Make a Paper Bead Bracelet for Summer

Make a Paper Bead Bracelet for Summer main article image
Posted on May 1, 2021 by Wendy Boulay

When the warmer days start rolling in, it seems like we all start to slowly come to the end of our winter hibernation. Spending more time outdoors; whether it’s shopping at markets, going for walks, or just enjoying the backyard, seems to free the social butterflies within all of us! This easy paper bead bracelet project is the perfect accessory for summer days! 🌞 🌻

Supplies Needed

  • Copy paper 
  • Triple Thick Gloss Glaze & small paintbrush
  • Digital paper: Marble Wave
  • Clear drying glue
  • Spacer beads
  • Seed beads
  • Paper bead roller (or quilling tool)
  • Optional: bead cores (to fit the diameter of your roller)
  • Beading elastic, wire, or string (or other)
  • Toothpicks and foam block
  • Scissors or trimmer

Making the Paper Beads

Printing Your Digital Paper

To start this project off, I recommend preparing your supplies a little bit ahead of time. Doing this in advance will ensure that your setup is organized and allow for an appropriate amount of time for the ink on your digital papers to dry.

You will need to download and print off the Marble Wave digital paper bundle from Creative Fabrica. I am madly in love with this digital paper bundle! You will receive twenty different marbled papers that are so vibrant they look like they were bought in a craft shop – not to mention, it’s free!

To print the digital paper, simply extract the zipped file after you have downloaded it. Open up the folder and choose the colored marble effect that you like best. I suggest using at least two different papers that compliment each other so that you have a nice color flow on your bracelet. If you would like to use the same color scheme that I made, choose gradient 12 10-12 and 12 10-19.

Next, open up the paper files, adjust your printer settings (paper size, best quality, and paper type), and then print it out! Once they are printed, let them dry for about an hour to make sure that the ink will not lift off when you glue the beads.

Cutting the Paper Strips

When your printed digital papers are dry, you can cut your strips to make the paper beads.

For each bead, you will need one ½” straight strip and one ½” angled strip, using an 8.5 x 11 standard piece of copy paper. While the ½” straight strip is easy enough to do, the angled strip is a little bit trickier. To achieve the angle, keep one end of the paper at the ½” mark on your trimmer, and the other end will be angled so that it will cut a very small portion of the strip.

For this bracelet, you are making six beads so you will end up with twelve strips in all – two for each bead. 

Rolling the Beads

Now that you have all of the strips for the beads, take one of the straight ½” strips and begin rolling it on your tool.

If you don’t have a rolling tool, you can use a knitting needle, bamboo skewer, or a toothpick. If you do choose to try a toothpick, it is a little more difficult with it being so tiny. It’s also important to note that it will make a very tiny bead hole, so you most likely will not need a bead core at all.

Roll the entire strip of paper, keeping the edges as even as possible. When you reach the end, grab a dab of glue and stick the end down. Don’t worry if you have excess glue, I usually just spread it all around the bead with my fingers, which helps in attaching the angled strip anyways.

Immediately take the wide end of the angeled strip and stick it to the bead to continue rolling in the same fashion – again, keeping the angled edges always centered. Glue the end down once more and let it dry for a minute or two before removing the bead off of the tool. You just made a paper bead!

Repeat this same process for the five remaining beads and allow them to dry for 30 minutes.

Glazing and Bead Cores

Grab a foam block and stick six toothpicks into it. This will be your drying rack for the glazed beads. You can also create a drying rack as I did by rolling out a small slab of airdry clay and poking holes into it for the toothpicks!

Pour some Triple Thick Gloss Glaze onto a small palette or scrap piece of plastic, and with your small paintbrush, glaze over each bead. Make sure you apply a generous, but even coat – avoiding getting any glaze into the bead hole. Once the bead is completely covered in the glaze, place it on one of the toothpicks and allow it to completely dry. For me, I waited around 6 hours to make sure. Repeat for all six beads.

When they’re dry, squeeze a small amount of your glue onto the edges of the holes. Don’t use so much glue that it spreads over the sides of the bead, you definitely don’t want to take any of the gorgeous shine away! ✨ I recommend using a toothpick to apply it more accurately. Insert your bead core and again, allow to thoroughly dry. Repeat this same process for all of the beads.

String ‘Em Up!

Now you get to construct the bracelet! Go ahead and get creative here! With some elastic stretch cord, jewelry wire, or even yarn, add your spacer and seed beads to create a pretty pattern for your bracelet. If you are using any findings, simply follow the instructions for your particular type. If you prefer to tie a knot, you can find a lot of different instructions on Google, but my personal favorite is this surgeon’s knot video posted on YouTube by Beads Direct. It’s a perfect tie-up for paper bead bracelets!

That’s it! You now have a unique and beautiful paper bead bracelet that is absolutely perfect for summer get-togethers!

I hope you enjoy the many compliments that you are about to be paid 😉

Keep on Crafting!💖

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