Thursday, February 5, 2015

Make Your Own Paper Beads

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my daughter and I have been exploring different ways to make jewelry. We have been having a blast, and this week we are ready to show you how we are creating simple (and inexpensive!) paper beads. These are perfect for necklaces, bracelets, etc.

The best part about this craft is you can invest a little, or next to nothing to get started. I ended up getting a Creativity for Kids Paper Bead kit for my daughter to try out. Last month I gave a sneak peek of my craft room activities on Instagram.
So what comes in a kit? It came with two bead rollers, pre-cut strips of paper, toothpicks for drying, craft glue, bead glaze, a threader for stringing the beads and even a stencil for cutting out a variety of strips of paper.

Was it necessary? Not really. It was nice, due to the impatience of a 5-year old, to have the strips of paper ready to go, but I swapped out the glaze for Mod Podge for a smoother finish on my beads. You can also use a knitting needle to roll beads on in various sizes, newspaper, magazines or scrapbook paper for your beads and supply your own glue and glaze.

Okay, like I said, you can wrap and form your beads on anything you have handy, but these rolling tools have a split in the end. The paper strips slide right in and make it easy for even little hands to start rolling.

Crimp over the edge and hold it tight to start rolling.

After going around a few times, add a little craft glue to the inside of the bead paper.

I like to roll two handed. One hand on the handle of the roller and the other keeping the paper tightly in place.

To control the shape, hold onto the end of the paper as you near the end of the paper. Hold the end securely until the glue holds.

Then I transfer the bead to a toothpick to finish drying. I usually make several beads at a time, allowing the first ones to dry before glazing them.

After using the glaze that came with the kit, I switched over to Mod Podge. It was smoother and easier to work with. My favorite part about using Mod Podge is you can use different types or colors to achieve different effects. Go ahead, play around.

So that's it. Easy right? My daughter and I have been working to make some each week. We are learning how tight to roll them and playing around with paper shapes. Soon we will have a large enough collection to sit down and string them.

Have you ever tried making paper beads? Any tips to share?

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