Friday, August 15, 2008

Paper Beads

What a great way to reuse some of those magazines and catalogs we've all got around our house-- make a bracelet or necklace out of paper beads! Super easy-- and way cuter than I thought it would be. It doesn't even look like paper when it's finished.

What you need:

Paper- magazines, junk mail, etc.
Glue Stick
A needle or other thin object to wrap the bead around

What you do:

1. Using the scissors, cut long, skinny triangles out of the scrap paper. You want your triangles to be skinny, no more than 1/2 an inch wide at the base. And you want them to be long. Mine averaged about 4 inches long.

2. To form your beads, you will want to use two triangles, stacked on top of each other. If the paper is thick, use just a single triangle. If the paper is very thin, like magazine paper, then use two triangles per bead. However, using two pieces of paper makes the bead much prettier than just one piece, especially if you use different colored triangles. Starting at the fat base, place a needle at the bottom, and begin to roll the paper around it. The needle, or thick stem/stick/wire, helps keep the bead hole open, so that you can thread the beads together with string.

3. Keep rolling the paper until you're almost done, or about 2/3 done. Smear a little glue on the inside of the last 1/3 of the paper, then keep rolling until at the end. The glue should keep the bead together. Let the bead dry.

4. Remember that the bottom of your triangle will determine how big the bead is. A thick bottom will mean a big bead, and a thin bottom will mean a small one. The longer and thinner the triangle, the more "round" the bead will appear. The shorter and fatter the triangle, the more rectangle and shapeless the bead will appear.

5. Once you have all of your beads made, string them onto a piece of wire and twist the ends of the wire to seal. Snip off any excess wire and tuck into a bead.

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