Paper Beads

Magazine Beads

Becky Vincent
Guelph area Guider-at-Large

Have you tried making paper beads? They're really easy and you can make tons of them in a short time!



  1. Cut the magazine pictures into long, thin triangles. The width of the shortest side of the triangle will become the width of the finished bead.
  2. Wind the triangles around a toothpick, small straw or twig. You may need a touch of white glue or modge podge to hold the point of the triangle on the newly formed bead.
  3. Brush the entire exposed surface with modge podge. Let dry.

You now have a nice, colorful, glossy bead which can be strung just about anywhere!

Magazine Beads

Laura Ree
Brownie and Junior Leader
Bluebonnet Girl Scout Council
College Station, Texas, USA

One of the ideas I came up with as an alternative for the dough beads (because they break too easy) is magazine beads. You have the girls tear (or cut) thin strips of magazine pages (the glossy kind) - no larger than 1 inch) then wrap it around a pencil, or stick or chopstick (or anything you can think of) and glue, slide it off the stick and string. This makes for colorful unique beads.

Another idea that just popped into my head is painting various macaroni shapes.

Magazine Beads

Kerry Dixon
Brownie Guider
York, UK

We made beads on Pack Holiday a couple of years ago - the girls loved it. Try cutting out triangles from old magazines (long thin ones). Roll them up from the wide end down to the tip and glue for a great layered look! Or look for tubes of pasta, mix in a bowl with a few drops of food coloring and then leave to dry out in a very low oven for ten minutes or so. There are lots of different shapes available if you look and if you use lots of colors, the girls can really get creative! Have fun!

Using A Beadmaker

Monica A. Schmidt
Brownies Troop 431
Tanasi Girl Scout Council
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

We also made beads from strips of paper (long, triangular shapes) which were rolled up and glued to form the beads using a "beadmaker" that my daughter owned. This was much neater than the dough, but the girls enjoyed both. The beadmaker is not required--just cut out long triangles of paper (~3-5" long by 1" wide), then roll them around thick wires (1/16" diam. or less) starting with the wide end, and glue the final tip to finish and carefully slide it off the wire. I had some templates for tracing out the triangles on the paper, which helped quite a bit.

More Paper Beads

Sally Garnaat
Arizona, USA

Our Brownies made beads using strips of paper rather than making the dough beads. We took strips of paper about 1/4" to 1/2" wide and 8 1/2" long. The girls wrapped the strips around a pencil (to keep a space inside the bead). They slipped the beads off the pencil and used a dot of glue to hold the paper together. When the glue was dry, they threaded the beads onto yarn for a necklace. They had lots of fun and did it a lot quicker than we thought. Even the girls who have trouble with crafts were able to do this easily.

More Paper Beads!

Miriam A. Baker
Brownie Leader
Patriot's Trail Girl Scout Council
Massachusetts, USA

Yesterday, my third grade Brownies made paper beads. They LOVED it! We postponed the other activity we had planned for the meeting and let them spend over an hour working on the beads. It was inexpensive and easy to plan.

I had instructions that you should start with strips of paper about 8 inches long and wider at one end than the other, like a long narrow triangle with the point cut off. I took a piece of graph paper and drew four such triangles ranging in width from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches at the top and going down to 1/2 inch to a point at the bottom. I was able to fit two each of the four styles on the sheet. I then took this to the local copy center and had them Xerox this onto brightly colored paper. For 10 girls, I made five copies on each of five colors, or 25 pages in all. (It cost 9 cents per page, but this was cheaper than having to buy a whole ream.) I also needed scissors, round toothpicks, elmer's glue, paint brushes, needles, thread.

I have included the rest of the instructions below. You should also think carefully about how you are going to string the beads. We used button hole thread and long needles. This worked fine until the girls started running around after the meeting. The thread was slippery and easily came untied!


  1. Cut out triangle (some with flat points) by cutting along black lines.
  2. Lay flat on table so that you can see the lines and number on the paper. (Don't worry, you will not see these when you are done.)
  3. Notice that one end of the strip is narrower than the other. (This is the point of the triangle or the narrower of the two ends.)
  4. Starting at the narrow end, put glue on the first inch of the strip.
  5. Now find the wider end of the strip of paper. Starting from there, roll the strip around a toothpick. Roll as straight and as tight as you can. You will notice that the edge of the paper will go in on either side as you roll.
  6. Secure the end of the strip with the glue.
  7. Carefully slide the bead off the toothpick and put the bead in your baggie.

More Paper Beads! (Again!)

Quebec City, Canada



Cut out long thin triangles from coloured paper (or color your own) and from the widest end, roll up the paper using a dowel, pencil or staw, and secure the small end with glue. Remove the dowel and when the bead is dry, use the beads to make anecklace, bracelet, etc. Paper beads can be varnished to protect them.

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