April 10, 2007

Paper Bead Necklace

Here's a great project that you can do with old scraps of colorful paper. Making these beads comes from Victorian times. The ladies back then would get together and sip tea and cut out triangles from old scraps of wallpaper and make beautiful colorful beads. They would string them and use the strings of paper beads in doorways to separate rooms.

You can make the same beads and use them to make necklaces, bracelets or garlands. Here's how you do it.

What you'll need:

- scraps of magazine pictures, wallpaper or colored paper
- ruler
- scissors
- pencil
- glue
- drinking straws
- heavy thread or yarn

Read these instructions first before you begin:

  1. With scissors, cut long triangles from the scraps of paper that you've collected. Make them about 1/2 inch wide and 2 1/2 inches long. It's easier if you draw out a template first.

  2. Cover one side of your triangle with glue making sure you put it on the side that's less colorful. You want the colorful side to be on the outside.

  3. Place the glued side of the bottom of the triangle on a straw and roll it up (see the illustrations below.)

  4. Once the triangle is completely rolled around your straw, cut the straw on both sides of the newly formed paper bead.

  5. You can make different shapes and sizes of beads. Simply make your triangles smaller or larger. Look at the different shapes you can use too (see below.)

  6. Let all your beautiful beads dry and then string them together with yarn or thread, knotting the thread together.
You won't believe how gorgeous these beads turn out and it's fun to make them too.


This project was adapted from Papercrafts Around the World, by Phyllis and Noel Fiarotta (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York)

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