Additional Craft Information:
Paper bead rolling became popular in Victorian times, when ladies were keen to create decorations to enhance the look of their homes and also provide a practicle hobby. Scraps of wallpaper were hand rolled into beads which were strung onto long lengths of yarn. A large number of these were then hung to create a curtain room divider.
DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape
DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers
Making paper beads into jewellery was popular in the 1920's and 1930's. The earliest documented example of paper bead jewellery dates from 1917. Nowadays paper bead making is enjoyed by children as a way of keeping them entertained and expressing their creativity, and by adults wishing to create beautiful items of jewellery.
So, how do you make paper beads? Well that depends on the shape you want!
DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife
DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint
- The easiest shape is probably cylindrical and for that you will need brightly coloured paper, which could be a sheet of plain art paper, not too heavy though, or pages from a magazine with a variety of different colours or any scrap wall paper in the colour scheme required.
- Cut the paper into strips, using a craft knife, anywhere between 4 and 7 inches long, in the shape of a long triangle, 1 to 1.5 inches wide at one end and tapering to a point at the other.
- You will need a dowel to roll the paper around. A good alternative is a toothpick, skewer or round paint brush handle, depending on how thick you want the bead to be.
- Apply craft glue carefully to the wrong side of the paper starting at the wide end 3/4 inch from the end. Roll the triangle round the dowel until all the paper is rolled on to it.
- Make sure the narrow end has stuck firmly and ensure no glue touches the dowel otherwise it will be difficult to remove from the bead.
- Glaze the bead with a solution of one part glue and three parts water, or a clear varnish, allow to dry thoroughly.
- Repeat and make lots more! Experiment with length and thickness according to what you want to use it for. Always make sure the paper is tightly rolled so it doesn't unravel in use.
Why not try making round paper beads as an alternative!
- Find a unwanted newspaper and tear into pieces.
- Put pieces of paper into a cooking pot and pour enough boiling water over the paper to cover.
- Leave for an hour.
- Stir to break down the paper and then drain.
- Add enough clear glue to help the paper hold together.
- Roll the paper into balls, squeezing out a much water as possible while rolling.
- Dry for a few days, rolling regularly until dry.
- Sand each bead with fine sandpaper to smooth rough edges,
- Drill a hole in each bead to the required size according to the gauge of stringing material to be used.
- Paint each bead with craft paint.
- Varnish for protection.
Now to create beautiful jewellery!
The cylinder beads lend themselves to be made into earrings as they are light. String three or four together of the desired length and attach to the ball end loop of an earwire and you are done.
Thread together round and/or cylinder paper beads with complementary coloured button or glass beads, onto craft wire of the required length to make a necklace. Ensure the glass beads are bigger than the hole in the paper beads. Attach a larger feature bead to each end if desired. Secure the ends by bending the wire round to form a loop.