How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper

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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