Making Paper Beads from Recycled Junk Mail | FaveCrafts.com

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Rolled Paper Beads

 

 

 

Roller paper beads are a great way to recycle all that junk mail we receive on a daily basis and create some, beautiful handmade jewelry.

 

 

 

Materials:

  • Paper- Junk mail with colorful photos works best, but you can also use plain paper and decorate it after with markers
  • Scissors or Paper Cutter (An Exacto Knife and a Ruler will give you perfect edges!)
  • Glue- Elmers, Liquid Paper Glue, or Mod Podge (which can also be used to varnish the beads after rolling)
  • Thin Metal or Straw for Rolling the Beads- Long needle, straightened-out clothes hanger, or coffee stirrer (Just don’t use a wood stick, the glue will stick too easily to this)
  • (Optional) Varnish- Mod Podge, Spray Acrylic, Clear Nail Polish
  • Thin Wire or String for Stringing the Beads- You can also use thin copper wire for a different look

 

Instructions:

  1. Cut your paper into long triangles (wide at one end, narrow at the other). The longer the triangle, the thicker the bead will be when rolled up. You can also layer several different colored triangles before rolling for added design. Make these thinner and shorter, since the extra paper triangle will add bulk.You can finally rid yourself of leftover wrapping paper scraps with this beads project!
     
  2. To make a set of triangles of the same size, lay your sheet of paper down on the table. Put a dot every ¾ in. along the bottom edge of the paper. Measure out six inches from the bottom, and make a horizontal line across the width of the paper with your ruler. Cut along this line. Then, on the newly cut edge, make a mark every ½ in. Using your ruler, connect the dots to make the triangles, and cut apart. Perfect triangles!
     
  3. Different shaped triangles will make different beads. If you make the base of the triangle wider, the bead will be rounder. For long, thin beads, make a wider base, and a shorter triangle.
     
  4. Pick up your paper and roll it tightly around your needle/hanger/straw/pen refill, starting at the wide end. You can make different shaped beads based on how your roll the paper on the needle.
     
  5. You can roll the paper more to one side for a teardrop shape.
     
  6. Try to roll the paper directly in the middle for a symmetrical, egg-shape.
     
  7. An interesting twist is to make a cut a long, thin rectangle out of the paper. Then, cut a triangle from one end of the rectangle, so that your paper shape resembles a pair of pants. The bead will be thicker on each end and thinner in the middle (for a thinner middle, cut the triangle higher into the rectangle).
     
  8. Apply a tiny dot of glue at the end of triangle to secure the roll.
     
  9. At this point, you can varnish the bead to make it hard and shiny. The bead will last longer this way. Apply the clear nail polish, varnish or spray acrylic and let dry.
     
  10. For a great painting and drying rack, cut small notches into a shallow cardboard box, such as a shoe box. This will catch any drips when you varnish the beads. Place the long needles or stirrers into the notches to hold them in place.
     
  11. You can also stick the needles or straws into a piece of Styrofoam.
     
  12. You can now string the beads for necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and earrings.
     
  13. You can use thin wire, copper wire, elastic string (great for kids), or even dental floss to string the beads.
     
  14. Earring findings, clasps, and other supplies can be purchased inexpensively at craft stores.

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