Have you ever seen those cool African paper bead bracelets and necklaces? So pretty! Well, here is an easy craft kids will love where they can make their own beads. My 5 year old and I really enjoyed making these together. Rolled paper beads can also be an eco-friendly craft if you use newspaper, magazines, or printed paper from your recycling bin instead of brand new paper to make the beads. I will share with you how to make paper beads in three easy steps. This craft is actually great for kids and adults!
Paper Beads Craft Tutorial
This paper beads craft is great for kids as young as 5 and it is a great way for them work on increasing their dexterity and hand eye coordination. It is also a great jewelry craft for adults because they can put more of an artistic flair to it based on the papers they choose and the uniformity of their paper rolls. Adults can also use a sealant (such as Glossy Modge Podge) to make paper beads shiny and last longer.
Supplies You Will Need:
- Paper (Newspaper, magazines, or printed papers)
- Markers, colored, pencils, or crayons (if you are not using magazines and you want to have colored beads)
- Craft glue
How Do You Make Rolled Paper Beads?
1. First you draw skinny triangles on paper.
Each long skinny paper triangle you draw will make one rolled paper bead. There is no set rule on the exact size of the triangle but I would say have the base be about 3/4 of an inch and the length be about 8 inches. You can use construction paper and have solid beads of different colors or you can start with a patterned paper or white paper and let kids color on different patterns. You can even use magazine paper to make shiny rolled paper beads. Newspaper makes cute black and white paper beads.
2. Cut out paper triangles.
After I drew the triangles, my daughter drew and colored her patterns and cut out the triangles. The white triangles that were left were saved for solid color rolled paper beads. Look how hard she is concentrating on cutting straight lines. She really enjoyed learning how to make these!
3. Roll and Glue The Paper Triangles Into Rolled Paper Beads
Starting at the wide end, roll the triangles up. You can use a toothpick, chop stick, or pencil if it helps you.
When you are about half way rolled, add a drop of glue and keep rolling.
Then add one more drop of glue when you are almost to the tip and spread it towards the tip to hold the rolled paper beads shut.
We used a craft glue like Elmer’s Glue and it dries clear so there is no problem if it leaks out from under the roll, just smooth it and it will add to the stability of the paper beads. She would hold each one shut for a moment and then drop them in a bowl once they felt dried.
If you would like to make your paper beads shiny, you can paint the whole bead with a layer of Glossy Modge Podge and place on a toothpick between two books to allow to dry. A second coat of varish will make them even stronger.
To Make Paper Bead Jewelry
Now that you have learned how to make paper beads, you can use your rolled paper beads to make necklaces, bracelets, or anklets! Just like the African paper beads jewelry!
You can string the rolled paper beads on a thing, ribbon, cord, embroidery thread, or elastic jewelry line.
Making rolled paper beads with kids can be an eco-friendly craft if you use old scrap paper or magazine pages to make the beads. Easy and fun! I hope you enjoyed learning how to make paper beads with your kids and that you have even more fun making them. Have you or your kids tried making jewelry before?