Make your Own Paper Beads

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Create one-of-a-kind beads using holiday gift wrap scraps and your family's old magazines and catalogs! You can make many different items for great holiday gifts!

Before starting this activity, be sure to get permission and ask for help.

What You Need

  • Gift wrap scraps
  • Old magazines or catalogs
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • String, cord, etc. (to make necklaces, bracelets, etc.)

What You Do

  1. Look for gift wrap scraps left over from holiday gift wrapping, or tear pages from your magazines or catalogs. The most colorful paper will make the brightest beads.
  2. Cut your paper into long triangles. The beads will be as long as the base of the triangle, so make narrower triangles for smaller beads and wider triangles for large beads. (See Figure 1 at the bottom of this page)
  3. To make a bead, center a pencil along the base of one of your triangles. Roll the paper around the pencil toward the triangle's tip. Stop rolling when you have about one inch left.
  4. Place a thin layer of glue on the last inch of the triangle and roll it to the end. The glue will hold your bead together. Spread any excess glue along the length of your bead. This will help make your bead stronger.
  5. After the glue has dried (about a minute), slide the bead off your pencil.


You can use string, cord or any other type of material to create necklaces and bracelets. You can also use your beads for other types of crafts such as picture frames and zipper pulls!

County Links for Educational Resources

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