How to Make Paper Beads

paper bead necklaceHow to Make Paper Beads. Today we will make beads out of paper.  Once you finish making the paper beads, you can string them together to create unique necklaces, bracelets, earrings, & pendants!

Paper beads are fun to create and make amazing gifts for family and friends! I have even made paper beads with kids in my classroom. Many of my 4 and 5 year old students were able to roll them up and make them with a little help from the teacher!  Younger students can help choose pictures and cut strips.  They may need some help rolling the beads up.  Either way, it’s a great fine motor skill to practice!

Making Paper beads can be environmentally friendly too,  when you use recycled paper or magazines that might otherwise be thrown away to create your own jewelry.

Paper Beads Made from Magazines

Paper Beads Made from Magazines

Paper Beads Made from Up-Cycled Magazines


Pick Out The Paper for Your Beads

Choose bright and colorful paper if you want your beads to be bold and bright. You can also use bright and colorful images from magazines to make vivid and eye-catching beads, or make some really neat black and white beads by using the text and written parts of the magazine.  I prefer to use magazines to make the paper beads because the paper from the magazine pages is thin and is easy to form the beads with. Another reason to use magazines, particularly fashion magazines, is because you can get some really great trendy colors that will make for some nice looking jewelry.

Paper Bead Bracelet

I made these paper beads into a bracelet. I painted the beads with glitter nail polish to give them a little shimmer!

Choose Your Glue

In addition to the paper or magazines, you will need some varnish (clear nail polish works well too) and some tools to measure and cut the paper if you want your beads to all be the same size. You can also substitute the varnish for some plain old Elmer’s School glue (in a bottle, not the stick)  if you have that on hand.   Your beads will have more of a matte finish if you do it this way but they still look awesome! One more variation that you can try is to paint some glitter nail polish onto the beads to add a little extra sparkle.  I tried this and it turned out pretty nice I think (see picture on the left)

Form The Beads

To make the beads shown in the picture, cut long thin acute triangles out of your paper or from magazines pages.  The width of the strip of paper should be about 1 inch wide or less and the length  should be about 3 to 5 inches. The longer you make the triangles, the fatter the beads will be.  The wider you make the triangles, the wider your beads will be.

If you want all of the paper beads to be the same size, you need to cut paper triangles that are all the same size. When I made my beads, I didn’t worry so much about making my beads all the same, so I did not measure the paper before cutting.  My beads turned out just fine this way, some were just a little bit longer or fatter.

paper triangles

Long thin paper triangles cut from colorful magazine images.

After you cut out the triangles, arrange them by color.  Take one of the paper triangles and paint on a thin layer of varnish or watered down school glue onto it.  Roll it up tightly around a nail or round metal skewer to create a hole in the middle, starting with the wide bottom end, and rolling it to the top point of the triangle.  Smooth the bead over with your fingers and move it back and forth a little so that it doesn’t stick to the nail or skewer.   After about 20 seconds the paper will stick together on it’s own and you can take the completed paper bead off the skewer or pencil and place it aside.  Repeat with another triangle and continue to make more paper beads until you have what you need.

Other Paper Bead Designs

This image shows how to create beads in a variety of shapes.

how to make paper beads image

thin elastic string

The elastic string I use to string the paper beads into necklaces and bracelets.  You can use it for stringing all kinds of tiny beads into jewelry and you get 229 ft of it per roll. It’s on sale too at the moment – you get one roll for $2.29, that’s a steal compared it’s normal price of over $10.00!

Stringing Your Beads

When you have made enough beads to create your jewelry, you can string them together on a piece of thin elastic.  I use this technique when creating bracelets. I like to string my paper beads together with thin white stretchy elastic beading cord (click on the link or picture to purchase some for yourself). This stuff is perfect for stringing together all types of small beads

You can alternate the paper beads with some glass or wooden beads, or make your piece entirely out of paper beads.    Finally, tie up the ends of your beautiful new bracelet or necklace.  If you are making earrings,  you might only use one or two magazine beads on each piece and you could add a pretty crystal or other bead to complement the paper bead.

Making Paper Beads with Kids

When creating beads with children, some kids will be able to cut out the triangles and create the beads all on their own.  Some will need an adult to cut the triangles for them, but will be able to do the rolling and gluing part.  Some will need even more support, it just depends on the kid.

What a great way to give your little ones practice with their fine motor skills and the finished product makes a beautiful gift for friends and family!  I love how colorful they turn out and each bead is so beautiful and unique!


paper bead keychain

Paper bead keychain


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20 Bird Activities for Kids

Stock up on bird seed and grab a pair of binoculars!  Whether you live in the country or in the city, you can have fun learning about  wildlife in your own backyard. Here are some bird activities for kids to you started.

