Recycled Paper Beads

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Introduction: Recycled Paper Beads

Wondering what to do with all the catalogs you get it the mail? Reuse, recycle, make paper beads!

Step 1: Supplies

  1. Old catalog
  2. Mod Podge (gloss)
  3. Toothpicks
  4. Thread
  5. Exacto knife and cutting mat
  6. Straight edge

Step 2: Preparing the Toothpick

First trim the tip of one of the toothpicks. Then cut a slit into the end of the toothpick about 1/2 inch long using the exacto knife. Next put the end of the thread through the slit and wrap it around the toothpick several times. Secure it with a dab of Mod Podge.

Step 3: Cutting the Paper

Rip one full sheet of paper out of the catalog. (Make sure that it is colorful). Using the straight edge and exacto knife, cut a long skinny triangle with the base being a little less than 1/2 inch wide, and the length about 17 inches long.

Step 4: Creating the Bead

Begin by sliding the base of the paper into the slit on the toothpick. Then wrap the paper once around the toothpick (make sure that the colorful side is facing out). Now start applying Mod Podge to the next two inches of paper. Then wrap those two inches around the toothpick. Continue adding Mod Podge and wrapping until you reach the end of the strip.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Carefully remove the bead from the split toothpick and thread the bead onto a fresh toothpick. After this, coat the bead in Mod Podge to give it a glossy look.

Step 6: Experiment!

By varying the width, length, and thickness of the paper, you can make many different shaped beads.

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    4 Comments

    1
    Ferrellski
    Ferrellski

    1 year ago

    I’ve done these before but never wrapped thread around the mandrel. Is that used to keep the toothpick in one piece so it doesn’t split? Or, is the thread there to make sure the beads are the same size? Or, are you wrapping the paper around the thread to give it a good shape? I liked doing these and have a handful I never used in jewelry. I guess I better get going!

    1
    Garbanzo21
    Garbanzo21

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, the thread is there to keep the toothpick from splitting, and also the thread goes through the slit in the toothpick to spread the toothpick a bit.

    0
    jefflahay
    jefflahay

    1 year ago

    I’ve always wondered how those were made, a lot simpler than I thought. Thanks!

    0
    Garbanzo21
    Garbanzo21

    Reply 1 year ago

    Glad you liked it!