorter strips and thinner paper will create smaller beads.

Start with the simplest shapes as a beginner. Once you get the general idea of the craft, start experimenting with more shapes and templates.

Bead Shapes You Can Create

Having The Right Tools

Tools For Paper Beading

Beyond the paper and the glue, there are not many other tools that you need to make paper beads,

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You can use so many things as rollers for your paper beads. Bamboo sticks, toothpicks, knitting needles, and even screwdrivers.

There is also a paper roller tool that is much the same as a quilling tool. It has a handle (often wood) with a metal slotted tip it the top. The end of the paper is put in the slot and then you roll the paper and glue it. If you already have a quilling tool, you may want to try this. The only problem with this tool is that you are going to have to move the paper bead onto something else to dry it.

Other Tools And Supplies For Paper Bead Making Include:

  • Paper- can be cardstock, paper scraps, left over magazines, old book pages
  • Scissors-or rotary cutter, craft knife or paper cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pencils
  • Glue Sticks or tacky glue
  • Craft paint or waterproof markers
  • Mod Podge -or marine varnish
  • Thin wire
  • Floral Foam Block -or a piece of Styrofoam (used to dry beads on)

European Bead Maker Tool

The European bead maker tool helps you create paper beads with larger holes. They come in 3mm and 5 mm sizes.

Beads made with the 5mm European style paper bead making tool can be easily fitted with silver cores that will give your beads a beautiful finish.

European style paper beads made with this tool will fit Pandora style bracelets and other larger stringing materials such as leather cord.

Paper Bead Making Basics

Basic Paper Bead Template

More Paper Bead Templates And Tutorials

Basic and Simple Template


Paper Bead Resources

Creating Paper Beads-Step By Step

  1. Select your paper and place it face down.
  2. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw your bead template on the back of the paper.
  3. Cut the template out with a pair of scissors or a craft knife
  4. Place a toothpick or a bamboo skewer on the longer edge of your paper template.
  5. Use some tacky glue to attach the paper to the toothpick or the skewer. You can also use a piece of scotch tape.
  6. Before you roll the paper, add several tiny drops of glue along the paper strip. A precision glue tip is perfect for this step.
  7. Roll the paper template towards the shorter end of the paper template.
  8. Secure the end of the paper template with some tacky glue or a glue stick
  9. Place the toothpick or the skewer in a piece of floral foam and allow to dry.
  10. Gently remove the toothpick or skewer.

Precision Glue Tip Bottles- A Necessary Tool

Coat And Seal The Paper Beads

Coating and sealing your paper beads will make them more permanent. There are several mediums that you can use to coat and seal your beads

  • Modge Podge
  • Marine varnish
  • Clear nail polish
  • PC- Petrified Wood Hardener- you need to wear latex or rubber gloves and keep this product away from your mouth

Always follow the product directions regarding ventilation and use of any of these products

  1. Remove the toothpick or skewer from the bead if you have not done it,
  2. Place a piece of plastic sheeting or a craft mat on your surface.
  3. Coat the beads and allow to dry

If you are using the wood hardener, you will want to place the bead on a thin piece of wire. Dip them into the solution.Soak them for a while. Hang them and allow to dry. After about an hour, dip them into the solution. And again allow them to dry.

More Thoughts On Sealers

So, as we said, there are several ways to go when it comes to sealers.

Mod Podge Gloss-very popular and seals with a nice gloss. It dries pretty quickly and holds up well. In my book, it does have a little smell to it. Might not be water-resistant. But the price in right and you can use it for other projects.

Triple Thick -also has a shiny finish. Non-toxic and no smell when using it. Does not hold up as well to humidity and water.

Polycrylic Finish- Dries hard and durable. Will hold up to humidity and water. It must be used in a well ventilated area. Should be used by adults only as it is not nontoxic. Comes in a satin and gloss finish.

Krylon Low Odor Clear Finish- Dries pretty quickly. Should be considered a light sealant. Needs to be used in a well ventilated area and is not nontoxic. Needs multiple coats. Would best be used on earrings.

Making Beads From Cereal Boxes

If your household eats a lot of cereal, you have a ready made source of colorful bead supplies. Each box of cereal will have it's own color combination that will produce beads that will make you happy.

  1. Cut the cereal box so that it is open and flat.
  2. Cut off the top and bottom of the box so that you have one rectangular piece
  3. Create simple triangles with a ruler. On the back side of the box, draw traingle shapes. Start with 3/4 " and end up with 1/8' at the top. If you use the box horizontally you will get thinner beads. If you go vertically they will be thicker beads.
  4. Cut out the triangles
  5. Use a 12-14 gauge wire to start rolling your bead. At the end of the bead, add some tacky glue to seal the ends. Hold the end to the bead for a minute till it seals on the bead
  6. Allow the beads to dry
  7. Line them up one a wire with some separation between them
  8. Paint a coat of Modge Podge or other glossy sealer .on the sides of the beads.
  9. Allow to dry
  10. Add a second coat of sealer if you would like

More Options For Sealing Paper Beads

Paper Bead Variation Template

Here are some variations of bead templates to try.

