Monday, November 21, 2011

Paper Bead Jewellery

Oh what fun! I've been playing with the paper bead rolling kit that I brought home with me from CHA earlier in the year. Those brightly coloured strands of paper beads hanging up in the booth of Aubrey's Paper Beads were so enticing that I couldn't resist temptation and I bought several strands.
Strands of handmade paper beads in fuchsia, bright green, turquoise and white.

But I also bought a paper bead making kit to make my own!

Buying a kit means you have everything you need to get started. But if you prefer to use up strips of magazines and papers you already have on hand, then all you need is a bead rolling tool with a slot. This will give you really tightly formed beads and a much more professional result.

One thing I discovered is that getting even beads takes a little practice. But if you roll them lopsided, you can just unravel them and re-roll the strip to make it straight.
Magazine pages cut into strips and a bead rolling tool

This is how easy it is to roll your own paper beads. Firstly, place the straight end of the strip of paper through the metal slot of the tool.....
Magazine strip is placed through the slot of the bead rolling tool

and then begin to roll. Roll as straight as you can, especially if your paper strip is tapered. You want to keep the bead as even as you can.
Rolling a paper strip in the paper bead rolling tool

I like to add a bit of adhesive along the strip as I go. I used Mod Podge but use whatever paper adhesive you have on hand. It's a bit of a messy process but it ensures the bead won't unravel.
Spreading Mod Podge adhesive along the paper strip whilst rolling the bead

Once you get it started, just keep rolling......
Rolling the end of the glued paper strip onto the bead

......and rolling, until you get to the end of the strip. Glue it in place to secure.
The finished paper bead on the bead rolling tool.
How easy is that?!!  Now you can slide the bead off the tool and you're ready to make another bead.

It is a strangely satisfying process - your recycling efforts are rewarded with a bunch of handmade beads ready to incorporate into your next jewellery project. 

Check back in tomorrow to see how I coloured them!

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

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