Paper beads are gorgeous and make great gifts but they are time-consuming and difficult for little hands to make. Here is a way that little hands can make paper beads, and they still turn out quite pretty!
*I’ve included directions on how to adjust the craft for older kids who want to make more professional-looking beads
To make these easy paper beads you need:
-box of straws (or toothpicks for older children)
-clear nail polish
1. Begin by tearing out the pages from a magazine, stacking them, and cutting into long, triangular strips. For my younger kids I used strips that were about 1″ wide at top and tapered to a point. The strips don’t have to be perfect but if you want to measure them for exactness, go for it.
*older kids – older kids can cut the paper into strips that are 1/2″ thick at the widest point for a more professional-looking bead.
2. Pour some glue into a dish. Dip your finger in the glue and rub the glue on the wide end of a strip of paper. Press the glued side to the end of a straw and use your fingers to wrap the paper strip around the straw. Wrap the paper over itself. I used thick straws designed for smoothies, I bought these because I didn’t want to use bendy straws. When we do this again I will use thinner straws, even if they are the bendy type.
*Older kids can wrap their beads around toothpicks to make a bead that looks more “grown-up”. The rest of the directions are the same until the end. At the end just pop them off the toothpick, coat with clear nail polish and allow to dry.
4. When the straw is wrapped allow it to dry completely. When dry paint over the paper with a coat of clear nail polish to seal the bead. Allow to dry.
5. When the paper is dry use scissors to cut the straw into small sections, each section is a bead. You can string the beads onto a chain, using plastic spacer beads between the paper beads.
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.