Sunday, July 8, 2012

Paper beads for the kids to make!

 Paper Beads for the Kids to Make

Paper beads (Length  3/4") Completed by a 4 and 6 year old. 
On a recent shopping trip I found a display of colorful necklaces handmade by Uganda women.  They were so beautiful I bought my fair share and gave out some to my granddaughters, keeping a necklace for myself.  

I have never seen a craft I did not want to try so keeping to my nature I had to go home and start cutting strips to try to make the beads myself.   Of course, my grandchildren, keeping to their nature, wanted to do it, too.

To my surprise I found they were occupied for a long period of time , working intently on getting the beads made.  The carried through making more beads the following day.  We made a visit to our local Walmart and purchased stretchy cord for stringing the beads into bracelets which pleased the children again.  

Child's handmade paper bead bracelet. 
All in all this project is a winner in my eyes.  No expensive components to purchase, in fact, we recycled our paper.  The beads are very simple to assembly and even the little ones could do it. 

 Here is how I did it:
  • Cut long narrow strips as wide as you want the bead to be, tapering to the end. (We made them about 3/4" at the widest and a quarter inch at the narrowest.)  
  • Any kind of paper will work.  Get colored paper from magazines or whatever.  Printer paper weight or newspaper weight works best.  We used blue construction paper and it is was on the heavy side making the end pop up where we glued it. 
  • Wet the strip so it rolls easily, no need to soak, just get it a little wet to make it conform easily and start wrapping around a round toothpick starting with the widest end and tapering to the narrow end. 
  •  Use a little school glue on the inside of the strip as the end gets closer so it will stay in place.  We brushed it on with a paint brush then coated the entire bead but not the toothpick. 
  •  Let dry overnight. 
  • Use clear fingernail polish, or a clear varnish to coat the bead for a glossy appearance. 
  • Create a pattern of beads as long as is needed.
  • String into a bracelet with a elastic cord.  (.5 or .7) (We found a products called Stretch Magic  another called Beadalon Elasticity.  I'm sure there are other brands.)
  • Knot the cord and add a dot of Super Glue to keep the knot secure. 
The beads and bracelets shown in this blog were completed by a 4 and 6 year old.   They loved them!  

Think Christmas Blog Hop Update

I am scheduled for July 30th Think Christmas blog hop and have been working frantically getting my blocks done.  As always, I started with an idea, which evolved to another idea, which evolved to another idea so I am anxious to see myself where this idea ends!

In the meantime, I am having fun working on my paper piecing crafts!
So don't go stagnant this summer, keep working your crafting skills!  You'll be glad you did!

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