How to make paper beads with junk mail
Craft Projects

How To Make Pretty Paper Beads With Junk Mail

Today I want to share how to make pretty paper beads with junk mail. Why? Because two things that totally bum me out are the end of daylight savings time and junk mail.

I have already talked about how essential oil bracelets help to reduce stress brought on by this time of year. What I haven’t done, however, is share an activity that helps with all the family “togetherness” that is a direct result of the additional time everyone must spend inside the house.

What’s a parent to do when there are limited ways to get the kids outside and expend the extra energy? Add to that, many parents are already exhausted from a day of running around, the last thing they need is children (of any age) bouncing off the walls (sometimes literally).

So today I’m going to share an activity that not only will keep hands of all ages busy, but also help you put some of the never ending junk mail you receive to good use.

Paper beads air dry on toothpicks stunk in green oasis

Junk Mail Is Perfect For Paper Beads

You may have already seen tutorials on how to make paper beads by upcycling old magazines, but those aren’t always lying around the house ready to be shredded into pieces when you need them most.

Junk mail and unwanted catalogs, however, are in neverending supply. These same paper bead tutorials provide exact dimensions or templates to cut the strips into the ideal sizes, but for the purpose of this project “winging it” is just fine.

This paper bead tutorial’s supplies are also everyday items you probably have around the house. So, no massive search through the nooks and crannies of the house to find the perfect tools.

Supplies You Need To Make Paper Beads

Paper Bead Supplies

  • Junk mail – glossy ads from local businesses or catalogs with thinner pages
  • Chopsticks and toothpicks
  • All-purpose glue
  • Scissors
  • Styrofoam cup, floral foam block (pictured and a dollar store find!), or wax paper

Four Simple Steps To Make Paper Beads

Step 1

Paper bead triangle slips

Cut long, triangular strips from the glossy ads or catalog pages you’ve ripped out of the catalog. At their widest, they should be between 1 – 1.5 inches. When you’re cutting the strips, the lines don’t have to be perfectly straight, but you do want to have enough of an angle so when you start rolling the bead, it will include a variety of colors.

Steps 2 – 4

Steps to rolling a paper bead

Use a chopstick or a toothpick to help you form your bead. The chopstick will be easier for smaller hands to manage turning and the toothpick is good for hands that are more accustomed to holding something tight while rolling.

Take one of the strips and fold it over the chopstick. Then, using both thumbs, start rolling the chopstick away from you to build up the bead. You want to keep the paper fairly tight so that the bead is strong enough to use once you’re done.

Just before the paper is all rolled up, put a dab of glue. (And yes, in my picture it’s more like a blob.) Then, take one of your fingers and use it to press down the last bit of paper so that it’s glued down. You don’t have to use your fingers and could use wax paper instead. Since the glue is easily washed off with water, however, I find it easiest just to get my hands dirty.

Once the edge of the paper bead is clearly glued down, gently take it off the chopstick and put it on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil (anything to which the glue won’t stick) for it to dry.

The beads should look like this when you’re done.

Different sized paper beads

Ways To Use The Paper Beads

After you and your children get the hang of making paper beads with junk mail, you may find that you will all want to keep doing it. It’s always fun to see how the paper bead looks depending on the colors in the strip of paper you’re using and paper beads can be used for a variety of things.

To get your creative juices flowing, try one of these suggestions:.

  1. Use the beads as petals of a flower for an inspirational card you make to donate to Cardz For Kidz.
  2. Make a bracelet using some twine or thin string.
  3. Create a pencil holder by gluing the paper beads to a recycled soup can.

I have been using the beads to make paper bead earrings that I offer in the Goods Giving Back shop.

Paper bead earrings made with junk mail.

Enter The Cash For Christmas Giveaway (CLOSED)

Even though these paper beads are great for making small gifts, who doesn’t need some extra cash for the holidays?

We are so excited to be giving away $330 in cash prizes for you to use starting Thanksgiving weekend. Here are the prizes:

1 – $100 Amazon Gift Card
1 – $75 Target Gift Card
2 – $50 Walmart Gift Card
1 – $25 Kohls Gift Card
3- $10 Starbucks Gift Card

There will be 8 winners in this giveaway. Each winner will receive a gift card code to use on the online store or in the actual store.

Now it’s time to meet our wonderful co-hosts who have made this giveaway possible.

Cash for Christmas

Starting at the top row we have:

Terri – Christmas Tree Lane, Melissa – The Farm Girl Gabs, Christine – Your Strong Tower, Audrey – That Recipe & Munofore, Dana – Goods Giving Back, Tammy – Creative K Kids, Trish – Creative Simplicity by Trish Sutton, Kim – Shopping Kim and Enter Online Sweeps, Ali – Home Crafts by Ali and Ali’s Book Nook, Kelly – Typically Simple, Kim – The Resourceful Mom, Katie – The Ramblings of an Overtired Mama, Angie – God’s Growing Garden, Sarah – Devastate Boredom, Karen – Raising Little Superheroes, Gina – Money Savvy Living, Beverly – Eclectic Red Barn, Melissa – Deliciously Savvy, Beth – Our Pretty Little Girls, Meredith – The Mom of the Year, Laura – Michigan Saving and More, Debbie – Heartbeats ~Soul Stains, Carol – The Red Painted Cottage, Tiffany – A Wandering Vine, Monica – Mommy & Love, Holly – Keeping Life Sane, Sinea – Ducks ‘n a Row, Cindy – Simple Steps for Living Life, Tammy – My Life Abundant, Kari – Keep It Simple DIY, Danielle – Dancing with My Daughter

Please stop by and say hi to these wonderful ladies and their blogs.

The giveaway will end midnight on Wednesday, November 24th, the night before Thanksgiving. You will have 48 hours to respond to the email claiming the prize. If you respond right away, we will get you the gift card code promptly so that you can shop with it on Black Friday! If we don’t hear in 48 hours, we will choose another winner.

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