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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

How To Make Paper Beads

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It's been a while since I posted some crafty things on here. Ever since I got my first batch of paper beads from Paper to Pearls, I have been fascinated by them; they look so gorgeous that you wouldn't think they are made of paper. The batch I got have a nice selection of beads from which I've made a lot of nice jewellery, earrings being my favourite.

paper beads how to

However, I kind of wanted to make some of my own. Not that I will stop buying from Paper to Pearls and support them, but I have a lot of paper, junk mail leaflets, old magazines, left-over gift wrap paper etc around the house that could benefit from a little upcycling and turned into great looking and eco-friendly jewellery.

So, here's how I make them myself - a little project that might keep you busy if you are after some crafty thing to do.


How to make Paper Beads


You will need:
  • Colourful pages from old magazines, calendars, gift wrap paper or any colourful paper. You will lose the designs on the paper as you roll them into beads, so just try out different papers to see the effects you get. But remember the thicker the paper the fatter the bead!
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or pen
  • Ruler (preferably a long one)
  • Toothpick (or needle)
  • Liquid glue (paper or all-purpose craft glue will do)
  • Resin or Clear varnish - most clear varnishes from local store will do or nail varnish.
  • Any other jewellery items like wires, threads to make the beads into jewellery.

paper beads how to

First lay your paper flat. Measure 1cm intervals on one side. On the other side start with 0.5cm then 1cm intervals from it. Score the paper. Depending on the size you want your bead to be you can increase / decrease the width.

paper beads how to

You can experiment with different shapes of paper cutting; this will result in beads of different shapes.

paper beads how to

Cut along the lines.

paper beads how to


For the next steps:
  1. Take your toothpick and starting at the thickest end of the strip.
  2. Start rolling it tightly around the toothpick. Using your nails to catch it in at first.
  3. Ensure to keep the paper central.
  4. Apply a dab of glue at the end.
  5. Roll the last bit and press down on it for a few seconds to hold the bead in place.
  6. The finished bead.

paper beads how to

The finished beads.

paper beads how to

If you are making a small batch, you can leave them on a toothpick each (this is what I tend to do). Some people thread the beads on plastic wire or fishing string. Whichever you choose, make sure the string is thick enough for a snug fit and the varnish cannot seep in to block the holes.

If using resin, prepare according to package instructions. I use a 2 part epoxy resin.

paper beads how to

Start varnishing. I use a brush and give them at least 2 coats of resin / varnish. Leave to dry for 2-3 days, and your beads are ready to use!

paper beads how to

You can use some firm foam or anything you can hold the toothpicks on. The only thing I had on hand was a potato!

paper beads how to

Make into jewellery: earrings, pendants, necklaces... You can add other beads and charms, hooks and wires; I leave it to you imagination. I hope you've liked this tutorial.

paper beadspaper beads

But then again, if you already have enough to do and would rather just buy some, you may want to have a look at some paper bead jewellery in my shop.

paper beads how to, bijouxlovlie, vegan jewellery, vegan jewelry

paper beads how to, bijouxlovlie, vegan jewellery, vegan jewelry

paper beads how to

For more handmade jewellery visit the Bijouxlovlie store.

12 comments:

  1. you have such a great talent. This is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are so beautiful, Teenuja! As a final product these don't look so simple - they look like they'd be about a hundred bucks. ^^ You're so creative and these would be excellent for Mother's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful earrings AND a fantastic tutorial - Thank you for sharing. I will have to give it a try one of these days :)

    Lots of joy,
    Corrinne

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much for posting this! I always wanted to know how to make these. Your psot is a really great stept to step guide.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great post! I love the tutorial. I will definitely be trying to make these in the near future...if I fail miserably, I will go right to your etsy store :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi,
    Thanks for that detailed post.
    I really like how you used a charm as a dangle on the bottom of the purple earrings. Thats a great idea.

    I run a group of women here in Australia, that make paper bead jewellery to support orphans with HIV in Thailand.
    It has been a fun journey.
    I love to see what others are doing with paper beads. It is a great medium.

    cheers
    Fi

    cheers
    Fiona

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    Love the beads you have made. Which varnish do you use for the beands ? Can we use the gloss varnish thats available in hardware stores ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard some people use the varnish from hardware stores. I think you can use that but have to leave them to dry for a few days. I use resin, the two-parts type that you mix and then apply. You can get resin in hardware stores or online. Ask for 2 parts resin. I get an eco-friendly type which doesn't have strong odours.

      Delete
  8. how do you get them more round? like the ones in the 2nd pic? I tried making some but they don't look that round or large, and I cut it the same size width...how long of piece do you use? is that wallpaper? I really like the look of the rounded ones in the 2nd pic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used normal wrapping paper for the ones in the tutorial. If you use a thicker paper, you'll get fatter beads, so maybe try with wallpaper. To get them looking more round you need to adjust the slant of the paper strip, so make them longer to get a more gradual slant that will end up in a rounder bead rather than elongated thinner one. You'll have to experiment to see how fat or round you want them to be.
      Sometimes I use 2 strips of paper to get enough length for a gradual slant (one strip will just be a straight end, not point, and the other takes on from there to a point) if you get the idea.

      Delete
  9. i love paper beads cute selll um

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow, i made this pearl making rings, earrings, and other materials, it was very beautiful,. lovly things,

    ReplyDelete

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