We’ve all been at home for quite a while now, and there is a good chance you’re looking for something to fill the time with your girls that is productive and uses supplies you likely have at home. If that’s true- paper beads are the perfect activity for you! We recently made them during one of our Girl Scouts Connected all-ages sessions, and they not only allow you to make beautiful art with your girls, but will also allow you to reuse some paper products that may normally be thrown away!
1. Place your paper face down on your work surface so that the side facing you is not the side that will form the outside of the bead.
2. With a sharp pencil mark the reverse side of your paper in the design you’d like to follow to make the bead. (Straight strip, triangle, etc.)
3. Continue marking up the paper until you have the desired number of designs to cut out. To simplify this step, you could make a paper bead template to draw around.
4. Carefully cut out the shapes using scissors or for a more accurate cut use a straight edge and a craft knife or rotary cutter.
5. Take your skewer or dowel and starting at the wide end of your paper sample roll the paper around the skewer slightly so that it starts to form a cylinder. Once you are happy with the alignment roll this back and apply a little glue across the width of the paper.
6. Now carefully roll the paper past the glue and continue as straight as you need for your design.
7. Add glue as you roll, making sure the roll is tight.
8. At the very end, make sure the last inch or two has glue and is firmly down as you finish.
9. Transfer the bead from the skewer or dowel to a toothpick and stick on to a foam block.
10. When you have a good number of beads prepared you should then brush each bead with a few coats of varnish to make them water resistant. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but ensure that when touch dry you rotate them on the cocktail stick so they don’t stick when fully dry. Several thin coats over time give a much more polished result than one thick coat. Be patient for the best results!