Glazing and Drying Paper Beads




Introduction: Glazing and Drying Paper Beads


Recently I have fallen in love with paper bead making.

There is always a lot of flyers, brightly coloured newspaper pages and glossy magazines lying around. While browsing for DIY jewellery ideas on Pinterest I chanced upon paper beads. I got interested and did some browsing again and found a treasure of videos and images on YouTube and Pinterest related to paper bead making and jewellery.

After we make the paper beads we need to seal them. During my research on the ideal sealant I discovered the most recommended one is the Polyurethane Water Based Varnish. I looked around for it and was not able to get it in the local stores. I am so familiar with online shopping. So I looked for an alternative. Few people suggested using Mod Podge.

I am sharing the process of sealing paper beads with Mod Podge as the results turned out to be beautiful.

Step 1: Materials Needed

The materials needed are -

Mod Podge (I used Gloss Lustre)

Empty shoe box

Tooth picks

Pointed metal rod

Thick paint brush


Empty plastic bowl with wide mouth

Paper beads threaded on to fishing lines, the lengths corresponding to the length of the shoe box. Cut off the lines keeping extra for making loops on both ends to hang on the tooth picks.

Step 2: Preparing the Box

Punch small holes along the breadth of the shoe box using a pointed metal rod and insert the tooth picks into these holes.

Corresponding holes on both sides should in line with each other.

Step 3: Making the Mod Podge Mixture

Pour the Mod Podge into the plastic bowl. (I poured out and estimated amount keeping in mind the amount of paper beads I was sealing.) Add water to the Mod podge, Approximate ratio of 4 : 1, Mod Podge : water. Mix it well with the thick brush.

Step 4: Glazing and Drying

Holding loops tied to both ends of each beaded string dip them into the Mod Podge mixture. You may use the brush to dip and coat the beads thoroughly.

Dipping one string at a time is recommended. Pick up the dipped sting and hold it up for a few seconds to allow the excess to drip off. Then put each loop onto the toothpicks on either side of the shoe box and let it hang to dry for a few hours.

Once it is completely dry, you may repeat the dipping process if you feel you need more shine or more sealing.

Once they are dry and hard use them as you wish and create beautiful jewellery.

The bracelet is the first piece I made for my daughter. It became very popular among her friends.

I made few more bracelets of a different design for her friends as Christmas gifts.

Step 5: Extra Tip

I cut off the pointed tip of a toothpick and split it with a craft knife and used it to roll the beads.

Improvised for paper strips that were broader than the split in the bead roller I have.

Keep smiling and creating.


My work can be found on

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7 Discussions


J'aimerais savoir si le trou se bouchent quand on les faits tremper dans la colle ou le verni et si elles se collent entre elles en séchant


Bonne soirée


1 year ago

Leena, wouldn't there be some concern of 'varnish vapours' emitting onto the dishes that you would later be eating off?

I know it was an accident that your beads fell into the dishwasher. I am just concerned about how someone might interpret this to mean that they could do this to all of their beads.

Nonetheless, I think that your technique is great information esp. about using the shoe box.

I use clear nail polish on my beads, but I diffidently can not leave them in closed container for several weeks as the vapur is too overpowering.

io per sigillare le perle uso colla vinilica e acqua (molto economica) e poi le lucido con vernice trasparente all'acqua. Si asciugano in poco tempo e durano anni e anni senza nessun problema.

ho collane di 7/8 anni fa perfettamente mantenute.

How long does it take for the beads to dry/harden completely? I used gloss Mod Podge for exactly this purpose about a year and a half ago, and the beads are still slightly tacky. And I live in one of the least humid places on the continent (yes, it's -45, but it's a DRY cold...)

1 reply


I let the beads dry for 1-2 sunny days.

I live in a humid place, so I try and do the glazing on a sunny day.

I like the idea of drying them on a string between toothpicks.

You can save yourself a fortune by buying a white PVA wood glue and using that. it is the same as Modpog but a little thinner.