Introduction: Make a RECYCLED PAPER BEAD Bracelet!

Looking for a fast, inexpensive recycled project that you will love wearing or giving as a gift?
TRY MAKING PAPER RECYCLED BEADS!

Turn junk mail,magazines, brochures, last year's calendars, and gift wrapping paper into cool beads that may be used for bracelets or necklaces.

Before taking that stack of old magazines to the recycle bin, tear out a few pages with your favorite colors...with a few quick cuts, one magazine page yields enough beads for 3 bracelets! You can wear your finished product in about 1 hour!

Everyone asks me about the cool painted, wooden beads in my bracelets...yes, those are the PAPER BEADS made from RECYCLED Pages from MAGAZINES AND BROCHURES!

Try making some recycled paper beads today...I think you will be amazed!

Step 1: SUPPLY LIST~

For one recycled paper, glass and silver bead bracelet (similar to the two pictured below), you will need:

-1 page from an old magazine, junk mail, calendar, brochure or a piece of gift wrapping paper- suggest choosing a colors you enjoy and one with a glossy finish. Don't worry about words on the page!

-A paper cutter with marked measurements or an utility/ exacto knife and ruler

-A glue stick

-Wooden toothpicks

-Clear nail polish and a small piece of styrofoam (optional, see Step 4)

-Elastic beading cord (about 9-10")

-Leftover silver and glass beads

-Cuticle scissors

Step 2: CUT THE MAGAZINE PAGE INTO STRIPS

-Tear or cut the page from the magazine (calendar, brochure, wrapping paper, etc.) that you have selected.

-Using a paper cutter (pictured) or an utility knife, begin cutting the page into strips. Starting at either the bottom or the top of the page, cut the page into 1/2" strips. (The strips I typically use are approx. 1/2" by ~7-8" long.) You may cut the entire page into strips or cut at least four for the bracelet.

-Next, cut each strip in half on the diagonal. To make one mixed bead bracelet, I typically use 8 diagnonally cut "triangle" shaped pieces of paper.

~
'(Pictured is a page from a resort marketing brochure- there is one 1/2" cut strip and one strip that has been cut in half diagonally.)

Step 3: ROLL AND GLUE

-Organize a work space with the 8 diagonal paper strips, several toothpicks, a glue stick and some clear nail polish.

-Take a toothpick and one paper strip. Roll the WIDE end of the paper strip completely around the toothpick ONE rotation. Next, take the glue stick and quickly cover the remaining paper surface with glue. I usually quickly run the glue stick over the paper twice. You may need to wipe any excess glue from your hands if they get too sticky!

-Now it is time to completely and TIGHTLY roll the paper stip around the toothpick. Smooth the tip/end of the paper strip in place. Next, slip the paper "BEAD" off the toothpick. It should slide off easily since 'the glue was not applied to the section of the paper that directly touches the toothpick.

Note: This opening made by the toothpick will provide the space to string your beads onto the bracelet cord.

Just make a little stack of completed beads...the glue will set up while you coil the remaining paper beads.

See the two additional photos below.

Step 4: SEAL THE PAPER BEADS

This step is optional...

I prefer to add a gloss coating to the beads. It seems to harden/ cure the paper and helps the bead to be more water-resistant (ex. if water splashes onto the bracelet when washing your hands---would not recommend wearing the bracelet while bathing---even if you do seal with the nail polish!) You decide if you want to include this step...

-Select a finished/glued bead. Place upon a toothpick and "polish" with the clear nail polish. The polish I use dries in less than 5 minutes. I stick a row of the toothpicks containing the polished beads in a piece of styrofoam so they may dry without touching the table top or each other.

-After the beads are dry, inspect each one and use the cuticle scissors to trim away any tiny paper tags that are not completely glued/ sealed in place.

Step 5: STRING THE BEADS

-Organize your beads into a "stringing" order. I usally use 8 recycled paper beads mix in a few leftover silver and glass beads for color and variety.

-Cut the beading cord in a 9-10" piece. I like to triple knot the cord- so I add in a little extra cord to make sure there is enough to tie and then trim the excess. If you are making a bracelet for a child or smaller wrist, adjust the size accordingly.

-String the beads, knot and trim the excess cord.

