How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper

paper mache beads

I love finding ways to turn everyday common items, which would otherwise go into the garbage, into beautiful items that everyone can enjoy!

So… when I came across a gal who was making beautiful beads from recycled newspaper, I had to share the idea with you!

When I saw Helen’s beautiful beads, I asked her if she would mind sharing how she made them. After hearing from her, I realized that the methods used for these beads, were the exact same methods that I have used for several different projects including; costumes, handcrafted paper, and sculpted home decor items. I think what I love about her beads though… is the natural earthy look that they have. Please click on the pictures & visit Helen at her Flickr space!

What better way to pamper yourself than to make something so beautiful that costs nearly NOTHING! It would also be a great way to make some beautiful gifts for less than pennies – while recycling those pesky piles of old newspapers :)

Perhaps you could also earn some extra money by making a nice little business out of your beautiful new creations! I’m sorry… there I go again… always the business mind ;)


paper beads


Step #1 – Gather a small pile of newspapers from the recycling basket.

Step #2 – Rip the paper into small pieces

beads

Step #3 – Put the pieces of newspaper in a large stock pot

Step #4 – Pour enough boiling water over the paper to cover

Step #5 – Allow to sit for an hour or so

Step #6 – Stir the paper to help break it down a bit

Step #7 – Drain as much water out of the paper as you can

Step #8 – Add enough glue to the paper to help it hold together in a ball shape (any glue that is clear when dry – such as Elmer’s, or PVA)

necklace

Step #9 – Roll the paper into round balls being sure to squeeze out as much moisture as you can while rolling (you can make any size you would like)

Step #10 – Let them dry for a few days – rolling them every several hours – until they are completely dry

Here’s a mix of paper & felt beads. I love the look of this mix!
felt beads - and paper bead necklace

Step #11 – Sand each bead down with a bit of sandpaper to remove rough edges

Step #12 – Drill a hole in each bead that is big enough for the material that you want to string them with

new bead necklace

Step #13 – Paint them with left over craft paint

Step #14 – Give them a coat of varnish

beautiful beads made from recycled newspaper

Think of all of the different variations that you could make with this technique! The colors & stringing material possibilities are endless! I think some pretty pink beads strung on black velvet ribbon will be my first pampering self indulgence ;)

And… don’t stop at just making beads!

How about…

– Little hearts for a Valentine’s Day banner, or to grace the front of your handcrafted cards

– Tiny beads to make earrings

– Little snowmen with a coat of cream paint – drenched in chunky glass glitter

– A nice chunky key chain made from beads & ribbon

– Snowballs strung on a ripped piece of homespun fabric – to make a snowball tree garland


Well, I think you will agree when I say that these little bits of recycled newspaper are some of the most beautiful bits I’ve ever seen!



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271 Responses to “How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper”

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  • [...] buy some small black beads, but feeling cheap, I googled “homemade beads” and found  How to Make Beautiful Beads from Recycled Newspaper on A Storybook Life. I made my beads far smaller than the ones shown on the site, but they still [...]

  • [...] Beautiful Beads from Recycled Newspaper from A Storybook Life [...]

  • [...] Paper+Boiling water+Glue = Awesome looking necklace at A Storybook Life. [...]

  • Alice (Allie) Hernandez on February 25, 2012

    I would like to know what type of varnish are we talking about (name brand, where to find)? How do you do the felt?

  • [...] : 7. @machoandtough – 8. @espritrecup via bluemarguerite – 9. @stephanielynn – 10. @astorybooklife – 11. [...]

  • Bead Making | Pearltrees on February 29, 2012

    [...] How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper – A Storybook Life – StumbleUpon So… when I came across a gal who was making beautiful beads from recycled newspaper, I had to share the idea with you! When I saw Helen’s beautiful beads, I asked her if she would mind sharing how she made them. After hearing from her, I realized that the methods used for these beads, were the exact same methods that I have used for several different projects including; costumes, handcrafted paper, and sculpted home decor items. I think what I love about her beads though… is the natural earthy look that they have. Please click on the pictures & visit Helen at her Flickr space! I love finding ways to turn everyday common items, which would otherwise go into the garbage, into beautiful items that everyone can enjoy! [...]

  • [...] A Story Book Life propose une technique (en anglais) pour fabriquer ces perles étonnantes à partir de papier de [...]

  • [...] Boiled newspaper beads- these pretty painted beads are made by boiling old newspaper and forming the mush into beads. Their earthy color and rough texture is like no other bead I’ve seen. I found these beads at A Storybook Life. [...]

