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Trash to Treasure: 28 Recycled Crafts

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Recycled Newspaper Beads


  • Old newspapers
  • Large pot or metal bowl
  • Glue (Elmer’s or other liquid glue)
  • Sandpaper
  • A drill to make holes in the beads
  • Whatever string or ribbon you want to string the beads with
  • Leftover paint
  • Varnish



  1. Grab a few newspapers before they make it to the bin or recycling basket. Try a couple different papers for different colors. The Sunday comics might be interesting!
  2. Rip the newspaper into small pieces in a large stock pot or metal bowl.
  3. Cover the paper pieces with boiling water (easy if you have a kettle on hand).
  4. Allow this mixture to sit for an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
  5. Drain the water using a strainer or try to get as much water as possible out with the lid of the pot.
  6. With the paper back in the pot, add enough glue so that the mixture sticks together.
  7. Squeezing water out with your hands, roll the mixture into balls. You can make the balls as big or small as you like.
  8. Place the balls on parchment paper or foil.
  9. Roll them several times a day for several days as they dry. Roll them every 3-4 hours for a couple days for compact beads.
  10. When completely dry, use the sandpaper to sand off any rough points on the bead.
  11. Drill a hole through each bead for stringing. Bigger holes can accommodate ribbons and the like.
  12. You can now paint the beads with any paint you have on hand. When dry, you can varnish them with Mod Podge, clear acrylic spray, or other varnish. 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 paint and varnish the beads. Place long needles, coffee stirrers, or sturdy wire through the beads and secure in the notches of the box.
  13. When dry, string the beads. Ribbons work especially well for these chunky beads, but you can experiment with other materials.



Newspaper beads aren't the only thing you can make with yesterday's news!  Check out these other awesome newspaper crafts that are fun to make and Earth friendly!:

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