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Making Beaded Jewelry Using your Printer

There are many ways to make beautiful jewelry, but perhaps one of the most fun and unique methods is making paper beads. This is really a very simple task that can be fun for people of all ages, and even more enjoyable when done with friends.

Paper beads are a unique craft. They're not only fun to make, but when you use recycled paper, you're helping the environment too. What's more is that these have an interesting history too. In Victorian England, it's been said that women used to get together to make these fashionable little creations from wallpaper. By rolling scraps around knitting-style needles, they came up with amazing, unique beads that were the admiration of many.

In order to begin a paper bead project you will, of course, need decorative papers. This type of paper can be purchased at a variety of stores thanks to the tremendous popularity of scrapbooking in recent years. Craft supply stores offer the best variety, both in pads that contain pre-coordinated patterns, or in by-the-sheet variety. If you're going for eco-friendly, be sure to look for 100% recycled paper.

However, for those seeking true artistic license, it may be more fun to make your own paper. To do this, you can use one of the thousands of printable patterned papers available to you via the internet, or you can truly make you own. Do this by drawing your own designs and scanning them into the computer, using painting software, or taking digital photos of patterns and printing those.

Before printing, you may want to consider a paper with a slightly heavier weight than the average copy paper. Although this would work, it would require more rolling in later steps, or would produce much smaller, less sturdy beads. Load the printer with the selected paper and ink cartridges, then print. You might consider, at this point, adding some glitter or layering paper to create some texture for your beads.

Next, you will need to cut the paper in strips. For cylindrical beads, cut straight strips. For orbital or spherical beads, cut the strips at an angle. Once the strips are cut, begin rolling them, being sure to leave an opening large enough for the string to pass through. Make sure to begin rolling on the fat end of the angled strips. When nearing the end of the strip, apply a small amount of glue and continue rolling. Set this bead aside and repeat the process until all beads are completed.

Now, using a sealant such as Hodge Podge (available at a variety of stores and online retailers; in most cases, you'll spend less than ten dollars total on this helpful purchase), brush the beads to protect and add shine. You may consider multiple coats for added strength.

Once dry, the beads can be strung and worn to enhance the outfit of your choice while demonstrating your extraordinary flare for all things artistic. Don't forget that this may be a fun project with your older children as well. Younger children, though, may not have the manual dexterity necessary.