Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jeweley Club, Part 3 - Recycled Paper Beads

Kat models her recycled paper necklace.  No, she doesn't have a face.
Next up in our Jewelry Club tutorial series... Recycled Paper Beads!!!  

Recycled paper beads are super easy to make, and I think they look really cool.  You can use the beads to string a necklace (like I did for my own accessorizing) or a bracelet (like we did in Jewelry Club, due to time constraints).  That's the thing with beads; they're very versatile.

The first thing you do is to take an old magazine that you don't care about anymore - think People from last year, where all the celebrity couples have broken up already.  Pick pages that have colors that you like, and rip them out.  (You can also use old books - I had success with a copy of Eragon that was literally falling apart and wasn't readable anymore.)   

Using a paper cutter (or scissors, but a cutter is much easier), cut your chosen pages into very long (the length of the longer side of the page) triangles.  I tried to keep the width of the triangle at around 1/4", but the size is up to you; the size of the wide edge of the triangle is the size of the bead.
(Does that make sense?)
Paper strips to start out with.
Now that you have paper strips cut, it's time to roll up some beads!  You can roll your beads around anything from toothpicks to pencils, but I have found that lollipop sticks are the perfect size for making beads.  (Also, you get a snack afterwards.) 

Start by choosing which side of the paper you want to see, and face that side away from the lollipop stick.  Hold the wider edge of the triangle against the stick and start to wind it around, as tightly as you can. (Don't glue it down, or you won't be able to get it off!)
We're on a roll!
Roll the paper tightly around itself, trying to keep the paper as centered on itself as possible (which makes the bead even).  Once you have about 1/4" of paper left unrolled, add a dab of glue (white glue and glue sticks both work well), and continue to roll.  Sometimes you have to try the glue a couple times (especially if the paper is very glossy), and you may get sticky fingers, but this will secure your bead. 
Pro-tip: Don't eat the lollipop until after you're done making beads, or things can get rather sticky.
Gently pull the glued-shut bead off the lollipop stick.  It should slide right off the end.
And now you have beads!  I used mine with hemp string and a regular old jewelry clasp to make a necklace, but whatever your preferred method of beading is should work.

Just a warning: these beads are not waterproof, so make sure you don't forget and wear your necklace in the shower, or at the beach!  You can make the beads waterproof by using Mod-Podge or clear varnish, but this takes a long time to dry and can get very messy, so we didn't do that.

This just wraps up the Jewelry Club projects that we've made so far, but be sure to check back in March to see the instructions for the next project!

Today, Lucky is wearing: Gryffindor scarf
Scratch and sniff bookmark scent: honey


  1. Thanks again! Project number three for the junior jewelry badge. We're going to use the beads for "swaps" as well.

    1. You're welcome! I hope they come out well!