Are you looking for a quick, low-cost recycled project that you’ll like wearing or giving as a gift?
TRY MAKING RECYCLED PAPER BEADS
Make cool beads out of junk mail, magazines, brochures, last year’s calendars, and gift wrapping paper for bracelets and necklaces.
Before you throw away that stack of old magazines, take off a few pages in your favourite colors…one magazine page generates enough beads for three bracelets with just a few simple cuts! In about an hour, you’ll be able to wear your finished product.
Today, try your hand at crafting some recycled paper beads
I believe you will be astounded!
STEP 1: COMPILE A SUPPLY LIST
You’ll need the following materials to make one recycled paper, glass, and silver bead bracelet (identical to the two shown below):
1 page from an old magazine, junk mail, calendar, brochure, or piece of present wrapping paper (choose colours you like and a glossy finish). Don’t be concerned with the text on the page.
-A paper cutter with measures marked on it or a utility/exacto knife and a ruler
-An adhesive stick
-Toothpicks made of wood
-A little piece of styrofoam and clear nail polish (optional, see Step 4)
-Elastic cord for beading ” (about 9-10″)
-Silver and glass beads that were left over
-Scissors for cuticles
2. CUT THE MAGAZINE PAGE INTO STRIPS IN STEP
– Tear or cut the desired page from the magazine (calendar, brochure, wrapping paper, etc.).
-Start cutting the page into strips using a paper cutter (shown) or a utility knife. Cut the page in half starting at either the bottom or top of the page “strips of paper (I usually use strips that are 1/2″ wide by 7-8” long.) For the bracelet, you can cut the full sheet into strips or at least four.
-After that, cut each strip in half diagonally. I usually use 8 diagonally cut “triangle” shaped pieces of paper to produce one mixed bead bracelet.
(cut strip, and one strip that has been diagonally cut in half.)
STEP 3: GLUE AND ROLL
-With the 8 diagonal paper strips, some toothpicks, a glue stick, and some clear nail polish, set up a work area.
-Take one paper strip and a toothpick. One spin around the toothpick using the wide end of the paper strip. Next, immediately apply glue to the remaining paper surface with the glue stick. I normally do two rapid passes with the glue stick over the paper. If your hands become too sticky, you may need to wipe away any extra glue.
-Now it’s time to roll the paper stip around the toothpick entirely and tightly. Smooth the paper strip’s tip/end into place. After that, remove the paper “BEAD” from the toothpick. Because the adhesive was not applied to the area of the paper that directly touches the toothpick, it should be easy to remove.
Note: The toothpick will create a space for you to string your beads onto the bracelet cord.
Simply build a small stack of completed beads and wait for the adhesive to dry while you coil the remaining paper beads.
4. SECURE THE PAPER BEADS IN STEP
This is an optional step…
I prefer to cover the beads in a glossy finish. It appears to harden/cure the paper and aids in the water resistance of the bead (for example, if water spills onto the bracelet when washing your hands, do not wear the bracelet while bathing, even if you seal it with nail paint!) You can choose whether or not to add this step…
-Choose a bead that has been finished and glued. Apply the clear nail paint to a toothpick and “polish” it. It takes less than 5 minutes for the polish I use to dry. I place a row of toothpicks with polished beads in a piece of styrofoam so they don’t touch the table top or each other while drying.
-When the beads are dry, inspect each one and trim away any little paper tags that aren’t entirely glued/sealed in place with the cuticle scissors.
5. STRING THE BEADS IN STEP
-Make a “stringing” order for your beads. For colour and diversity, I usually use 8 recycled paper beads and a few leftover silver and glass beads.
-Cut the beading cord into 9-10 inch lengths “a part I like to triple knot the cord, so I add a little extra to ensure there is enough to tie, then clip the excess. Adjust the size if you’re making a bracelet for a child or someone with a smaller wrist.
-Knot and trim the excess cord after stringing the beads.
6. ENJOY YOUR RECYCLED PAPER BEAD BRACELET IN STEP
You’ve done it! Wear your bracelet with pride….
The paper bead from this calcium brochure was used to make the two bracelets