My daughter recently came home with a beautiful bracelet that her friend’s mom had made for her. The bracelet was made of beautiful, colorful beads. I could not believe it when she told me the beads were made of paper. It looked like a bracelet that you would buy from a store. What I failed to realize was that the mom who had made the bracelet was very experienced with crafts and this was not her first attempt at paper beads. Feeling pretty confident and being a huge fan of Pinterest, I decided to search for paper beads and attempt to make some of my own. It sounded simple enough, but instead of making a beautiful piece of jewelry, it ended up looking more like one of the Pinterest epic fails with a caption reading “Nailed It”. It is obviously one of those crafts that gets better with practice. Hopefully my next attempt will turn out better.
The Basics of Making Paper Beads
The instructions that I read initially were very vague and did not give a lot of direction. It suggested ripping strips of paper from a magazine or wrapping paper, then wrapping the strip around a skewer, tooth pick or pencil and gluing it as you wrap it around. Then you can add clear finger nail polish to keep it together and add a shiny finish. After finishing all of your beads you can string them together to make a necklace or bracelet.
Where I Went Wrong
I think my biggest mistake was ripping strips of paper instead of cutting them out. After I did further research, I found that there are different templates to make different styles of beads. The beads turn out better if you trace a shape onto the paper that you are going to use and then cut it out. It allows for cleaner edges and a better shaped bead. Most beads should start out with a triangle shape. When wrapping the paper around the skewer, start with the wide base of your triangle and continue to wrap it around. The next thing I realized is that the paper you choose is very important. It needs to be colorful, with many different shades. I particularly like the ones with neutral shades, they end up looking like a small sea shell. If you cannot find something you like in a magazine, you can also print off designs from the internet. Another great suggestion I found was to alternate the paper beads with other beads when you are stringing them together to give your jewelry more dimension. I have also seen some bracelets and necklaces with little silver balls in between the beads. The end product looks amazing, or should anyway.
Pinterest, “Paper Beads”, http://www.erinbassett.com/creativite/2011/06/22.html