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Make your own paper beads for homemade jewelry with Museum at Home at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

How to Make Jewelry Out of Paper Beads

Looking to make mom the perfect Mother's Day gift?

Of course you are! Her Mother's Day crafts aren't going to make themselves this year! Science Educator Becky Wolfe shares a project that requires just a little bit of craftiness and love, no money. Find scraps of paper from around the house and make mom something beautiful she'll cherish for life.

Materials: 

  • Paper—construction paper, newspaper, magazine pages, or pages from books
  • Straw or pen/pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Toothpick (optional)
  • String (optional)

Materials for DIY paper bead jewelry with Museum at Home for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Procedure:

  1. Cut the paper into a triangular strip. The strip should have a wide base on one end and come to a point at the other end.
  2. Wrap the paper strip tightly around the straw, starting at the wide end and wrapping towards the point. You should now have a paper cylinder on top of the straw.
  3. Use your finger or a toothpick to dab glue over the tip of the paper strip.
  4. Allow the glue to dry.
  5. Remove the paper cylinder from the straw. You now have a paper bead!
  6. Thread your paper beads onto a piece of string to create jewelry.

Change it up: 

  • Use markers, colored pencils, crayons, or paint to create your own design on a piece of paper before you roll it up.
  • Wrap the paper strip around a different object. For example, to create a smaller hole inside the bead, wrap the paper around a toothpick instead of a straw.
  • Change the shape of the paper strip.
  • Change the width of the paper strip.
  • Change the length of the paper strip.

Challenges:

  • What other types of materials can you use?
  • What other shapes can you make?
  • What is the largest bead you can make? Measure the diameter and length.
  • What is the smallest bead you can make? Measure the diameter and length.
  • What is the longest string of beads you can make? Measure the length. Count the beads.
  • What can you make with your beads? Suggestions include jewelry, picture frames, and ornaments.
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