Art Class

Recycled Paper Beads

In Victorian times, women in England gathered in dining rooms to make beads by rolling scraps of wallpaper on knitting needles. They would then string the beads on long pieces of yarn to create curtains that separated rooms. You can make these beads from recycled scrap paper, and string them together to make jewelry!

What you'll need:

  • scraps of wallpaper, magazine pictures, used wrapping paper, colored paper, etc.
  • pencil, ruler, and scissors
  • paste
  • drinking straws
  • thread or yarn

Before you begin, gather all of your supplies together and put them on your work surface. Read all of the directions from start to finish. Now you are ready to begin.

  1. With your scissors, cut long triangles from your paper scraps that are about 1/2-inch wide and 2 1/2-inches long. Make a template to trace, if you wish.
  2. Cover one side of a triangle with paste. Put the paste on the inside of the paper so that the colorful pattern will be on the outside of your bead.
  3. Place the triangle's glued short side on a drinking straw.
  4. Wrap the paper completely around itself on the straw.
  5. Cut away the straw at both ends of the rolled paper.
  6. To make beads with different shapes, vary the size and shape of the paper triangles that you cut.
  7. Let your beads dry, and then string them together on your thread or yarn. Knot the ends of the thread together.

Adapted from Papercrafts Around the World, by Phyllis and Noel Fiarotta
(Sterlilng Publishing Co., Inc., New York)

Step 1 Step 3
Step 5 Step 6

 

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