Paper beads are, first and foremost, beads made of paper (you don’t say) that you can string like regular beads to make accessories. DIY paper bead accessories, when done correctly, don’t look cheap and can pass off as regular beaded jewelry.
These beads can be made out of old magazines, paper wrappers or any kind of thin paper. Brochures and zines are favored because of their multi-colored and glossy pages, but any kind of paper can be used as you can glaze or paint the beads after making them.
How to Make DIY Paper Beads
To make the beads, the first thing you should do is to select the paper you need to use and imagine what output you want to achieve.
After this, gather your supplies. You will need papers, pencil, ruler, glue, and a thin piece of round-bodied stick such as a bamboo skewer.
Next, mark the shape you’re going to cut on the piece of paper. Different shapes will produce different versions of DIY paper beads. (More about this below.)
Next, cut the drawn shape on the magazine. I would advise cutting all the pieces you need first before going to the next step for convenience and efficiency.
When you have cut all your pieces, apply glue on one side and roll them using the skewer. Some people like to use watered down glue for this step. Any glue will work, but watered down glue will be easier to apply.
Put the finished beads in a container. Be sure to put space between the beads as they may stick together.
When dried, you may use the beads to make accessories. If you want to make them last, you can glaze them to protect them from getting wet.
Painting the beads is optional, especially if you want the colors of the magazine pages to be seen the way they are. However, if you are not satisfied with the color combination, you can use spray paint to color each bead individually.
Spray the beads with metallic paints to create the illusion of a fancy accessory.
Different Designs of DIY Paper Beads
The image below illustrates the different types of DIY paper beads.
The most common version is the one cut from an isosceles triangle with a wide base. Button paper beads are also a favorite type for bracelet making projects.
Cylindrical paper beads are perfect for the DIY cuffs or fringe earrings.
All of these kinds of beads, however, can be incorporates to create unique accessories.
When doing accessories with paper beads, you can also add real beads, faux pearls, and rhinestones to ward off a monotonous texture or feel.
Any type of string can be used. Use your go-to jewelry chains, nylon cords, yarn or string. It will depend on how you are going to wear your DIY accessory.