Make Sparkly Paper Beads From Old Magazine Pages

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Square feature photo of a finished bracelet made with handmade paper beads.

Learn how to make beautiful paper beads to make jewelry for yourself, to sell, or give as gifts!

This easy craft is great for adults and kids. The best thing about making paper beads is that you can make them easily with items you probably already have on hand.

For this DIY, I’m using Dollar Tree skewers. Skewers are perfect to wrap the paper around and make a big enough hole to thread the beads easily onto elastic cording.

I’m making bracelets and have added a few metallic beads to the mix. The elastic cord I’m using is also from Dollar Tree but you can pick it up at any craft store, Walmart, or here on Amazon.

Making paper beads is fun and easy. It’s a craft that anyone can do which makes it a perfect activity for youth groups or kid’s birthday parties. It’s also a great way to make unique jewelry to sell at an upcoming craft show or make a few extra dollars at your next garage sale!

Grab pages of junk mail or some glossy pages from an old magazine and let me show you how to make them.


Supplies used to make paper beads shown: glitter clear nail polish, glue stick, skewers, pencil, ruler, scissors and a glossy magazine page. Stretchy elastic cording to make bracelets.
  • Colorful magazines, junk mail, or any colorful papers you have on hand
  • A glue stick
  • Skewers (you can find them at Dollar Tree)
  • A bowl or something to suspend the skewers while the beads dry
  • Clear nail polish with or without glitter (also can find at Dollar Tree)
  • A clip or tape
  • Scissors
  • A ruler or straight-edge
  • Small glass or metal beads (optional)
  • Elastic cording to make bracelets


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How to Make Paper Beads – 4 Easy Steps

STEP 1 – Determine your bead size & Shape:

Start by cutting a long triangle shape out of paper. I made two different bead shapes. Below are the dimensions I used. Experiment to see what shape beads you can make by varying the length and width of your paper triangle.

My two bead sizes were a shorter barrel bead made using a .5″ x 6.75″ triangle of paper and a longer bead made using a .75″ x 9.75-inch triangle of paper.

Two long paper triangles cut from a glossy colorful magazine page with the exact dimensions and corresponding bead size. There is a long bead made from a .75" x 9.75" triangle and a smaller barrel sized bead that is make from a .5" x 6.75" triangle of paper. Ruler also at the bottom from reference.
Two different beads sizes from a triangle-shaped paper cut .5″ x 6.75″ and .75″ x 9.75 inches.

Once you have a size you like, cut out one of the triangles and use it as a template to make more beads of the same size.

Photo of one long triangle shaped paper being used as a template to make more to get the same paper bead shape and size to make multiple same shaped beads for a bracelet.
Use your paper cut out as a template to make your beads all the same shape and size.

STEP 2 – Make a Paper Beads:

Start by rolling the paper onto the center of a skewer. Wide end first. Roll a couple of times to get your bead started without any glue. Doing this will keep the bead from sticking to the skewer later.

Using a skewer and starting to roll the widest end of paper without any glue to avoid sticking to the skewer later.

Now use a glue stick to apply glue to the rest of the paper. Use a piece of waxed paper to protect your work surface and coat the sides and end well with glue. Roll the paper all the way to the end wrapping it tightly around the skewer.

Note: Don’t worry about being perfect when cutting and gluing. Each bead will be slightly different!

Photo showing a triangle of paper coated with a glue stick completely to make a paper bead.


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STEP 3 – finish with clear Nail Polish:

To finish, coat the outside of each bead with clear nail polish while it’s still on the skewer. I’m using clear nail polish with glitter.

Closeup photo of an open jar or clear sparkle nail polish and bead coated on a skewer and drying.

Let dry completely before going to the next step.

Paper beads drying on skewers.
Beads drying

STEP 4 – Making a bracelet:

Cut a piece of elastic cording that is about 2 inches bigger than your wrist. This will give you enough cord to knot your bracelet when you finish adding beads. String your beads and add small glass or metal beads in between each paper bead (optional). Knot at the end and enjoy!

Vertical image of sparkly paper beads in a finished bracelet and on skewers drying. Please save this image to your Pinterest craft boards to come back to this craft later!


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