Step 6: ENJOY YOUR RECYCLED PAPER BEAD BRACELET!

You did it! Enjoy wearing your bracelet....

The two bracelets below were made using paper from this calcium brochure!

Comments

author
ranwithjesus made it!(author)2015-09-01

I didn't use metal or glass beads, just paper.

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LouiseM69 made it!(author)2017-05-15

I like your bracelet. It has a nice natural material look to it.

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swamp_tiers made it!(author)2016-03-22

Graeat Article to how to make Bracelet and you can see other cool bracelets

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ShellyP4 made it!(author)2015-11-20

There is a great tutorial on YouTube and shows you how to make other shapes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLCVvTCtJJ4

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ranwithjesus made it!(author)2015-09-01

This is cool!

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clara.swan made it!(author)2015-04-22

there's a tool got this. Can you tell me where to get one?

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Ianvs+Maximvs made it!(author)2014-03-29

Can you give more details on how you tied the elastic?

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CAScreate made it!(author)2013-12-06

Can i make it with just regular paper?

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cwat51 made it!(author)2013-11-27

How long will the nail polish last on paper beads. Most times the polish wears off.

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A_lil_birdy made it!(author)2013-02-23

Great idea, I forgot to take off my bracelet after washing up the dishes and now the beads are a little worn out but I can renew them! I'll post a picture of mine soon..It's great for sleepovers..I'm not eighteen really...I don't wish I was either.

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ladolph made it!(author)2012-06-04

Hey, I actually found this on StumbleUpon last night and since then have gone bead crazy! I am an avid crocheter/knitter/etc, but don't generally do these kinds of crafts. I have been dying to try something with beading and am also obsessed with re purposing so your project was the perfect thing!

Thank you for sharing and for the wonderful pictures and instructions - you made it a breeze, and I can't believe how easy it was! Thanks again! :)

author
Anita+Green made it!(author)2012-04-18

How does one make a round shape bead from paper?

Anita

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realmassage made it!(author)2012-01-30

I have a question.

Initially, I found this tutorial under the 'Green Jewelry' heading. To make this a truly green project, what sort of adherent (glue) can be used? Also, what sort of 'green' sealant?

It's a great idea, and I truly love it, but would like to know how to make it actually 'Eco-friendly'.

Thank you.

author
Shadow_Force made it!(author)2009-09-29

This is nice!!! It's so fun to make the beads, and the resulting colors are amazing! Here's a pic of a bracelet I made with the beads.

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AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2012-01-27

Love It!

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AnitaCHawk made it!(author)2011-12-17

Wow, your's look really good. I'd never thought of making beads going horizontally. At least I didn't think it would look nice. The glaze you used seems good. Did you use any and what kind?

author
pamboni made it!(author)2011-09-06

How did you put this beautiful bracelet together? Do you use elastic?

author
AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2011-09-13

See Step 5 in the directions above...you can see a picture of the elastic cord I used. It's sold in the beading section of craft stores and maybe even Wal-Mart or JoAnns. I've used it with success on many jewelry projects. Good luck.

author
pamboni made it!(author)2011-09-14

Thanks so much for your quick reply. I'm on my way to Michael's today and will buy a roll of elastic. Your bracelets are beautiful. Have any good ideas for necklaces with paper beads or earrings?

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htonks made it!(author)2011-07-06

How dod you get the long beads so perfectly shaped? Mine all fall apart and look horrible.

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AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2009-09-29

Fabulous! Love your bracelet design...thanks for including the picture!

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zani87 made it!(author)2012-01-27

Hello!

First, thanks for this instructable, because it made me remember that I already tried this techniqe when I was a child :) So I decided to make again some nice colourful beads, and here's the result:

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AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2012-01-27

Wow! Looks GREAT!

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rpackham made it!(author)2012-01-13

Hi, I abosolutely love this craft! We did it forever ago in 4th grade, I think. We used cornstarch, but I've found this to be soo much easier! Thanks a ton!!(:

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platinum15 made it!(author)2010-05-16

 LOVE THIS!!!! dyu think that it would b 2 hard 2 teach k-5 grdrs how 2 make this??? im volunteering @ a summer camp and i hav 2 teach them how 2 make stuff >.<

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rhigbee made it!(author)2011-11-30

I taught my 6 yr. Grandson in less than 5 mins. And he loving it!