  • BETSY on April 20, 2012

    I’m so inspired! I can’t wait to give this a go. Giant thanks for sharing…

  • Esin patience on April 26, 2012

    I love beads and i wil like to know how to make some

  • [...] hemos encontrado en A Storybook Life y iHanna’s Blog y parece que en este caso la técnica consiste en cortar el papel de [...]

  • [...] 1. The folks at A Storybook Life have  tutorial on making round beads from basically paper mache.  After painting and varnishing, the beads have a very earthy pebble look to them. See the tutorial: How to Make Paper Beads from Recycled Newpaper [...]

  • [...] Recycled Newspaper Beads from A Storybook Life.* [...]

  • [...] A Storybook Life, and is very easy to follow. We will summarize, but it is worth checking out her step by step instructions (that include [...]

  • Sara on June 13, 2012

    oh GOSH, what a treasure for my eyes … wonder wonder wonderful

  • Summer Crafts For Kids on June 26, 2012

    [...] Recycled Newspaper Beads: If you are the creative type and have plenty of time, you might want to try this with your kids. It’s a lot of work but the end result is so pretty and they’d make such great gifts! Moreover, major green points! [...]

  • Colette on July 27, 2012

    Your beads are absolutely beautiful! How do they hold up with constant or daily use?

  • Anne on July 31, 2012

    love the beads….. i made a bunch of them myself!

  • [...] of crafts you can do with newspaper. I couldn’t even begin to name them all, Paper Mache, newspaper beads, Paper hats, even lovely and functional [...]

  • Judie on August 20, 2012

    How do you paint the marbled coloring effect on the beads?

  • [...] Here’s one of several tutorials I relied on. You shred newspaper, boil it to a pulp, mix it with glue, roll it into balls, sand them, drill holes, paint, and coat with varnish! THE END. I only took pictures of the last few (September!) steps. [...]

  • [...] Make Beads! So easy! make paper mushy with water and glue, let dry, paint varnish and poke a hole in them and wha la! beads..these can be seriously pretty and make a great gift! For step by step how to click HERE [...]

  • Rush'd Lady on November 10, 2012

    I have an article on my blog on how to make homemade paper, but I don’t let the paper sit and soak. It gets shredded then whirled in a blender. I like these colorful beads! Does she use the funny papers or ads to get the multi-colors?

  • Mary on December 12, 2012

    I learned to make these when I was in the 5th grade and other items from newspaper in the 60’s. These are great looking

  • [...] Recycled Newspaper Beads [...]

  • [...] Recycled Newsprint Beads ~ this looks like so much fun! [...]

  • gloria on February 18, 2013

    Eu já havia visto esses trabalhos e nunca poderia imaginar q eram feitas de papel jornal, muito bonito ,vou tentar fazer tbm, jornal eu tenho bastante.

  • kathy morgan on April 6, 2013

    great info. will try this

  • Hazinra on April 15, 2013

    Hi there, what a brilliant idea :) , i like so much this idea..Tq 4 sharing.

  • Marillyn on April 24, 2013

    I really like these beads. I would like to teach some of the kids in my class how to make these. I am a missionary in Honduras and teaching kids crafts to sell locally and elsewhere.

    When you say to paint them with leftover craft paint… what is that? Can I use any kind of paint?

    Hope I heard back from you soon! Thanks!!

    • Pearl Sanborn on May 10, 2013

      Marillyn,

      When I say craft paint, I mean the small bottles of acrylic paints we typically use in crafting, but you could use pretty much any paint you have available.

  • [...] Making beads from recycled newspaper. http://www.astorybooklife.com/how-to/paper-beads Instead of cutting strips and rolling beads, create beads from recycled newspaper pulp. Try this [...]

  • Jess on July 31, 2013

    These are beautiful!

  • [...] How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper – A Storybook Life [...]

  • Melissa on November 1, 2013

    Hello, I check your blog on a regular basis.
    Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

  • […] Here is a fun and crafty project that I have bookmarked for summer fun. Making gorgeous beads from newspaper!   […]

  • […] How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper – I’ve already made these! Check – ha! Check my beads out here. […]

  • […] of options that are only limited by your imagination (and supplies). When I came across this post How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper at AStorybookLife.com I just had to give it a […]

  • Rhoda Edwards on February 20, 2014

    The beads are stunning, I love them! will be making some soon. Thank you Karen for sharing this cool idea.

  • […] How to make round paper beads How to make paper swirl pendantsHow to make rolled paper beads […]

  • Jenn - Simplymoms on June 22, 2014

    This is such a great idea! I would do it to make Christmas tree garlands. I am going to share this link at my forum as well.

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