D.I.Y. Wednesday: Paper Beads

If you’re patient and willing to invest a little bit of time in this D.I.Y., we promise, it will pay off. We’re sharing steps for crafting colorful jewelry beads using the Ugandan method of rolling paper scraps (we used a 2012 On Top of Things Desktop Calendar). Why search for the perfect accessory, when you can make it yourself?

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

Paper Beads

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

What you’ll need: A used page from a Desktop Calendar, thin drinking straws (the size of coffee stirrers), tape, a long ruler (preferably one that measures at least 24 inches), pencil or pen, scissors, glue and some sort of string or ribbon if you are making a bracelet or necklace

D.I.Y. Paper Beads1. Tear an expired page from your Desktop Calendar. On the back of the calendar, along one side, measure and mark every 1/2 inch. Every inch will create 3 beads.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads2. On the opposite side, make a mark 1/4 inch in from that mark, continue to mark out every 1/2 inch as you did on the other side.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads3. Use your ruler to draw a line from the 1/2-inch mark on the first side to the 1/4-inch mark on the opposite side.

Next, draw a line from the same 1/4-inch mark to the next 1/2inch mark on the other side. This should create a long, thin triangle. Continue to do this until you have connected all of your marks. Each long triangle will be one bead.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads4. Use your scissors to carefully cut along the lines, creating the triangles. Discard the first one as it is not an even isosceles triangle.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads5. Tape the base of one triangle to a straw.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads6. Begin rolling the paper tightly around the straw. When you have about 6 inches of paper left, add some glue to the white side of the triangle. Then, finish rolling. (If you’d like your beads to be more durable, coat with shellac or Mod Podge and let dry).

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

7. Use scissors to trim the straw on either side.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

8. Repeat for each bead, then string them onto a thin ribbon for a bracelet or necklace. (We used stretchy string and tied a large pink ribbon on the finished product)

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

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26 Responses to D.I.Y. Wednesday: Paper Beads

  1. Karen says:

    i am actually super stoked about this one because i NEVER want to throw away the pages from my desk calendar! now i have something to do with them 🙂 hopefully mine turns out as pretty as this one did!

  2. Cathy says:

    Cute idea! Thanks for the rminder…used to do this with colorful church bulletins. You can play around with the size of your triangle for different looking beads. These beads make a fantastic necklace! Happy crafting!

  3. Debbie says:

    Love it!

  4. When I was in grade school we made these but dipped each bead in melted candle wax to protect and harden. The teacher used sternos under pyrex bowls with broken candle sticks. Not wanting to play with matches at age 10 I decide to put a broken candle in my parents’ microwave only to have it explode all over the place and block up those little holes in the microwave. Note: Use the sterno method if you do this. 😉

  5. This is adorable… i would love to design some things for you guys… my blog is here…http://jennicanknit.blogspot.com/2012/03/ruffled-crepe-paper-streamers.html

  6. Leanne says:

    There is an organization called Bead for Life (http://www.beadforlife.org/) that sells hand made paper beads and jewelry. The beads are made by women in Uganda and help pay for things like school, medical expenses, etc. The jewelry is beautiful!

  7. Shannon says:

    Beautiful beads. I love making these paper beads from different papers (newspapers, magazines, old books, sheet music paper, etc).

  8. Karen says:

    Did it in third grade with discarded wallpaper books. My mom still has it somewhere!

  9. Julie N says:

    I loved how you used coffee stirrers for the inside of the bead. When I taught it in India last February (see my website), we used toothpicks and removed the beads before they completely dried. Now I wish that I had purchased one of your desk calendars, love the colors!

  10. BarbaraA says:

    Did this with my kids and my Sunday School class years ago. Love it!

  11. Pingback: Make Your Own Beads | amandaprisciak

  12. Olivia says:

    This is great!! I actually do the same thing! Please check me out at: beadspaperscissors.weebly.com
    These look so professional!

  13. Pingback: D.I.Y. Wednesday: Paper Beads | Inside Stitch: The Official Vera … - beads

  14. siomonkey says:

    Reblogged this on Sio Says Things… and commented:
    Everyone knows how much I love Vera Bradley products, who couldn’t love so many pops of color and spring floral prints? I think I’ve found a reason to like them even more, and that is every Wednesday they feature a crafty way to reuse, recycle, or just make something fun with their products! Even with products that eventually get old, like this calendar, they show can always be made into something wonderful. As if I don’t have enough crafty projects on my to-do list!

  15. sukeltelija says:

    What a pretty bracelet is that! Great idea and can do in many colours! Thanks for the tutorial 😀

  16. Maureen Harrod says:

    Your new color’s are better than ever. Can’t wait to get some thing’s in all pattern’s . Keep up the good work.

  17. omg! i love this! so cute and simple!

  18. Pingback: Kağıttan Boncuk Bileklik Yapımı | Kiraz Yolu

  19. modpodgerocks says:

    Love this! And love that you can customize with any color. And that bow is a great addition!

  20. I’ve done these already when I was a child, I didn’t make it into a bracelet though. 🙂

  21. Pingback: Uganda Beads « Global From Home

  22. Pingback: Make some cool paper beads. - Mod Podge Rocks | Mod Podge Rocks

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