Inside Stitch

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D.I.Y. Wednesday: Paper Beads

If you’re patient and willing to invest a little bit of time in this D.I.Y., we promise, it will pay off. We’re sharing steps for crafting colorful jewelry beads using the Ugandan method of rolling paper scraps (we used a 2012 On Top of Things Desktop Calendar). Why search for the perfect accessory, when you can make it yourself?

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

Paper Beads

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

What you’ll need: A used page from a Desktop Calendar, thin drinking straws (the size of coffee stirrers), tape, a long ruler (preferably one that measures at least 24 inches), pencil or pen, scissors, glue and some sort of string or ribbon if you are making a bracelet or necklace

D.I.Y. Paper Beads1. Tear an expired page from your Desktop Calendar. On the back of the calendar, along one side, measure and mark every 1/2 inch. Every inch will create 3 beads.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads2. On the opposite side, make a mark 1/4 inch in from that mark, continue to mark out every 1/2 inch as you did on the other side.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads3. Use your ruler to draw a line from the 1/2-inch mark on the first side to the 1/4-inch mark on the opposite side.

Next, draw a line from the same 1/4-inch mark to the next 1/2inch mark on the other side. This should create a long, thin triangle. Continue to do this until you have connected all of your marks. Each long triangle will be one bead.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads4. Use your scissors to carefully cut along the lines, creating the triangles. Discard the first one as it is not an even isosceles triangle.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads5. Tape the base of one triangle to a straw.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads6. Begin rolling the paper tightly around the straw. When you have about 6 inches of paper left, add some glue to the white side of the triangle. Then, finish rolling. (If you’d like your beads to be more durable, coat with shellac or Mod Podge and let dry).

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

7. Use scissors to trim the straw on either side.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

8. Repeat for each bead, then string them onto a thin ribbon for a bracelet or necklace. (We used stretchy string and tied a large pink ribbon on the finished product)

D.I.Y. Paper Beads


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