In this post I will give a how to for making paper beads and will show examples of some finished jewelry pieces. I got the idea for trying the paper bead project from a CraftSanity blog post. On Jennifer’s blog she even has an awesome video of a TV segment where she demonstrates the process. After I originally published this tutorial last August, I found another really great video tutorial from Mzuribeads, a cooperative in Uganda who make amazing paper beads!
How To Make Paper Beads
Glue (I found mine at the hardware store)
Paint brush (small)
Something to form the bead around such as knitting needles, pens, etc. (I like beads with small holes so I use a very skinny knitting needle. They are widely available in Morocco)
cut up some magazine pages into long triangular pieces. Play around with the length and width of the pieces because they will make differently shaped beads. Try to keep the triangles uniform if you want your beads to be a similar size and shape. For example, if you want your beads to be 2m at their widest mark off one side of your magazine sheet every 2cm. On the opposite side, measure 1cm from the edge, then mark off every 2cm from there. Then draw lines across your paper to create the elongated triangular pieces and cut out the triangles.
Paint the glue onto the wrong side of the magazine (the side you don’t want to see). Start the glue about one inch from wide end. If your glue starts all the way at the wide end then you will glue it to whatever you are making your bead with (oops).
Starting at the wide end, tightly wrap the paper around the knitting needle/pen. Go slowly so that it looks pretty!
Add just a little more glue to the point and hold it in place for a second or two to secure it well.
Generously add a coat of glue to the entire bead and let dry in a way that the bead is not touching any surface
Now you know how to make a paper bead so make lots of them so that you can get some use out of those old magazines and junk mail!
After learning the process myself, I lead a workshop on it for the woman’s cooperative, Al Falah, that I worked with while in Morocco. They loved making the beads and couldn’t get enough of it! Below are some of the pieces that they made.
Above; Oumaima (right) and Fatima work diligently to make paper beads for an upcoming event. To view more photos of this particular day and the women at work check out this post.
Like zween on Facebook to get updates on future tutorials, crafty news and stories.