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AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2010-05-16

Hi- I think it may get frustrating unless you have lots of older helpers-  probably better for middle school age groups. 
Have you considered dyeing dry pasta with food coloring and rubbing alcohol?  The alcohol evaporates....the younger kids would enjoy sorting pasta shapes/ colors and making necklaces using yarn....try googling it to get the right food coloring/ alcohol ratio.  Used to make this frequently when my girls were in preschool/ elem. school...they loved it!

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platinum15 made it!(author)2010-05-16

 oh cool!!!! thnx!!!!

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rhigbee made it!(author)2011-11-30

Different instructions say not to use watercolor markers. I love using them. I makes the beads look marble like. I just started making beads a month ago and I am having the best time!

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tammydey made it!(author)2011-10-20

These are fantastic! I shared your tutorial at aimeeasher.com
Can't wait to try some!

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AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2011-10-20

Many thanks :)

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bsmith-58 made it!(author)2011-09-13

love making the beads but would like to make some short fat one to go between the long ones. could u please help. I've several pair of earrings for relatives.

author
AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2011-09-13

Glad the project has worked out for you. In terms of ideas- maybe you could use a narrow strip of paper that is longer---think that should give you a "fatter" bead.

If you have any old beaded earrings or leftover beads from other projects, you could use one glass/metal bead and one paper bead. That's what I did in the pictured bracelets. Good luck with your project!

author
bsmith-58 made it!(author)2011-10-19

Thanks for your respond. I will give this a try.

author
Mauigerbil made it!(author)2011-07-31

Cool!

author
htonks made it!(author)2011-07-21

I have mastered the subtle art of this craft- and kind of defeated the 'recycled' part xD

I went to craft store and bought scrapbook paper- beatiful colors and designs of my choosing :D i still use magazine, but this paper is sturdier and rips and crumples less

author
Mzuribeads made it!(author)2010-05-15

We hope you don’t mind us leaving a note to tell you about our fabulous Ugandan Recycled Paper Mzuribeads, Barkcloth, Banana leaf, and recycled Glass beads ON SALE at http://www.mzuribeads.com/

Here you can check out a selection of ethical and eco beads all made by groups building sustainable businesses and promoting environmental awareness.

Thank you for your support, and for promoting sustainable bead projects.

Mzuribeads

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author
the.bead.rolls.on made it!(author)2011-05-05

I welcome you presence at THEBEADROLLSON Facebook Page!

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JONIEK made it!(author)2010-05-18

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEADS TO COME OUT SO UNIFORM?  MINE ARE NOT VERY EVEN. IS IT THE WAY I CUT THEM?

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the.bead.rolls.on made it!(author)2011-05-05

can you send a picture of them to THEBEADROLLSON page on Facebook?

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AlwaysAllTheTimeCrafting made it!(author)2010-05-18

I did measure mine pretty carefully...also, in the picture, you are seeing the best of the ones I made.  The first ones were not rolled as uniformly... practice does make a difference- at least for me!

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the.bead.rolls.on made it!(author)2011-03-08

Here is a video about it www.thebeadrollson.com! Love it!

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the.bead.rolls.on made it!(author)2011-05-05

If you want to join the facebook page TheBEADROLLSON, i can answer question and exhibit your work!

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rudegirl made it!(author)2010-12-28

love the idea tried it and it works great also regular uhu glue works just fine

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Fanny+Fink made it!(author)2010-12-26

thank you. they look nice.

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zyx456 made it!(author)2010-12-08

Can you adjust the measurements to create bigger beads

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crazyaboutbeads made it!(author)2010-09-30

This is SO beautiful! Do you use filler beads in between?

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jumpertoad made it!(author)2009-10-10

I cant cut correctly

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crazyaboutbeads made it!(author)2010-09-28

Try using a ruler to steady the knife. That way it is more steady.

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tbcross made it!(author)2010-05-30

Thanks bunches I had tried a couple of times with the kids before without much success...lack of something as simple as a toothpick can really mess up lol. And good Idea on the nail polish too!!

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Bio: No time to clean the house...always, all the time crafting!
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