Recycled Creations You Can Make at Home : Beads

The spring season is quickly approaching (thank goodness!) and with that comes the urge to purge and recycle. Before you toss that stack of magazines, newspapers and junk mail that has been piling up all winter, flip through them and tear out some colorful pages that have a nice pattern or bright colors. With a few quick cuts and some rolling, you can create amazing paper beads that are inexpensive and look beautiful when strung together. I just happened to have Rochester Women November/December 2014 issue, so I thought I’d put it to good use.


Magazine Beads


  • Colorful pages from a magazine. You can use the cover (thicker paper makes fatter beads) or colorful scrapbooking paper.
  • Pencil and ruler 
  • Pair of scissors 
  • Toothpick 
  • Clear-drying glue (Aleen’s Tacky Glue, Elmer’s, Scotch 3M or a glue stick)

Start by choosing your magazine page. You can make beads for three bracelets from just one recycled page. Very colorful or patterned pages are best. Tear the page from the magazine. Cut into strips of paper in a long triangle shape, about 2 cm at the bottom. (Measure and draw out triangles, if needed). Then make a diagonal cut to a sharp point at the end. Strips do not have to be exact or the same shape. 

Cutting paper strips into different shapes will make different types of beads. Photo courtesy of  

Put the patterned, colorful side of the paper down and the side you don’t want to see up. Place the wide end of the paper along the edge of the toothpick. Squeeze and roll at the same time so that the end rolls tightly around the toothpick. Continue until you get close to the point of your paper strip.  

Add a tiny bit of glue on the inside of the paper and continue to roll. The glue will spread out and coat the outside of the paper bead to seal the end of the paper strip. You can also use a glue stick to seal the inside of the paper. Gently slide the bead off of the toothpick and lay aside to dry. Roll as many colors and shapes as you like and pair different ones together to create a unique collection of your own, custom-made beads. You can now use them to create an amazing recycled and eco-friendly bracelet, pair of earrings or necklace. Pair them with natural stone or glass beads for a one-of-a-kind creation.