I just love the look of the smooth rounded large hole beads
you find on expensive charm bracelets. So much that I showed you how to make them in a previous tutorial. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a thicker, fatter version of those beads so you can have some variety in your bracelet.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
- 3/16” Paper Bead Roller (Lavender Handle)
- Regular white glue for rolling the beads
- Judikins Diamond Glaze
- Grommets - 4mm size
- You can use the white glue, but I use Aileen’s tacky glue for putting in the bead cores
Step 2: Choose a Paper
You will need to 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 in to 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 you 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’ve linked a video in the description where you can see my best technique for getting rid of those white edges.
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 5/8 of an inch at both ends.
- Strip two is 5/8th of an inch at one end, and 3/8ths of an inch at the other.
- Strip three is 3/8ths of an inch at one end. And 1/8th of an inch at the other.
Step 4: Roll the Beads
It’s important that you use a tool that is the same diameter as the metal bead cores we’ll be adding later. The 3/16 inch roller corresponds to a 4mm bead core.
Begin with strip one. You know you have the right strip because the ends are the same size. You may want to pause a second and let the glue get a little tacky before you begin to roll so that it stays in place. Make sure all of the edges line up exactly. These beads are more difficult to adjust after the fact, so I try to get my wrap exactly right as I’m rolling.
Next, add strip 2. Glue the wide end down, the width should match strip one exactly. Make sure to keep the strip centered as you roll.
Glue the end down and add strip three. Again, glue the wider end down. Keep this one centered as well. Glue the tip down.
Pop the bead off of the roller. Ideally, the sides of your bead are as smooth and straight as possible. You can even use the colored end of your bead roller to tap the strips into place a bit. Allow your bead to dry.
Step 5: Glaze the Bead
I’m using Judikins Diamond Glaze to make these beads hard and shiny. Squirt some into your palette. Place the beads on a bamboo skewer and use your paintbrush to apply the Judikins Diamond Glaze or whatever glaze you prefer. I like to use a flat edge brush because it gives me more control when I’m glazing near the bead core.
On the thinner version of this bead, I do two coats of glaze. But this bead has a wider, smoother surface and I think they look better with three coats of glaze. Go ahead and apply all 3 coats, allowing the glaze to dry completely in-between.
Step 6: Insert the Bead Cores
Our bead is dry and beautifully shiny with the three coats
of glaze. Now we can insert the 4mm bead cores (grommets). I am using Aileene’s tacky glue for this. You can use regular school glue if you’d like, but I feel like the Tacky Glue is a little bit stronger.
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. You can wipe off any excess glue If you’d like. If you get any glue bunched up in the center hole of the bead, you can use your bamboo skewer to clear it out. Allow the glue to dry completely and now you have beautiful Euro Style beads to make yourself a gorgeous piece of jewelry.