Doesn’t it seem as though we all have a lot of paper clutter, or is that just me? Leftover strips of wrapping paper, last week’s newspaper, outdated magazines and even scraps of scrapbooking paper. We’re going to take that paper, with a few other supplies, and turn it into lovely beads that can be turned into jewelry anyone would be proud to wear.
Supplies for the paper beads:
Clear nail polish
Find paper you like; the design doesn’t matter as much as the color. Magazine pages can become some very colorful beads, but if you desire your beads to be of a more consistent color scrapbooking paper or newspapers may fit the bill better.
Cut your paper into strips, these strips will determine the size and shape of your beads.
To make a bead with narrow ends and a raised center, cut your strip about 1-inch wide and 8-inches long. Cut each strip in half lengthwise, forming two long triangles.
To make a rounder bead, cut your strip to about ¼ to ½-inch and 8 to 9-inches long. Round one short side.
To make a barrel bead, cut the strip of paper to your desired bead width and about 8-inces long. A more narrow barrel bead will need less length and more length for a fatter bead.
To make a bone/dumbbell shaped bead, cut your strip ¾- 1-inch wide and 8-inches long. Fold the paper in half lengthwise and starting about 2-inches from the end on the folded side cut toward the opposite corner (the unfolded edge). When you open the paper, your strip will have a long V-shape cut out of the center.
To create your bead, starting with the non-tapered end of your strip roll the paper around a toothpick. After you’ve wrapped the paper a couple times, use the glue stick to keep it together (if you are doing this craft with a child or if you have trouble holding small objects glue can be added at intervals to hold it all together) Add glue to the last bit of the paper to finish off the bead. Cover the bead with clear nail polish to add shine and protect the bead.
Making a bracelet:
Beads (metallic works best with the most colors, but any bead will do as long as it works with your colors)
Elastic beading cord
Measure around your wrist and add two inches, cut the cord to this length. Design your bracelet alternating paper beads and your metallic filler beads. When you get the proper length for your wrist, slightly stretch the cord and tie a double knot. Add a drop of the clear nail polish to help hold the knot. Trim the cord and slide the beads over the knot to hide it.
To make another type of bracelet, measure your wrist and add 2 times the length. Start with your paper bead (a barrel bead works best for this, but any can be used), center it on the cord add 2 spacer/filler beads, one on each side of your paper bead. Add another paper bead by running the top cord down through the bead and the bottom cord up through the bead (both cords will pass through the bead and will switch places). Add two more spacer/filler beads in the same manner as before.
Keep following this pattern until your bracelet is the desired length. When you get ready to finish off your bracelet, make sure the pattern is complete then string the cords back through the bead you began with. Snug everything down, give the elastic cord a stretch and tie the ends together on the backside of the bead. Nail polish can be added to the back to keep the knot in place after the ends are trimmed.
Stay healthy, protect yourself and your neighbors, and happy crafting.