Introduction: FCMG - Make Jewelry - Paper Beads

About: I'm a maker and craftreprenuer! VP of the Fairfield County Makers Guil, I love to "create" and come up with new and unconventional ways to use everyday things to make life a little bit more exciting…


Fairfield County Makers Guild Build Night featuring the Portrait Silhouette!

If you've a ton of paper hanging around that you've no idea what to do with, break out your Silhouette Die cutting machine and make paper beads!

They can be painted, lacquered, decoupaged. There's an endless list of what you can do to a paper bead to make it fancy and unique. The REAL magic here though is the silhouette takes all the work out of paper bead making for you by precision cutting those strips of paper right down for you. no exacto knife needed!

For our June Build night, we used scrap copy paper for these beads featured here.

You'll need:

  • Silhouette die machine
  • printer mat
  • copy paper
  • tacky glue - or Elmer's glue sticks
  • craft spatula - to scrape paper off mat
  • tooth picks
  • foam - or Styrofoam (something to stand your toothpicks up on)
  • paint (optional)

we will assume you've downloaded the silhouette studio software and are a bit familiar with operating it

Step 1: Draw. Stretch. Print

The silhouette software has a line draw feature you can use to make a really simple triangle. So go on! draw it!

Now the Key here, is you want to make this a very long skinny triangle. you want it to go from the top of the page, to a bout an inch from the bottom.

Copy and paste thee triangles and fill up your whole sheet with them. You'll be happier you did later on.

Send them to the printer!

CAREFULLY peel the sheet off the mat. You will want to go super slow so you dont rip your triangles.

Once you're done pulling them all off the mat, you'll have cute lil curly triangles that look like paper waste. BUT fret not.

Step 2: ToothPick. Glue. Stand.

Once you have a good amount of triangle strips, its time to have some fun.

The first step, is to take a strip and put a lil bit of glue on the flat bottom edge. Then take your toothpick and begin to roll your strip onto the toothpick. This can be tricky at first but go slow. The idea here is to wrap the entire strip around the toothpick.

You need to wrap the paper tightly around the toothpick. So using your index and thumb will make this easier. You wont need to add any more glue until you've about an inch or so left to wrap.

Step 3: Tidy Up

With just an inch or 2 left of triangle strip, take your glue and dab a little on the very tip - this should be the pointy side. you will get glue on your hands, but you're a maker right? you've probably got glue in your blood! and continue wrapping, with the glue thats on your fingers, secure your triangle into a nice tight bead shape.

you will want to take your bead and push up and down on the toothpick its on to prevent the bead from sticking to the toothpick. Good luck getting that baby off if you skip this step!

Step 4:

Once you've got all your beads on toothpicks and popped up in your styrofom, after approx 10 - 20 min (depending on the type of glue you used, you can start painting these babies!

We used acrylic paint and then sealed it with decoupage. They come out to shiny and hard with a little decoupage.

We had so much fun doing this. Can't you see the happiness on our faces??

Let your beads dry overnight to make sure they're completely ready for whatever you dream up next!

Thanks Silhouette, I really really appreciate not having to cut out all those strips myself!