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Fun Craft: Paper Beads

This is an outrageously fun craft that I’ve done with my own children, with a scout troop, and with my Sunday School class. It works with a variety of age levels. Let them use their imagination. Some of these beads can truly come out spectacular.


Paper that has either been colored with crayons, markers or colored pencils. You can color the paper in random designs using lots of different colors. You can also substitute magazine pages for an inexpensive alternative to the decorated paper.

White glue


1. Using a piece of paper that has been decorated –- or colored, or magazine sheets, etc. -- (8 1/2 x 11) cut long slender triangles from the paper. You can either cut across the length or across the width of the paper. The longer the strip the thicker the bead. The large end of the triangle can range anywhere from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch tapering down to a point and the short end.

2. Place a toothpick on the wide end of the triangle with the designed side facing down.

3. Start rolling the paper around the toothpick being careful to wind it tightly and as evenly centered as possible.

4. When you get to the end of the triangle place a dab of glue on the end and continue wrapping, sealing the end in place.

5. Slip the toothpick out and allow the glue to dry.

You can use the beads as is, or for a shiny finish try painting clear fingernail polish over them. Depending on the “depth” of shine you want, you can even give them several coats of the clear fingernail polish to give it an unusual look.

If you have any paper beads that don’t turn out quite the way you wanted or expected them to, you can paint over any design with a colored fingernail polish. Or, as an alternative, you can use some of the fashion glitter nail polish that is out now.

The nail polish also seems to make them more durable and water proof.

Make a whole bunch and string them up for bracelets and necklaces.


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