Tutorial - Making Paper Beads
- Tool to wind beads on (I use dowels - in the pic you see a flower pot of dowels that a friend of mine made for me to wind wire around in different sizes)
- Mod Podge
- Paper Cutter
- Craft Knife
- Chap Stick
- Cutting Mat
Choose your paper, some contrast is good. Cut your paper into 1/2" strips and then cut them into 3" or 4" lengths. I suggest 3" lengths until you have cutting and rolling down pat.
Lay your first strip down on a cutting mat. I like to use one that has measurements on it so I can better estimate the center point. Using your ruler give yourself a cutting guide to cut diagonally from midpoint to the right side corner.
Do this again to the other side so you end up with long triangular pieces. Save your small cut off pieces for small beads.
After you have cut on the diagonal: both sides.
The dowel I'm using is 1/8" in diameter. This is a great size to string even ribbon through your bead. I've used a piercing tool but it makes it very hard to string anything thicker than thread quiet challenging. A Chop Stick works well too. Using Chap stick coat the outside of whatever tool you are using to mount your bead onto. This enables you to remove the bead eventually off of the tool.
Place a tablespoon or so of Mod Podge into a disposable cup. I like to use the cups from the Crystal Light 2qt size servings. I was them out and save them to work with in my craft room. Dip your first piece into the Mod Podge. I press my first two fingers together and pull the paper through to remove much of the Mod Podge before I begin to roll the bead.
Starting with the 1/2" end of your strip begin to navigate it around the dowel. This is the part that takes some practice to manipulate the strip around the dowel and keeping the strip moist with Mod Podge. Once it is rolled and even I like to tap with a finger some extra Mod Podge onto the outside to seal the bead. Your fingers will get quite coated with Mod Podge so you can use a brush if you'd like. Push the bead up to the top of your dowel giving you room to make your next bead.
Dowel with multiple beads drying over a dish.
These are beads made with the scrap pieces of paper (green smaller beads) and beads made with 4" lengths (chunky beads)
If you don't taper the sides of your paper and simply roll a bead without cutting the strip you will end up with a very plane bead with no change in color or pattern.
Here you can see the hole in the bead. Nice and large which is so much easier to use on your projects.
Bead strung on Waxy Flax, Gingham Ribbon, Yarn and smaller decorative ribbon.