Make paper beads using basic craft supplies! There’s no end to the colors and patterns you can create. This is a great craft for kids ages 4 and up.
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
I love doing crafts with my kids that I used to do with my mom when I was growing up. One of my favorites was making paper beads out of magazines, which I’d then turn into very fashionable bracelets and necklaces. *wink* At six and four, I decided my kids were old enough to try making their own paper beads so I pulled out some scraps of colored paper, glue and a few other materials to get them started.
Here’s what you’ll need to make paper beads:
- colored paper (scrapbook paper works great)
- glue sticks
- wooden skewers or wooden dowels
- paper trimmer or scissors
- plastic lacing or something stiffer to string the bead onto
First, grab your paper, pencil and ruler. Measure along one side, making marks every 1-1 1/2″, keeping your measurements consistent. (The size you make your beads is totally up to you, but I wouldn’t recommend making them any smaller than 1″).
*PRO TIP* I’ve found that thinner paper and paper without texture work best, which is why I suggest using scrapbook paper rather than cardstock.
On the opposite side of the paper (across from the marks you just made), measure in by half of the size of measurements you just made. For example: If you make 1 1/2″ marks on one side, measure in 3/4″ and make a mark. You will only need to make one of these marks.
Continue measuring from this mark using the same measurements you used on the first side. This sounds a little confusing, but look at the image below and you’ll see what I mean. Ultimately you are using these marks to make long, skinny triangles.
After you’ve marked your two sides, you can either use your ruler to draw lines connecting them to make the triangles and cutting them out with scissors or you can just trim them down by using your paper cutter and angling the paper.
Repeat these steps for all the colors of paper you want beads for.
*PRO TIP* Use patterned scrapbook paper that is double sided so you don’t have to cut as many triangles out and you’ll have twice the amount of color options.
Once you have your triangles, grab your skewer or dowel and a glue stick. Place the triangle with the color/pattern that you want to show on the outside of the bead color/pattern side down. Center your skewer or dowel on top of the paper at the top of the triangle. Grab onto each end of the paper and pinch it to the dowel with your thumb and pointer finger and start rolling the paper around the dowel.
Use your glue stick to apply the glue a couple of inches down the paper and continue rolling. Repeat these steps of rolling and gluing until you reach the end of the paper. Slide it off the dowel and set it aside to dry.
It took a few tries for my kids to get the hang of it, but once they did, they were able to make them pretty quickly.
It shouldn’t take too long to dry and then it can be slid onto your twine or plastic lacing. I’d recommend using something that isn’t going to fray or unravel at the end unless you want to use a needle to thread it through the bead.
My kids loved making their own beads and then stringing them together into necklaces and bracelets. I’m going to keep the extra paper in their craft bin for them to use another day. I love this project because it doesn’t really require anything special and the mess is minimal.
Did you make paper beads when you were a kid too?