  1. Make Your Own Bird Feeder. Kids can make their own bird feeder using a pine cone that has been covered in peanut butter (or any other kind of nut butter) and rolled in bird seed. Hang it from a branch with some yarn and watch the birds fly in to feast! Here is a list of many different ways to make your own bird feeders! (
  2. Make Your Own Suet Cakes During the winter months, birds benefit from a little extra fat in their diet to help them stay warm.  Suet provides this extra needed fat. You can make your own suet cakes and use up the lard fat that is always left over after cooking beef.   Simply warm up the beef lard until it turns into liquid and mix it with some bird seed.  Then pour it into a pan and when it cools you will have suet “cakes”.  Here is one set of instructions for making homemade suet cakes (She doesn’t use beef fat, but she gives you the recipe and the exact amounts of each ingredient.  Just use your beef lard instead of substituting for the pre-packaged stuff.) I love that now you can actually do something with all that leftover fat!
  3. bird watching bookMake observations in your front yard. Take notes and listen to different bird calls. Certain birds like certain foods. Try adding something new to your bird food mix and see if you can attract a new bird species. What kind of birds do small seeds attract? What kind of birds and do peanuts attract? Here is a free printable bird watching book that your kids can use to keep track of the different birds that they observe.
  4. Create a bird collage. For an art project, kids can draw or photograph the different birds they see, then they can make a collage using the different pictures.
  5. Make a feathery bird mask. Check out this link for instructions and templates to make your own bird masks:
  6. Get Crafty Making Some Cute Baby Birds In A Nest.  Kids can make this cute baby birds in a nest craft out of paper, yarn, feathers, googly eyes, and a little glue! Here a link to this craft on baby birds in a nest craft
  7. Design a Paper Airplane Bird. Fold a paper airplane and color it to look like a bird of your choice, for example and eagle, parrot, or raven. Experiment by cutting your paper airplane birds into different shapes. Give some birds shorter wings, give some longer beaks. Then test out your bird’s flying abilities and see which bird flies the farthest, spins, ect.
  8. Build a Birdhouse. There are many templates online and instructions on how to make your very own birdhouse to put in your backyard.  Here are some instructions on building a bird house from scratch.  For an easier option, you can purchase a birdhouse kit online and put the pieces together as a family project.   Click here for a birdhouse kit you can buy on Amazon.Com 
  9. Go on a Bird Watching Walk. Take a walk around with your kids around your home neighborhood or their school, and have them make observations. Carry a clipboard and some paper so you can take notes and draw pictures of any birds that you see.
  10. Visit your local Parks. Kids can observe many animals, including local bird species at state and national parks. Let them use a bird book to identify the different bird species – here is one you can buy on National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
    See if they can recognize the different birds by the sound they make. They can take notes of how the birds behave in their natural habitat.
  11. flower pot bird bathsMake a Bird Bath. Use plant pots to make a bird bath. Click here for instructions on how to make a bird bath with flower pots.  Then watch as the birds gather to clean themselves and take a drink.
  12. Plant a Tree as a Family Activity so the birds will have a place to hang out!
  13. Get Kids Involved in documenting the birds they see in the area.  Kids can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count by following this link!
  14.  Make a Birds Nest Craft using items collected on a nature walk such as twigs, leaves, string, buds, and flowers. Check out this This Nature Walk Bird Nest Craft on
  15. Build a Nesting Box for Birds.  You can attract birds to your home or child’s school and encourage them to nest by building a nesting box.  Here are five tips for nesting box success brought to you by the National Wildlife Federation.
  16. Learn to Identify And Make Bird Calls.  On, kids can listen to recorded bird calls of common and uncommon backyard birds.  Follow this link to listen to the sounds of a variety of different bird calls.  With a little practice, kids will be able to identify birds with their eyes closed and maybe even attract a few bird with some calls of their own!
  17. bunt cake bird feeder imageMake a Bunt Cake Pan Bird Feeder.  Recycle an old bunt cake pan by turning it into a bird feeder that all feathered friends will love! Here are the instructions for making a recycled bunt cake pan bird feeder.
  18. Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat for Birds and other Wildlife. Help kids create a habitat for birds and other wildlife and have it certified by the National Wildlife Federation.  It’s easy to do!  Simply create an area that provides food, water, shelter, and is pesticide free, then register it with the National Wildlife Federation.  The instructions can be found on the National Wildlife Federation’s website:
  19. Bird-Themed Sensory PlayBird-Themed Sensory Bin Play.  Fill a sensory table with bird seed and add some bird figurines.  Add feathers, a bird house, some plastic eggs, and a toy nest.  If you don’t have a sensory table, you can simply use a shallow plastic bin or tub.  Inspiration for this bird-themed sensory play activity provided by
  20. Complete The Bird Watching Activity Challenge.  Print out the following list of bird watching activities and cross each activity off the list after it is completed.  Here is the list: TLC’s Bird Watching Activities for Kids. Did you finish them all already? If so, congratulations, you are a bird watching master!

Have an activity you want to share? We would love to hear it! Leave a comment below!

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