Google+ House Revivals: Make Pretty Tube Beads With Vintage Paper!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Make Pretty Tube Beads With Vintage Paper!

Paper bead making is addictive! It's also an easy, inexpensive, and portable craft. It's a great way to use up scraps of pretty paper, and to divert magazines and books from the landfill, too!  Paper beads don't all have to look like the ones we made in Girls Scouts -- although I think those are pretty cool.

You can make pretty tube beads, too!  Here is how I make perfect tube beads using vintage book pages and re-purposed receipt tape.

Receipt tape can be found for pennies at almost every thrift store, almost all the time. It comes in several different widths.  I love to use it for bead making, because A: it saves time; B: it stretches my pretty paper; and C: it is cut perfectly, so I can roll a fairly perfect bead base.

If you are making a set of tube beads, begin by measuring out the length of paper you will need to get the thickness of bead you desire. You will want to use the same length of paper for each bead in your set.

Roll your bead around a toothpick or skewer, or make your own time-saving bead roller using my tutorial, found here.

Roll your receipt paper into a tube, and secure the end with a small dab of glue. Next, cut a strip of your decorative paper to the width of your receipt tape and long enough to wrap a couple of times around the tube.

Wrap the decorative paper strips (I used vintage book pages) around the tubes, secure with glue, and slide your bead off the bead roller.

Make lots of beads!

I wanted my beads to have a gilded look, so I started by adding a bit of gesso to the ends. I added a couple of coats to build up the ends.

Then I added a quick dab of red paint to the ends of each bead. Whenever you plan to use gold paint, you will have a richer and deeper result if you paint a red base coat.

The next step was to paint the ends gold.  Seal your finished beads with Mod Podge.

You can string you beads on a length of soft hemp twine, knotted between each bead, for a casual, but elegant necklace.

Don't have any vintage books laying around? No problem! You can also use markers to decorate the plain receipt paper.

Give it a try! Even if you don't consider yourself crafty, you might enjoy making your own paper beads! Have you made paper beads before? Did you make them from long narrow triangles of paper when you were a child?  I have a necklace I treasure that was made for me as a Mother's Day gift years ago!

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