A few months ago I found a post on recycled beads at A Story Book Life. It’s a simple tutorial on creating paper beads from old newspaper. I initially tried it her way but found it a little difficult. Maybe I tried too much paper, waited too long for the paper to soak, whatever. I have adjusted some of the directions to simplify the process and make it work for me. I formed the beads and need to wait for them to dry, which will still take a day or so. If you try this out, send a pic and let me know what steps you chose! Happy creating.
Fix #1: I didn’t have a single piece of newspaper in the house. However, I did have a bag full of shredded bills and junk mail. GENIUS! It worked just as well as newspaper would have. I boiled water in the kettle and poured it over top to cover the pot of paper.
Fix #2: I only allowed the paper to steep in the boiling water for about 10 minutes instead of the suggested hour. Then I pulled out my oft ignored emulsion blender (alright, my never used emulsion blender). I blended the paper to a pulp, stirring occasionally to make sure I didn’t leave any vital information in the bottom of my pot.
Fix #3: I only have a small stainer so I pulled out my colander and some cheese cloth. Any porous fabric will do I suppose. This way I can pick up the cheese cloth and give a couple of quick squeezes and move on.
Fix #4: Add glue of any sort to your pulp mixture. I just used Mod Podge. Add enough glue to create a light coating.
Fix #5: Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or freezer paper. This will give you a place to keep your beads.
Fix #6: Form your beads with your hands, squeezing excess water as you go. Place your shapes on the wax paper. I mostly made spheres, but I also tried out some squares. I placed the tray in the oven after dinner (it was still warm) to help speed along the process.
When the beads are dry I’ll pick up with part 2!