Picture of How to Make Paper Beads
Want to know how to make beautiful, light weight, eco friendly, handmade, recycled paper beads! Check out this step by step instructions on how to make a paper bead, and you will enjoy and achieve some stunning results! 

You can find our
VIDEO TUTORIAL on our site.

We also have a 3 Page STEP BY STEP in ISSUE 20 (March 2010), in the the BEAD MAGAZINE

We are MZURIBEADS; professionally rolling paper beads, and exporting fair trade jewelry from Uganda since 2006. This is a fair trade company, aiming to develop communities around UGANDA. By buying our beads - Not only will you be helping these women earn a much need income, but you will be receiving a very high standard of recycled paper bead. 

Our beads pass a quality check, judged on being symmetric, clean, and thickly varnished for a waterproof, smooth and glossy finish. 
We have been rolling are beads for many years, and we are so confident that we are the ultimate masters of this hand crafted skill
......we are more than happy to share our know how (;

Please VISIT OUR SITE for more details...
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Step 1: Selecting your paper and materials to make the bead

Picture of Selecting your paper and materials to make the bead
First collect the following:

  • A colourful page from a used magazine or an old colourful poster. If you want to make beads of a full colour, you must find a full colour page of poster. For example to get ALL blue beads, pick up a page with photo of the ocean! Vogue and House and Home, or some old teenage music posters are my favorite. The thicker the paper the fatter the bead!
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Needle or toothpick
  • Clear varnish - most clear varnishes from local store will do or nail varnish.
  • Fishing wire/plastic wire or some sort of thread similar width as your needle or toothpick
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Mzuribeads (author) 4 years ago

are producing a documentary. The main purpose will be to promote awareness of fair trade and the Arts for sustainable enterprise and long term development.

competition closes 16th dec 2010

competition christmas.jpgN.jpgSUPPORT+BRACELET.jpg
julyfive26 days ago

More paperbead tutorials:

PatienceA made it!1 month ago

I sell this on my store at They are really nice and pretty. They also do take a lot of time to reach a finished, varnished, and shiny product.

AkoduG1 month ago


K.H2 months ago

Ms. Sun Dragon,

Thanks for the suggestion of using a cotter pin. I have been looking for something that is cheap and easily obtainable. I make lots of paper beads and this idea will really accelerate production.

nkohlheim7 months ago
i'm on it :)
BigRed197311 months ago

The colors are gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing.....

rhensyl1 year ago
can i use a wood varnish to my paper beads?
Chloe81 year ago
Very colourful and nice! It usually gets heavy with glass beads but this beads solves a problem!
barbaradel1 year ago
I see that people are asking about a tool to make Paper Beads. My partner and I have invented one. It is The Easy Roller Paper Bead Machine. A new and very different way to roll Paper Beads. It makes it so easy. This is the only one out there.
Search Etsy and eBay for The Easy Roller Paper Bead Machine.
see our video here
Thanks so much Barbara and Ray
Nozebra2 years ago
really nice! I always asked myself how these beads are made! Thanks!
Your beads are so beautiful! I really enjoyed this instructable!
falu2 years ago
hi i liked it a lot but there is one confusion that all the beads turn out to be oval u hav photos of circular also how do u make that
Mzuribeads (author) 4 years ago
oooh we have great colours in this month... check them out...
Mzuribeads (author)  Mzuribeads4 years ago
Purple beads.jpgfair trade beading.jpgbeads beading beading.jpgrecycled beads.jpg
love the orange and black ones! How do you get one general color?
I made a bracelet from a newsletter that I get from my financial adviser each month that is printed on blue paper and cut my strips from that and then when the strips were cut I took a silver permanent marker and colored just the pointed end of my strips. When I rolled them up, they were blue with tinges of black and silver in the middle, which makes a nice bracelet that goes good with blue jeans. I also made some beads with the pointed tips done with a red marker so then you can be alternated a silver bead then a red bead on a bracelet.
You can us plain white paper and then use an orange highlighter and a black permenant marker to accent it with. I made a hot pink and black bracelet to go with my black shorts and hot pink top. Perfect match.
Use paper or pictures that are predominantly that color. Whiskas cat food bags make lovely magenta and yellow beads, for example. Advertisements commonly have full page color backgrounds with an image and lettering which makes nice stripes and spots against the main background color. If you find an ad with a combination you really like, scan it and save it as a .jpg and make as many prints of it as you want!
I love making paper beads and jewelry from them...although starting to wish i could find pre-cut and beautiful papers for this craft. if anyone knows a good place that doesn't look like kids paper please let me know...thanks
dmccomb dtyler23 years ago
There are some people on etsy who sell pre-cut paper strips - janicemae sells papers that are essentially misprints from Philippine magazine covers and advertisements, and they're so-so in color combinations but very heavyweight paper. Somebody else whose name I can't remember right now sells strips cut from children's picture books, but they're too pricey for my taste. For my money, a regular guillotine cutter can't be beat - though if I can ever find a professional guillotine cutter that can go through an entire magazine at once for a reasonable price, that baby will be mine!

