How to Make Paper Beads

Sure, you could recycle those old magazines, but some of the colors are too pretty to waste. Why not turn the pages into paper beads? Here’s how–

1. Start by carefully choosing your paper. Remember, you’ll be wrapping strips of paper, winding them on top of each other, to get a bead, so not all the original image will show. It’s a bit tricky. I suggest you start with a solid color, or nearly solid, like the paper on the right. Also notice that I chose a two-page spread from a magazine. That’ll give me a lot of paper to work with.

2. Use a sticky note to mark a cutting guide on your Fiskars Personal Paper Trimmer. See, you COULD use a pen and mark triangles on your paper, but why? Instead, look at the lines on your trimmer. Lay down a sticky note exactly along the half inch mark. You’ll see why in a minute.

 
 
3. Line up the BOTTOM of your “bead paper” with the sticky note. Now…instead of having the paper go straight up and down so that you make a narrow rectangle an inch wide, tilt the top of the paper. See below…
 
 
 

Note that the bottom of the paper is at the sticky mark, which means your cut will be a half an inch wide at the BOTTOM. But the TOP of the paper is right at the cutting line. The bead paper is slightly tilted, see? It’s wider at the bottom and narrowed to a point at the top! In other words, when you cut it, you’ll have a long, skinny triangle! But here’s a big tip: Start the cutting blade at the wide end of the triangle, not the skinny tip. Otherwise the paper will bunch up.

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4. Here’s the finished paper. We need lots of these to make our beads.

5. Note: Now your original piece of bead paper has a narrow triangle cut from one side, so flip the whole shooting match over, wrong side up, and repeat the process.