My earlier paper bead tutorial shows the basics of making paper beads for stringing, but I wanted to create something a little flashier for this instructable. I decided to make large hole, Pandora style beads with a super shiny finish and use them as the base for this boho style leather bracelet. Have fun making the beads and choosing papers. I don't think you can get too colorful for this project!

Step 1: What You Need

Paper - You can use any kind of paper. It's particularly fun to save old wrapping paper, paper bags from a trip or other papers that remind you of a special time. For this project pick out patterns that are colorful. Thicker paper makes bigger beads.

4mm Leather cord, about 10"

Clasp and cord ends - these can be separate or all in one, hook, toggle or button all work

Optional large hole metal beads and/or charms


Thin straw, fat skewer, thin wooden dowel or other round form to make the bead holes - aim for something about 4-5mm in diameter and fairly smooth

Glue stick

Metal ruler, xacto knife, pencil are all optional for cutting strips (or a paper cutter)

UTEE - ultra thick embossing enamel, clear - any brand

Embossing ink

Heat gun


Very cool! I love the embossing powder idea, it makes them look like glass. I saw someone else do a "Pandora" look alike when they pushed a cheap eyelet (in the sewing section) in each end after rolling, but before the glazing. It made it look very expensive. Can't wait to try it!
Thanks! I saw that too - they're really nice. Maybe next time : ) Mine are much more rustic.
it looks great but you have copied this idea from a diy video on youtube. i have seen the video already.
I wouldn't be surprised if there is a video like this. I actually first heard about using UTEE fairly recently from a cool instructable on making hollow pendants (https://www.instructables.com/id/Translucents-hollow-beads-Necklace/). Then I looked into what else UTEE could do. Then my teenage daughter told me about more uses, because she knows like every craft product ever. I tried stamped pendants, and wrote a tutorial(https://www.instructables.com/id/UTEE-Stamped-Pendants/), headpins that I'm still figuring out and these beads. Beads are pretty straightforward for me (see my Durable Paper Bead tutorial, https://www.instructables.com/id/Durable-Handmade-Paper-Beads/). Since I wanted to enter some contests, I created this paper bead and leather bracelet. And I'm probably not the first to do that either. My philosophy at instructables is that we're just trying to teach each other stuff for fun, for free. If someone has a tutorial that came before mine or is better, well, that's going to happen. And I might have something to learn from them.
I really love this 'ible! <br><br>I don't have UTEE, but could a few/several layers of regular work to have a similar look?
ps The little jars of embossing enamel are more expensive than the UTEE. (I bought a big container for about $10) So, it may not be worth using them up to get the thick enamel look.
Yes. UTEE is the same stuff, just larger granules. But it takes A LOT more to get the same thickness.So, if you've got the patience, you should be able to do it. Let me know how it goes.
Beautiful! The paper beads work great next to the regular beads!
Thanks!! Have a great weekend!
I agree with birgit, embossing powder gave these beads strength
These are very strong. I dropped my new bracelets on the pavement showing them to a friend and not a scratch. Though, using a thinner acrylic or resin is plenty durable also. It's just whichever look you like better.
<p>I am usually not a big fan of paper beads. But these look super cool. What a great idea to use embossing powder to make them look so good! I guess I have to give paper beads another chance now! :-) </p>
You can't really tell from the photos, but they got better as went along and got the coating just right. The last few beads I made looked just like lamp worked glass. If you try it, allow for a learning curve : ) And please let me see!

About This Instructable




Bio: Geeky artist with too many pets. Details & blog at: rhondachasedesign.com
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