Here are some variations of bead templates to try.

Newspaper Paper Beads

Using newspapers to make paper beads is a little different that rolling paper beads.

  1. Grab a small pile of newspapers and rip the paper into small pieces.
  2. Put the paper into a large stockpot.
  3. Pour enough boiling water over the paper to cover them.
  4. Allow the paper covered by water to sit for an hour or more.
  5. Stir the paper to help break it down.
  6. Drain as much water out of the paper as you can.
  7. Add white glue. Add enough to hold the paper together to make a ball shape.
  8. Roll the paper into round balls in any size you would like. As you are rolling the balls, squeeze as much water as you can from the paper balls.
  9. Let them dry for a few days. Periodically, roll the balls around so that they dry on all sides.
  10. Sand the beads down to get rid of any edges or ridges
  11. Drill a hole in each bead as wide the the material that you are going to string them.
  12. Paint with craft paint.
  13. When the paint is dry, apply varnish

More Paper Bead Tutorials And Tips

Paper Bead Jewelry Tips

Of course once you make your paper beads, you are going to want to string them into jewelry. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Hemp,cotton thread, silk thread, leather or any type of yarn will work for threading your beads.
  • Since paper beads have a large hole, spacer beads would be good to thread between them.
  • Paper beads are especially good for triple strands of necklaces because they are so light.

Paper Bead Bracelet

Once you have created enough beads in the colors and shapes that most appeal to you, you can start creating bracelets with your beads. You can secure jewelry findings on the internet or in your local craft store. The combinations and colors that you can create are endless !

Beyond the beads themselves, you will need just a few supplies:

  • Beading wire
  • Toggle closure
  • Crimping beads
  • Flat nosed pliers
  1. Measure your wrist and add at least one half inch to that.
  2. Cut the beading wire double to your measurement
  3. Lay out the beads in the order you want them. Make sure that you have enough beads to cover the wrist area.
  4. Thread one crimp bead through the wire.
  5. Then thread one half of the closure onto the wire.
  6. Loop the wire back and through the crimp bead again.
  7. Adjust the crimp snug up against the closure with the 2 strands of wire next to each other (not stacked on top of each other).
  8. Using the flat nose pliers, flatten the crimp bead down on the wire to secure the closure, leaving the wire tail.
  9. String the beads onto the wiore in the pattern of your choice.
  10. Thread the tail from step 3 back through the beads on the wire burying the end (cut if needed).
  11. Thread the second crimp onto the wire, and then thread the second closure. Loop the wire back through the crimp bead and several beads.
  12. Adjust so that the crimp is close to the beads and the closure. Do not make your bracelet too tight. Leave a bit of "wiggle" room for your beads to move.
  13. Using your flat nose pliers, crimp the bead secure and cut your tail.

Paper Bead Jewelry Projects

Final Thoughts On Creating Paper Beads

Paper Beads are ao easy to create. Many of the materials that you need, you may have in your craft space or home. It is not an expensive craft or difficult to learn. Once you get the hang of the technique, you will get hooked. Creating custom jewelry for yourself and others is a rewarding experience. Sharing that experience will create special moments for yourself and those you care most about! Happy Crafting!

© 2021 Linda F Correa

Share Your Thoughts, Experiences And Ideas On Paper Beads

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on May 03, 2021:

You are welcome, It is a great recycling idea ! You can use almost any paper that you can think of to create your beads. Starting out with earrings is a good start.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2021:

I’ve never thought of making paper beads before. I love the idea! Thank you for sharing the instructions and tips.

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on April 27, 2021:

You are right. It is a great recycling idea. With all the emphasis on climate lately, I thought it was a good idea to make use of scraps.

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on April 27, 2021:

They lost popularity and now have gained traction again. I hope you give it a try !

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 27, 2021:

I have never made paper beads, but what a great way to recycle paper! I like that idea!

Iqra from East County on April 27, 2021:

Beaded bracelets are basically made from loose beads. These beads are linked to each other through the center hole with the use of a string or an elastic band. Ladies use beaded bracelets for their beauty.

Nell Rose from England on April 27, 2021:

Wow, talk about a nudge to the memory! lol! I remember making paper beads when I was small. What fun! Great idea, and maybe I will give it another go!

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