How to Make Paper Beads

I had a few inquiries about how I made my paper beads, so I thought I’d make a little tutorial for you – in case you want to join in the fun!

Step 1:  Pull a piece of paper from an old magazine. I like to use magazines like Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn. They’re always using really fabulous colors.


Step 2:  On the shorter sides of the paper, use a ruler and a pen to mark 1/2 inch lines all the way down (you can see them below on the left).

Step 3:  Use your ruler to draw a line the length of the paper. Start at the first 1/2 inch mark you made and then draw down directly to the opposite corner (I outlined it in red below). Do this to the entire sheet of paper.

Step 4:  Cut along the lines you just made. You will have a nice little pile of paper triangles.

Step 5:  Starting at the widest part of your triangle, start rolling the paper around a toothpick. (I should have gotten a manicure for you.)

Tip #1: I like to put two triangles together and roll. It makes a slightly fatter bead.

Tip #2: Sometimes I have a hard time getting the beads off of the toothpick. Plastic coffee stirrers work really well too.

Step 6:  Finish rolling the bead. When you get to the last inch or so of paper, apply a bit of craft glue to close the bead. (Elmer’s works fine. I’ve even used a glue stick).

Step 7:  I like to stand them upright to dry. I used an apple, but a piece of foam would work well too. Once I have a bunch made, I seal them with a few coats of clear nail polish. For my next batch, I’m going to try sealing them with a spray polycrylic.

Once they’re dry, they’re ready to use. They’re strong and durable, I just would not get them wet. One piece of magazine paper makes 12 beads, or so. That’s enough to make a lovely bracelet! What a beautiful gift at minimal cost. And you’re upcycling too! – changing something that would have been waste material into a beautiful piece to be treasured. Happy beading, ya’ll!

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