Handmade Paper Bead Necklace
By: Mia Cronan
Age: 5 and up
Parental supervision is recommended
What fun we had making this necklace from one sheet of colored paper that came out of an advertisement in the newspaper. This necklace can be fashioned with many different types of paper and any combinations of colors to go with special outfits or for special occasions. Use strips of gift wrap, newspaper, the comics, or brown paper bags decorated to your liking with permanent markers.
What you'll need:
- Paper (It can be gift wrap, the comics, an advertisement, decorated newsprint, scrapbooking paper, or a brown paper bag.)
- Clean white paper towel for laying out beads
- White glue
- Small cylinders, such as ink refills from an old pen. We used two so that one could be drying while the other was being wrapped.
- Crimping beads
- Jewelry string
How to make it:
- Cut long triangular strips of paper, keeping one end approximately ½ inch and the other end down to a point. (See photo.)
- Beginning with the wide end, wrap it around the cylinder and roll it until one inch remains. (See photo.) Apply glue to the last inch and finish rolling, using your fingers to rub the excess glue all over the bead, covering it completely. (See photo.) Set aside to dry.
- Use the other cylinder to repeat this step on another piece of paper. After two or three minutes, remove the first bead from the cylinder and set aside on something flat for complete drying. Continue in this manner until you've made as many beads as you want. (See photo.) We made a total of 13, the middle one being larger than the rest.
- Cut 22" of jewelry string, and string the beads however you like. We used spacers to add emphasis to the individuality of the paper beads. (See photo.)
- Adding the closures: String a crimping bead onto one end of jewelry string, string one half of the closure, and then bend the wire, coming back down the opposite way, through the crimping bead. Have an adult crimp it tightly with the needle-nose pliers.
- Secure the other half of the closure on the other side, using the same method. This should create a nice, snug clasp. (See photo.)
- Keep a wet rag or paper towel handy for wiping your fingers, as they will get sticky from the glue.
- Make a couple of test beads with the paper you've chosen. You may decide that the pattern rendered is not what you wanted.
- Use good lighting so that your eyes do not tire. Have fun, and enjoy the uniqueness of each bead.
Mia Cronan is a freelance crafter from NE Ohio where she is an at-home mom to five children, ages 4 through 13.