When we were kids, my sister Joyce and I rolled paper beads; little did we know we were doing something girls a hundred years earlier had done. Although Joyce and I made funky necklaces with our beads, our Victorian counterparts used the fruits of their labor to fashion curtains for doorways. Nowadays, I like to use paper beads to create 3D art, including greeting cards.
The great thing about this craft project is that you probably already have everything on hand to do it.
What You Need
Colorful--or not so colorful--interior pages from a magazine
A few toothpicks
Glue (Although something like Elmers will work, I suggest using a tacky craft glue)
A utility craft knife or scissors
A cutting surface and ruler if using a craft knife
What You Do
Cut strips of magazine pages as shown. Mine are about 7 inches long with the fattest end measuring about an inch wide. As you make these, you’ll want to experiment with length and width to create different looks.
Apply glue 3/4" up from fat end to tip on the wrong side of paper strips. (You don't need a lot of glue here; just a thin line will do.)
Place your toothpick at fat end and start winding up paper to tip, as shown. Don’t worry about glue ooze; just smooth it over your bead at the end with your fingertips. It sort of acts like Modge Podge.
Slip bead off toothpick. It’s important to keep the toothpick free of glue, or it’ll be difficult to remove the bead. If the pick does get sticky, clean it off with a bit of water or use a new toothpick.
Now, what to do with my beads....hmmm. A little art perhaps, or.....
a greeting card.
For more information about the history of paper beads and alternative bead shapes and materials, check out Paper University's great tutorial. Although, they do suggest using plastic straws, which sort of negates the whole biodegradable aspect of the project.