It is no secret I have a deep affection for paper jewelry.  It is evident by my posts and my sponsors…


Here is a twist on paper beads.  They are paper mache beads…


They kind of look like hunks of turqouise don’t they?  Fun, Fun and cheap, cheap!



Boiling Water

Small Saucepan

Acrylic Paint

Mod Podge

Fine grit Sandpaper

Drill with small

Sealant or Polyuerethane


Upside down pop can for drying the beads

1.  Rip up newspapers into small pieces.  I used one cup of paper (smashed down to fit as many as possible).

IMG_1306 2.  Bring water to a boil and then add newspaper.

IMG_1307 3.  I stirred it using a wire whisk to speed up the process of breaking down the paper fibers.  Then I turned off the stovetop and let it sit for a half hour stirring every once in a while until it was mush.IMG_1308 4.  After the fibers are broken down and it turns to mush rinse it with cool water.  Take a handful of the mush and squeeze out the excess water and put it in a plastic bowl.IMG_1312 5.  Add some Mod Podge to it and mix it a little.IMG_1313 6.  Next take a hunk of it and smoosh it into a ball.  It doesn’t really work to roll it in your hands.  You want to press and squoosh it into a ball squeezing out excess water and glue.  You really want to compact it or when they dry and you go to drill them they will crack.

IMG_1309 7.  After you roll a trillion of them cook them at 200 degrees for two hours.  It may take more or less time if you have bigger or smaller beads.  After you take them out lightly sand them with a fine grit sandpaper.  Drill a hole through the bead with a small drill bit.IMG_1320 8.  Now the fun begins.  PAINT THEM!!! Experiment with layering of colors to get more depth of color to the bead.  I used about 3-4 colors on each of mine.  I didn’t use a paintbrush.  I found it was easier to finger paint them and roll them in my hand to distribute the color.  I really like adding silver or gold-it adds a little bling.  Let them dry.

9.  They won’t look all that pretty now because the color is matted. 

IMG_1321 But here is the shine…

IMG_1315I used Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze because that is what I had on hand and I love how shiny it is.  I added a few coats and it really gives it a pretty finish.  But you could use any polyurethane, dimensional adhesive or sealant.  Let them dry…IMG_1314

IMG_1319 10.  String them onto a necklace or bracelet.  Embellish them with some metal findings. Make earrings or something fabulous.  Cheap, easy, versatile, and light weight. LOVES!!IMG_1317 I will add more pictures of my creations once they dry. 

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  1. I saw a very similar "recipe" online…. and have made the beads for a bracelet…I just need to drill and paint!

    Your earrings look wonderful!

  2. Omigosh, this is a frying pan to the forehead moment for me. I do a LOT of paper mache works for Halloween props that I build, and it NEVER occurred to me to make CUTE things with it! DOH! Thank you for the light bulb above my head!

  3. Oh! Those are so cute! We don't have newspaper around, but maybe I could use all that dryer lint I've got piling up on my dryer…LOL!

  4. ok–I'm gonna try these. I have also been reading about other paper beads–the tightly rolled paper ones…but these seem like more fun :)and something I can get the kiddos involved in too!

  5. This is awesome! What a lovely way to transform otherwise useless paper into a pretty jewelery item..!

  6. Those are SO pretty! I would never in a million years have guessed paper. Thanks so much for the cool project. I'll be linking.

  7. WOW! I never would have guessed they were made from newspaper. You are right – they look like little rock jewels!

  8. Wow! What an interesting idea! I would have never thought of that! If you are interested, I have started a new Thursday linkup called Make it, Wear it and these would be perfect to link up!

  9. I can't wait to try this! I love jewelry making and anything "GREEN" this would be cute for pendants too. I think since I don't have a drill I will try to bake them with toothpicks in them to make my holes. Hopefull they will pull out okay! Thanks so much for sharing sooo cute!

  10. Pingback: Paper Mache Beads – Homemade Beads DIY Tutorial | Rags to Couture

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