Monday, November 30, 2009

Paper Bead Bangle

Making your own one of a kind beads can be a very rewarding experience. Not only to you get to enjoy creating them, but once you’re finished, you can use them to make a completely unique piece of jewelry that is totally you. The only thing better than just making unique beads, is reusing something that might otherwise be thrown away to create beautiful up-cycled treasures.

The Inspiration:

While I was experimenting with making my own paper gift bags, I thought it would also be fun to try making my own recycled magazine beads as well. I didn’t have a plan for how to use them when I started, I just got to work hunting down some boldly colored pages to cut up.

Recycled Paper Beads

The Beads:

The first few pages I tore from a fashion magazine were pink and green. After I had cut, glued, and rolled them into beads, I continued to flip through the same issue and found several more pink and green pages that were just right for bead making.

Once I had all of the beads made, I decided to go ahead and use all of the different shades of pink in one piece of jewelry. This made it a bit difficult to find other beads in the right colors. I didn’t want to have too bold a contrast that might not blend well with green, magenta and light pink. So I went with 6/0 seed beads in a pale shade of pink, and black - which goes with everything.

The Beadwork:

To really put the paper beads on display, I decided to center them on a bangle bracelet. Using right angle weave, I created two separate bangles with the 6/0 beads, then connected them with the paper beads in between. The bracelet is quite large, and has a nice slinkiness to it. I like the idea of the paper beads being nice and snug between the outer beads

Pink Orchid Bangle

To create the paper tubes used in this bracelet, I had a little help from a Paper Bead How To video from Aubrey’s Beads, and a wonderful book called Creating Extraordinary Beads from Ordinary Materials, by Tina Casey. If you have any old magazines or catalogs lying about, I highly recommend giving paper beads a try. They're so easy to make, and turn out gorgeous no matter what's printed on the paper.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading


  1. Years ago when I was a teacher, I led a group of students in a club where we crafted things. One of them was making paper beads like these and using them in jewelry. I still have a pair of earrings I made! One tip you may already know... to make them look even less like paper, melt some candle wax or beeswax and dip them in the liquid. This will give them a finish that is really nice and smooths out the edges of the paper. Thanks for walking me down memory lane! Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. What a cool piece of jewelry! Love the magazine beads. I never would've known just by glancing at them!

  3. I love the beeswax idea! I coated mine in a clear varnish, which smooths them a little bit. They should last a long time.

    I love that such a simple and traditional craft idea can become an amazing piece of jewelry. There are some stunning paper bead creations out there!

  4. Wonderful ideas. Never thought of using candle wax for finish. Some use clear top coat nail polish. I have not tried that. Just did this with kids, using pencils for rolling material worked very well for smaller hands.- Dita


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