can be made from plastic beads, glass beads and other materials but one of the easiest types of costume jewelry you can create is made from paper. Wallpaper is especially great because it has a pattern already on it. All you have to do is form it into beads and string them to make fantastic, colorful jewelry.
All types of paper can be used. Kids can color on printer or typing paper then use it for the beads. Wallpaper types of all sorts will work: foil, borders, velvets and others. Other ideas are greeting cards, shelf paper, notebook paper, newspaper, magazine pictures, brown paper bags, gift bags, and colored envelopes.
Cut the paper into strips about an inch wide and four inches long. That is a good size to start with to make one certain size and shape of bead. To make other shapes of the beads use thin strips, very wide strips, short strips, long strips, triangular shapes instead of rectangular ones, or strips that are first wide then narrow, then wide, then narrow. For the triangular shapes start rolling the paper with the large end and stop at the point. This will make the bead’s pattern very unique. Various combinations of the above will make hundreds of different types of beads. Adding store-bought beads to those combinations allows for hundreds of more designs.
After cutting the size strips you need to make the beads you’ll begin to form them. Whether the wallpaper is pasted or not use white glue to secure the strip, to itself, while rolling it into a bead. Spread glue onto the wrong side of the wall paper then begin to roll it from one end to the other. Make sure you have enough glue to hold the edges down neatly but not so much that it oozes out from the sides. Lay a toothpick at the edge of one end of the strip before rolling to keep the center open for stringing. When using the toothpick method, lay the toothpick onto dry wallpaper edge, fold over once, then apply glue to the remainder of the strip, and continue rolling.
Cutting the paper wider or more narrow will make different shaped beads. For very small beads cut the paper a half-inch or quarter-inch wide. For really fat beads cut the paper eight inches long or longer. For small, narrow beads go with a half-inch wide and two inches long. Play around with the paper to make all shapes and sizes.
When stringing the paper beads to make a necklace or bracelet use a regular bead between each wallpaper bead for the best look. The elongated wallpaper beads won’t butt together like regular beads will so the string will show between the paper beads if you don’t alternate with real beads. If you make the wallpaper beads really small this may not be a problem.
Make a wallpaper jewelry set to give as a present by filling a box or cannister with various types of paper cut into various different strips. Add paints and brush, glue and twine, elastic thread, regular threads and jewelry wires. This makes a fabulous gift for someone who loves to be creative.