Paper Beads (part 1)

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.

Shredded bills and junk mail.

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.

A wet mush.

My weapon of choice.

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.

Cheese cloth + colander = awesome strainer.

Mush in said strainer.

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.

Pulp mush in the cheese cloth.

Pulp in bowl.

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.

A tray of formed 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!


About repletewithclass

wife. art teacher. whirlwind.
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One Response to Paper Beads (part 1)

  1. Pingback: Paper Beads (part 2ish) « Replete With Class

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