Learn how to make paper beads with scraps of paper and Mod Podge! This is SO easy – even for kids – and you can use for bracelets and necklaces. Paper jewelry making is really fun!
Skills Required: None. Even if you’ve never crafted before, these are really easy to make. You’ll be cutting paper and using Mod Podge, along with basic jewelry making if you so choose.
I’m not sure what the challenges are in your life, but I hope one of them is what to do with your leftover scraps of craft paper. Because if that does happen to be one of your challenges, I have the perfect fashion craft for you – paper beads.
The process is easy to follow and you can have a new necklace, bracelet, or whatever other jewelry piece you like that uses beads in minutes. Not only can you use paper, but you can use junk mail, magazines, catalogs . . . the possibilities are endless.
This is one of those easy crafts for adults you’re going to get try and won’t want to stop. Honestly it’s also an easy craft for kids, boredom buster, or craft for teens to try as well. Trust me on this!
How to Make Paper Beads
Once you try this fun paper jewelry project, you’ll be hooked! Before we dive in, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions. If you’re new to this, you’ll want to read on. If you’re interested in the how-to, scroll down!
What is a paper bead?
I assure you, you’ll be surprised at how sturdy a paper bead is.
There’s a secret for making them even more sturdy, which I’ll share with you in the tutorial as you read on. I promise these are real beads, and they can be used for jewelry making, and they last!
How do you make easy paper beads?
The secret to these simple beads is not really a secret – you’re going to be rolling paper. I wish that it was more like KFC’s Original Recipe, but it’s not.
The process is simply to cut paper triangles (really long ones), roll them up, and seal with Mod Podge. It’s just that easy.
What paper can I use?
I’ve seen these made from scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, magazine pages, wallpaper, and more. You can even use fabric. I recommend avoiding really thin papers, like tissue paper. They just won’t be sturdy enough.
How do I cut the paper?
You can use scissors to cut your beads, but I recommend a craft knife and mat with a metal ruler. It’s just way easier to get straight cuts, in my opinion. It’s not *that* important that the edges are neat, but it does make the finished project look nicer.
How do you make paper beads shiny?
Are you ready to make the beads? Let’s dive in – read on below!
Gather These Supplies
- Paper scraps – I used scrapbook paper
- Cocktail straws or BBQ skewers – hello Dollar Tree
- Mod Podge Gloss
- Craft knife and mat
- Scotch Tape
This project is perfect for those unused pieces of scrapbook paper that you don’t know what to do with!
Measure a strip of paper approximately 3/4 inches wide and 12 inches long. Cut out with a craft knife or scissors.
Measure halfway across the paper at one end and make a pencil mark. This is going to be the point of the top of your bead.
At the other end of the paper, place your ruler and measure from one end to the midpoint. Trim with a craft knife. Repeat on the other side.
You’ll notice you just cut out a very long triangle (see the picture above). One of the ends will be 3/4″ wide, and the other end will be a tip. You’ll start rolling from the wide end.
At this point you’ll want to choose if you’re going to use a cocktail straw or a BBQ skewer. My perspective: the cocktail straw gives the beads a bit more rigidity.
Having said that, you don’t always have straws on hand. In which case, you can use a BBQ skewer and just remove the bead before it dries. If you want really tough paper beads, I’d save your straws from your coffees!
Place a piece of tape at the long end of the triangle. Place a cocktail straw on the tape as shown. It’s easier to roll (I found) setting the straw a little bit back on the piece of tape.
Add several dabs of craft glue down the length of the paper strip and start rolling your bead, from the long end toward the point. You can use Mod Podge instead of craft glue – however, the craft glue grabs faster.
Once the bead is rolled, smooth with your fingers to make sure the end is secure. Trim the ends of the cocktail straw with scissors. Repeat until you have the desired amount of beads.
Paint each finished bead with several coats of Mod Podge, allowing to dry between coats. I used wood skewers in a block of floral foam as my drying rack and it worked quite nicely! I was able to make several beads in just a few minutes.
Let them dry completely before using. String on bracelets, necklaces, or other jewelry as desired.
- Paper scraps
- Cocktail straws or BBQ skewers
- Mod Podge Gloss
- Scotch tape
- Craft knife and mat
- Measure a strip of paper approximately 3/4 inches wide and 12 inches long. Cut out with a craft knife or scissors.
- Measure halfway across the paper at one end and make a pencil mark.
- At the other end of the paper, place your ruler and measure from that end to the midpoint. Trim with a craft knife. Repeat on the other side. You'll notice you just cut out a very long triangle.
- Place a piece of tape at the long end of the triangle. Place a cocktail straw on the tape.
- Add several dabs of craft glue down the length of the paper strip and start rolling your bead, from the long end toward the point.
- Once the bead is rolled, trim the ends of the cocktail straw with scissors. Repeat until you have the desired amount of beads.
- Paint the beads with several coats of Mod Podge, allowing to dry between coats.
- String on bracelets, necklaces, or other jewelry as desired.
These beads can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes. I found one large sheet of scrapbook paper made about eight beads. Experiment and have fun!