Lantisor din Hartie

Recycling Crafts: Rolled Paper Beads and Necklaces!

Beads from Paper+necklace

This wonderful project that many of us remember from our childhoods is brought to you as a result of the thoughtfulness of my kind friend Chava BenTzion. She was doing this project with her sweet son Yosef, and thought to take photos in case I’d want to use them on the blog! Isn’t that a truly nice gesture? I was really touched. Infact, I would be happy to be the recipient of more kind gestures like this! If anyone has high quality photos of craft projects you’ve done, send them on over and maybe you’ll be a star on!

Chava Said:
I first discovered these beads when I was younger, and I was so fascinated by the results as well as how fun they are to make! I rediscovered them again today while flipping through old magazines looking for pictures to cut out for my son’s collage. I happily showed him this technique from my own childhood.


  • glossy printed pages, grouped according to color theme  (multicolored, earth tones, black and white print)
  • white glue
  • something smooth to roll the bead around — the handle of a paintbrush (these are nice because the taper of the handle makes the beads easier to slide off) dowels, pencils or pens, broomsticks?
  • scissors
  • varnish — spray or water based brush-on acrylic (optional)
  • glass or wooden beads (optional)

Step By Step How-To:

Paper Beads;step one-two
Step 1: Cut an elongated triangle out of catalog or magazine paper. (the base of the triangle will determine the length of the bead, the longer the triangle, the chubbier the bead) Rough proportions for this triangle are 2″ base and 7″ length. Experiment with different sizes to obtain a result you are happy with.

Step 2:
Smear a bit of the glue on the inside of the triangle as shown.  If you apply glue along the entire length it will be hard to slide the bead off the stick after rolling.

Paper Beads;step three-four copy

Step 3: Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle around your stick of choice.

Step 4:
For best results roll carefully such that when the bead is entirely rolled, the end point of the triangle will lie at the center point. (see picture)

Paper Beads; step five copy

Step 5:
Carefully slide bead off the stick. If you rolled your bead too tight at the rolling step, you will discover it at this time, as your bead will be stuck! (If this is the case roll more loosely with the others…)

Step 6: Set beads aside to dry on a glue-free surface, such as a clean plate, and be careful to keep them separated or they may stick together as they dry. When dry, beads can be sprayed with a coat of gloss varnish for extra protection and shine. Water based acrylic varnish can be brushed on— a less hazardous and healthier option but more work!

Paper Beads Step7 copy

Step 7:
When the glue is dry, beads can be strung on a variety of materials— dental floss, yarn, kite string, fishing line or wire. You might want to string heavier glass or wooden beads in between the paper beads to give the necklace a more satisfying weight, and allowing the necklace to lie nicely on the proud wearer!

Step 8: Enjoy! And remember beads are not just for girls! They can be used for a wide variety of projects other than necklaces. Why not make a whole bunch of big ones to string for Succah decorations?

Thanks again to Chava, and for those of you considering making a submission, don’t worry about the cropping of the photos or the level of writing of any basic instructions —I will in any case need to work with the photos and the words to make them consistent with the tone of the blog. All the best! Happy beading.



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