Making paper beads is a fun craft that can be enjoyed by both adults and children, this is a great family activity. These directions are for the basic paper bead but can be altered to make different shapes and sizes, once you make a few of these simpler beads feel free to experiment with your creativity.
You will need the following materials:
Various papers (thinner papers are usually better, wrapping paper is great)
Clear nail polish or glue that dries clear and a paint brush
First you will need to take the pieces of paper and cut them into long triangles, I would start by using pieces that are about an inch wide at the base and about four inches long. As stated before, wrapping paper is great for this but feel free to experiment with other papers including scrapbook paper that comes in many designs, I would stay away from construction paper since it is so thick it may not bend too well. You can even use regular printer paper and have the children use markers to create their own designs.
Once you have several pieces of paper cut into triangles take a toothpick and put it on the wide part of the triangle, if your paper has a design on one side, keep that side facing down. Now roll the paper around the toothpick until you get close to the point of the triangle, use your glue stick to secure the point onto the cylinder you have created and hold for a few seconds until it holds. The paper should be wrapped around the toothpick fairly tightly but not to the point that it will be hard to remove.
Place the toothpick into the styrofoam block so the glue can finish drying and you can continue making beads. After you have made a bunch, use the clear nail polish or clear glue to cover each bead to form a protective layer and then let them dry.
After all of the beads are totally dry remove the toothpicks and lace them on a piece of string or yarn or other jewelry making material. These beads can be a fun activity for kids, they can design the paper themselves and make a youthful necklace or you can use a more classy design and create an elegant piece of jewelry.
Once you have mastered this technique with the basic triangular piece of paper feel free to play with different shapes and sizes, you can use a skinnier or wider triangle to decrease or increase the width of your bead or use different shapes to totally change the final design of your bead.