Friday, February 8, 2013

Challenge---Paper Beads!

Two years ago I got into a beading funk.  I just couldn't decide if I wanted to keep beading as a part of my life or just move onto something else.  Even though I had been doing it so long I felt I needed to know more.  So I began to challenge myself to learn things that I felt would be difficult to learn.  I took classes in wire work, crochet wire, and I even started viewing some tutorials and began to make my own beads out of paper!

To this day I still love paper beads, and even though I realize my heart is dedicated to bead weaving, especially netting, I do enjoy the theraputic feel of creating paper beads.

There are two major website I follow; and  Both of these websites taught me a lot and they are chocked full of videos and great ideas for making paper beads. 

You first want to get some supplies, which both sites sell by the way.  A rolling tool is necessary and of course some paper to get the ball rolling.  Below are some examples of rolling tools.

The metal ones are from  As you can see in the closeup there is a little open ridge in the metal one.  That is where you insert the paper before rolling it tightly.  The wooden ones slide open so that you can remove the paper bead after you have made it and it allows you to insert the paper. The wooden ones are from  They are cute with their paper bead handles! 
I have both because sometimes different types of paper react better on one than the other.

Strips of paper are then cut into long triangular shapes which when rolled will give you a saucer like shape. Triangular paper gives you the saucer shape, but you can experiment with other shapes of paper as long as they are long they can be rolled into cones and other shapes! At she sells several templates which create different shapes including the one below.

Next you will need some type of glue which you will put on the very end of the bead to secure it after you have rolled it tightly.  There are many types which you can purchase.  Also sells their own sealant which is museum quality.  I have not tried it as of yet, but will be purchasing it soon. 

After you have glued them together you can then dip them into a glaze which makes them water resistant. At they sell a wonderful glaze which I have used for quite some time now.  I love the way it hardens the beads and gives them a glass like finish!  I usually dip them 5 or 6 times.  I love the glossiness!!!!

Here are some examples of paper beads. 
The black and white ones are the side of a Sephora department store bag, the orange and yellow ones were a magazine ad, and the black ones are origami paper with bronze leafing. 

Below is some jewelry I made with the paper beads.

Note----The glaze makes them water resistant, not waterproof.  This means you can wear them in the rain, where they may get slightly wet, but you should not shower or place them directly in water.

So challenge yourself and make some paper beads!

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