Works For Me Wednesday – Making Paper Beads

Necklace Made of Paper Beads Strung with Glass Beads

When painted in opaque water colors and varnished, these paper beads are remarkably effective. They resemble Venetian beads, which are made of glass or porcelain, or the painted clay beads of the Egyptians. Inexpensive glass beads, strung alternately with paper beads, will give sparkling notes of color and add a variety to a repetition which might otherwise be monotonous.

The construction of the clylindric beads illustrated on this page is very simple. Fig. 1 shows the pattern and the rolling process, which must be accurately done, so the the edges make smooth ends of the bead, when rolled and pasted. A strip of manila paper, one half inch wide and nine inches long is rolled on a round wooden toothpick, its surface first being covered with paste. Each succesive layer of paper thus sticks tightly to the under layer. When tightly rolled, and before the paste is dry, the layers may be pressed in a cylindrical shape, with flat ends. The removal of the toothpick leaves a hole for stringing.


Fig. 2 gives. a number of designs and color schemes for painting.

Fig. 3 shows a necklace made by stringing a number of these beads, alternating with glass beads in two sizes. The paper beads were painted in black on a cream manila background, with orange dots, and the glass beads were orange in color. The paper beads were heavily varnished, after they were painted, and before they were strung.

Another Necklace Made of Paper Beads

Fig. 4 (above) shows a necklace made of paper beads of a different shape. The lay-out for patterns is given in Fig. 1 on this page. This careful measuring of spaces and ruling of lines will utilize all of a nine by twelve sheet of cream manila paper except a half-pattern at each end.

When cut apart, the pattern for each bead is an isosceles triangle, whose base is one and one-quarter inches. Fig. 2 shows the triangular strip covered with paste, with the round wooden toothpick laid in position for rolling the bead. Beginning at the base, the successive layers become narrower and narrower, ending in a point which marks the middle of the outside of the bead. The outer surface is not smooth, as in the cylindric bead, but the ridges do not interfere with decorative painting.

Fig. 3 gives a number of suggestions for designs and color schemes.

Fig. 4 shows a necklace made of paper beads, painted in dark blue and pale orange, on a cream manila background. They are strung with small, dark blue glass beads.


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  1. jewelry blog July 31, 2013