For papers, use magazine pages from fashion, decorating and garden magazines, or try finding pictures online in the colors you want and then printing your own to order. Macro photos of flowers and plants are good, as are landscapes, sunsets, quilt fabric samples, etc. Check out downloadable computer wallpapers for really good color contrasts. I like pictures of graffiti, mosaics, and stained-glass windows as well.
These are amazing beads I am so interested in this type of art I make a few myself. Although I admitt im no amatur, I still enjoy the outlook of each one of the beads I make. I just wish I could learn to make mine as rounded as these. I am still using the classic tooth pick/paper clip method but it works just as well right now..... Do you have and tips you could give.
Thank you,
For the really rounded shapes, you have to have a long strip of paper - longer than you can usually find in magazines. What you can do is cut a strip, starting at 1/2 inch and tapering to a blunt end of 1/4 inch. This will leave long triangular strips between them, starting at 1/4 inch. Attach the two 1/4 inch ends, and you have a much longer strip that gives you a rounder bead. Larger papers like posters or sheets of wrapping paper can give you the length you need.
acajjou3 years ago
It looks like the links on this step are missing. Can you give us a different picture?
yellowninja5 years ago
Hmmm. my mom is selling these from Uganda women to people in the US to help get them out of poverty! Nice to know haw to do this.
There is a stand at Epcot in Walt Disney World Florida that sells them too. The ones at Epcot are actually made from old paper products from the parks and all of the money is sent to the women that make them, too.
There is a stand at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Florida also. I was there in Oct. 2011 and it was the 1st time I ever saw them I bought a necklace and now I make them myself. I love them.
blossom92833 years ago
I found this yesterday and tried to make the beads today. I have to say it is fun for something so simple and te beads come out beautiful. I posted a link to this instructable and my beads I've made so far (minus varnish) on my blog.
Mauigerbil3 years ago
Would wrapping paper work for this? Also, soaking tissue paper bits in a glue soluotion and placing them on beads dyes them, in case you just want to use regular white paper.
Yes, wrapping paper works for this - the heavier the better. You can get a lot of coordinated beads from a single roll, if you have a large project in mind.
knic3 years ago
This is the best instructions I have read about making paper beads. Thanks for these! They're awesome! Now I know what to do with the stack of office paper I have on my desk. Will have to paint those though. Thanks a lot :)
desip4 years ago
I wonder if something like modge podge would work as a varnish... it is waterproof....
Mod Podge works fine. I just used it on mine a few hours ago. I had some problems with the beads sticking together, but once it dries, you can easily pop them back apart as long as you don't apply it too thick.
It works great for me. Some things probably work better, but I find it to work better than the plain clear nail polish
jblack93 years ago
This is very interesting. Who would have thought you could make such beautiful and real looking beads from paper? Great ideas for going green :)
gardens443 years ago
beautiful jewelry and woman in the photograph. my beads never turn out that well...but i think i need to paint them
ColleenG4 years ago
How did you get the beads soo round??? what size strips did you use? They're beautiful!
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