Have you ever embarked on a project, only to find that it is taking twice as long as you thought it would? That is the case with this “simple” paper bead necklace. I figured I would make a few beads and string them on a piece of twine, but my imagination soon got away from me. All the while making it, I knew it would be worth the extra effort to add a few more beads and make a shaped design. Soon there was a tassle, and about 50 beads involved in the process. It’s amazing where your imagination can go if you let it loose!
Purple Paper Beads Necklace Project Directions:
To make it easier to roll the paper, I used paper straws as the base of the bead. You can also use a toothpick or other instrument, then peel the paper beads off the stick when it is time to string them. The paper straws create a much larger hole in the center of the bead, so you will need to size your project accordingly.
With a piece of Artist Paper, mark half inch increments along the edge of the page on both of the longest edges (reverse side only). Connect these half-inch marks to form very long triangles. Use a paper trimmer to cut them out.
Attach the wide end of the strip with gel medium to a paper straw, then twist the remaining paper strip around the straw, adhering with gel medium along the way. I found that you need a very tight wrap in order to get good adhesion with the gel medium. Even with the thinnest layer of glue, I wrapped it tight enough that the gel was leaking out the sides. If this happens, just wipe it away when you have finished wrapping the entire strip.
Allow paper beads to dry completely, then trim away the excess straw with a pair of scissors. If the straw squishes a bit, use a stick or toothpick to reshape the bead.
To assemble the necklace:
I highly recommend that you draw a diagram of your necklace’s shape and count your beads to ensure that you have enough. I also used the diagram while assembling the necklace to mark which beads I had already attached.
[Working from the center bottom of the necklace] Open a jumpring, thread 6 eyepins onto it, and close the ring. For those using a paper straw as the core of your bead, you can close each eyepin at both ends, then thread the paper bead on just before you attach the end to another jumpring. If your paper bead’s hole is smaller than the end of the eyepin, you will need to thread the paper bead, then form the loop at the opposite end.
Continue building on this shape until your entire framework is complete. End each side with a jumpring and attach this to a length of chain. For this necklace, I used the already completed Vintaj necklace chain, and used nippers to cut the finished necklace in half.