I just love the look of the smooth rounded beads you find on
expensive charm bracelets. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make your own version of those beautiful beads from paper.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
- Patterned or solid color 65lb paper
- 3/16” Paper Bead Roller (Lavender Handle)
- Grommets - 5mm size
- Judikins Diamond Glaze
- Skewer or other thin rod to hold the bead during glazing
- Glue (school glue is fine)
- A way to cut your paper (scissors, cutting board, cutting machine)
Step 2: Choose a Paper
Choose a paper. This style of bead looks good when done in both solid colors or patterns. If you choose to go with solid colors, you can use colored cardstock, or you can use white paper and paint it after it’s rolled into its final bead shape.
If you want a multi-colored or patterned bead, it’s best to choose a pattern that has highly contrasting colors in a small pattern. If your pattern is too large, you won’t see all of the colors.
There is one caveat you’ll need to know – if you choose a paper that has a white core, you’ll need to color the edges before you roll them or the white will ruin the look of your bead. Unfortunately, a lot of patterned papers have white cores. I lightly run my edges across a metallic stamping ink pad to give them a pretty glimmer before I roll my beads.
To get a bead that looks exactly like the ones I’ve made here, you’ll need to choose a paper that is a 65lb weight. If you use a paper of a different thickness, your bead may turn out fine, but it will have a slightly different shape than mine. Don’t be afraid to experiment! That’s part of the fun in making paper beads.
Step 3: Cut the Paper Strips
Cut your paper strips. If you are using 8.5 x 11 or 12x12 cardstock, you will need to cut three different strips for each bead. Here are your sizes:
- Strip one is 3/8th of an inch at both ends.
- Strip two is 3/8th of an inch at one end, and 2/8ths of an inch at the other.
- Strip three is 2/8ths of an inch at one end. And 1/16th of an inch at the other.
Step 4: Roll the Beads
For this project, we’re using a 3/16 diameter bead roller. It’s important that you use a tool that is the same diameter as the metal bead cores we’ll be adding in step 5. The 3/16 inch roller corresponds to a 5mm bead core.
Begin with strip one, and roll until you get to the end. There is no taper on this strip, so make sure all of the edges line up exactly. Glue the end down, and add strip two. Make sure to keep the strip centered as you roll. Glue the end down and add strip three. Keep this one centered as well and glue the end down. Allow your bead to dry.
Step 5: Glaze the Beads
Place the beads on a bamboo skewer and use your paint brush to apply the Judikins Diamond Glaze. Apply at least two coats, allowing the glaze to dry completely between coats.
Step 6: Insert the Bead Cores (grommets)
Apply a thin line of glue around the bead hole, and be sure to get some inside the bead so that the core stays in place. Allow to dry completely.
And now you have beautiful Euro Style beads to make yourself a gorgeous piece of jewelry.