Monday, April 19, 2010

Making Paper Beads for fun

Here's a tutorial on how to make paper beads.  I think we all may have made these before as children, but they are still fun to make and can actually become very beautiful jewelry or accessories to crafts.  Besides, they are all unique and handmade by you!  Enjoy.

How to Make Paper Beads

Make Paper Beads
Make Paper Beads
Kate Pullen
Paper beads are simple to make and a few rubber stamping techniques are all that is required to make beautiful and unusual beads. The basic technique can be adapted in many ways to achieve different effects. This is also a good way to use up odds and ends of paper. Even the most unpromising looking paper can make striking beads.


You don't need to follow a template, however a simple template is attached if required. The template has been designed specifically for rubber stamping. Instead of tapering to a point, there is a small strip that is just wide enough to display some rubber stamping. By varying the size and shape of the paper, very different bead designs can be created.

Beads in the Picture

From left to right:
  • Bead created from paper that has been stamped, with a row of glitter glue dots along each edge
  • Bead created from a scrap of paper that has been colored with alcohol inks and over stamped
  • Piece of scrapbooking paper that has been stamped in a complementary colored ink
  • Basic paper bead created from a piece of stamped paper
  • Bead created from scrapbooking paper and vellum that were stamped and stuck together before rolling
  • Bead created from paper used as packaging

Supplies Required

  • Paper
  • Rubber stamps, inks, embossing powders, glitter glue and any other embellishments
  • Scissors
  • Craft adhesive, any adhesive suitable for paper will be work well
  • Thin knitting needle or cocktail sticks
  • Diluted pva glue to seal the beads (optional)

Paper Bead Projects

Paper Bead Template

Paper Bead Template
Paper Bead Template
Kate Pullen
To print the template, simply click on the image above to open the full size version of the template. Then right click on that image and select 'Save Image' to save onto your computer. Print as required.

See the following pages for instructions explaining how to make paper beads.

Stamp and Decorate the Paper

Stamp the Desgin
Stamp the Paper
Kate Pullen
Stamp and decorate the unprinted side of the paper. This way the printed lines will not show. A rubber stamp with a detailed and intricate design will work well. Repeatedly stamp the rubber stamp over the page to build up a dense design. Cut the bead shapes from the paper.

Tip: Ink the edges of the paper. This will emphasize the design of the bead and give a more 'finished' effect.

Roll the Paper

Roll the Bead
Roll the Bead
Kate Pullen
Glue the back of the paper and carefully roll the bead. I use a thin knitting needle to roll the bead around, this helps to give a consistent result. Cocktail sticks or other thin and round implements would work equally well.

Seal the Paper Beads and Finish

Paper Beads
Paper Beads
Kate Pullen
Make sure the end of the paper is firmly attached, add an extra dab of glue if required. Leave the beads to one side to dry. I like to seal my paper beads with a coat of diluted pva glue. This adds strength and gives the paper beads a slight gloss. They could also be finished with a coat of clear varnish, embossed with embossing powders or even coated in resin. Other ideas for sealing the finished beads include coating the beads in melted UTEE or adding a coat of nail varnish.

Add any other finishing touches such as stick on jewels or other embellishments. Have fun using the beads!
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