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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Junk Mail Bead Tutorial

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd do a little craft with the girls today (Whitney & Eva) involving some items that I can almost guarantee you have in your house. We made paper beads and made them into little bracelets. However, the beads can be used for all sorts of things and you can get as fancy as you want---think scrapbook paper rolled up and finished with a clear lacquer and mixed with glass beads for a funky bracelet or bookmark.

Here is our tutorial.

Supplies: junk mail (magazine paper, brochures, etc...)
toothpicks (we couldn't find ours so we used matches)
Elmer's glue

Pick out your paper. We are using some paper cut from one of those playground brochures.

Get your stick.


Cut your paper into triangles. The longer the triangles, the thicker the bead. Experiment with the size you like best. Then, starting with the largest side, start rolling them (right side down) onto the stick.

When you get to the end, put some glue along the tip and then keep rolling. You want to have a little excess so you can roll it across the rest of the bead. Your fingers will get a little messy---that's what crafting is all about! Using ModPodge would be a better option if you're making beads for more than just play.

Here are some of my finished beads. You can then string them onto string, yarn, or beading cord. We just used some old crochet thread I had lying around (turquoise/silver...oooh la la). The girls loved them!


  1. Mini-crafters! How fun.

  2. Christy, that's so clever! Actually, my mom sent me a necklace that is made from paper beads.She went to an at home party called Paper to Pearls or something like that and got it there. I actually just wore it to church on Sunday, so it's funny you should post about this!I need to better at crafting with my kids!

  3. They were so cute! Whitney loved her bracelet and showed it off to Matt and the girls!

  4. This is a very cute image.

  5. I love this. I'm stealing this activity for church on Sunday.

  6. Love the recycled paper beads! I never thought to use toothpicks though...I used skewers the last time I attempted...they were too big in diameter. :(

    Thanks for the tip - now maybe we can do these for an Activity Day project. :) It seems our theme this year is variations of beading...hmmmm...I wonder why... :D