King Midas paper beads with a touch of gold

In this post about paper bead techniques you will find the following:

  • A link to my YouTube video showing how to make gold tipped paper beads.
  • The free printable downloads I have for you in this post and the links to download them.
  • A brief outline of why I created this technique and how it benefits your paper bead making.
  • Links to my Etsy shop where you can buy my paper bead making tools and bead strip template I use in the video.
  • Links to my Amazon shops where you can buy many other craft tools and supplies.

(If you want to jump straight to the video, click here.)

Paper bead techniques, if used creatively, can add something very special to your finished paper beads.

The thing that has always bugged me about paper beads is leaving the ends unfinished.

Depending on the shape of your bead, you can sometimes use metal bead cores to finish them off nicely and give your beads a bit more strength and rigidity, as with the pink European Style paper bead in the image below.

But what if you are rolling tapered beads? Most tapered beads are not suitable for bead cores, as you can see in the image below of the blue bead.

The bead on the left does not have the right shape to accomodate a metal bead core.

So I spent ages trying to think of a paper bead technique that would address the issue of unfinished ends/core holes.

And BAM! It finally hit me a few weeks back how I could strengthen the ends of tapered beads while giving them a really finished, professional look.

You can see the video showing how I did it by clicking here to go to my YouTube channel.

Developing and trying out new paper bead techniques keeps crafting interesting and fresh.

So I was pleased when I tried my idea out and it really worked well. I’ve called these beads my Midas beads because it’s just as if King Midas touched the ends to give them a touch of gold 😍

This is what I made with them.

You can see how to string a necklace like this in the video.
This technique gave a lovely golden glow to my bracelet – you can see how to do it in the video.

But I didn’t stop at gold!

When I designed the free printables that I wanted to give away with the post. I did one of the designs in various blues.

That was for Allison, one of my subscribers who lives in Australia with her cat YumYum who also likes my videos 😻. We chat sometimes online and she told me she likes all shades of blue and pinks.

So what did I do? I forgot to add in some pink to the design! Anyway Allison, at least I remembered the shades of blue! Hope you like it.

And as blue is a cooler color, I made the ends of the beads silver which works pretty nicely.

I made these using the free printable and the paper bead technique shown in my video.

So here are the two designs I did for crafters to download, click the links

To use the free printables, you will need to print them off, cut the bead strips and use a paper bead tool to roll the strips into beads.

(Please click here to read the Terms & Conditions of using any of my free printables.)

If you are new to paper bead making, you can find out how the process works by watching my video.

News flash – I have now created a special page where will find all my free printables in one place. You no longer need passwords to access them and I have also put in the YouTube tutorial links showing you how to use most of the free printables. Click here to go to the page.

It’s unusual for me to cut my paper bead strips by hand now.

I used to use my plastic paper bead template to mark out my paper bead strips on the printed designs and then I would cut them along my drawn lines using a metal ruler, cutting mat and craft knife.

paper bead techniques

And that is fine for most people. But as I cut so many paper bead strips, I now use my electronic cutter, which I touch on briefly in the video.

It is so much easier and quicker to let the cutter do the work. I use the Silhouette Cameo machine.

My Silhouette Cameo cutting machine

You can check out this machine in my Amazon shops.

https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/rainbowlane

You can read my Amazon Affiliate statement here.

I have also added the Arteza Irridescent paints that I use in the video, to my UK Amazon storefront. Unfortunately, the same paints are showing as unavailable on Amazon.com right now so I added a set of metallic paints that I know are very good for people who shop on .com.

Paper bead tools and templates.

If you don’t want to go to the expense of buying an electronic cutter, check out my bead strip templates in my Etsy shop. You will find my paper bead rolling tools there too.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ImagesForCrafts

free printable designs
My 5mm & 3mm paper bead tools
paper bead techniques
My paper bead strip template – four sizes in one.

Have fun using the free printables, there will be more in my next post.

If you have any questions, either leave a comment here or go over to my YouTube channel and leave a message in the comments section.

Thanks for being here and watch out for more paper bead techniques in future posts.

News flash – I have now created a special page where will find all my free printables in one place. You no longer need passwords to access them and I have also put in the YouTube tutorial links showing you how to use most of the free printables. Click here to go to the page.

Faux willow pattern china beads made from another one of my free printable designs available on this website.

As you may know, I have been making some of my free printable designs available to my YouTube viewers.

Most people worldwide are confined to home at the moment and many may not be finding it easy to get hold of craft supplies.

So that is why I have been trying to think of tutorials using stuff from around the house, such as kitchen towel, like I used in this tutorial to make the bracelet below.

free printable designs
The bracelet I made using kitchen towel

This week I have been working on some new free printable designs but then I thought of one I designed a few years back.

I will be making the new one available as time goes on but for my YouTube tutorial this week, I have made this pretty faux willow pattern china bead bracelet.

This is the design I use in my face to face workshops with people who are new to making paper beads.

Faux china beads with a willow pattern look.

As with my other free printable designs, my YouTube viewers can download the template for this and follow the tutorial to make this bracelet.

My finished bracelet

All you have to do to get access to the download is watch the video here on YouTube and listen for the password. It is different to last weeks password because it is on a different page. Once you have the password, click here to go to the download page for that design and use the password. Simple!

What if you don’t have all the other things I used to make my bracelet?

As long as you have a printer, a paper shredder (or scissors and a ruler) a bamboo skewer or toothpick and a glue stick, you can make these beads.

If you don’t have the tiny silver beads, craft eyelets or elastic, you can roll lots of beads and then make your bracelets when the craft stores are open again.

I’m not sure if US viewers are able to order on Amazon at the moment but here in the UK we are.

So I will be stocking my Amazon shops for the other things you need in case you are able to order right now.

My Amazon shops are here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/rainbowlane

https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

My Amazon affiliate statement

And what if you don’t have a bead rolling tool?

free printable designs
The bead tools I manufacture and sell online

https://folksy.com/shops/PaperBeadToolsAndSuppliesUK

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ImagesForCrafts

Ideally, you will have a bead rolling tool such as the 3mm one you see above.

However, if you don’t have a tool – don’t panic!

In a couple of my previous tutorials, I have given you ideas on how to make paper beads without a tool.

Click the links below to see my other ideas for making paper beads without a bead tool.

https://youtu.be/yrRF8DEvX3c

https://youtu.be/8oQlNGIua-Q

This week in my YouTube tutorial, I bring you a third idea and show you how to make a simple homemade paper bead rolling tool that is good enough.

The homemade bead tool is a return to the 70s for me when I was making paper beads this way using cocktail sticks (toothpicks).

This method is fine for making paper beads when you can’t get a proper paper bead tool.

I developed the paper bead rolling tool that I sell online for people who are making lots of beads all the time and need something that is quick and easy to use.

But if you aren’t rolling hundreds of beads, my homemade version will be fine for you.

Have fun everyone and I hope you are enjoying my free printable downloads as much as I enjoy creating them – see you next time with my next tutorial and maybe some more free printable designs!

Low budget craft ideas are so important in a craft world dominated by very expensive craft supplies.

So you may be really pleased to hear about how you can make one of these beautiful paper bead bracelets using rubbish that would usually get thrown away.

You will need a couple of other supplies but the main material used in these beautiful low budget craft ideas is scrap paper.

If you are new here, you may want to check out this video for other low budget craft ideas, but don’t forget to come back and try out this one!

And if you prefer to go straight to the tutorial to see the ideas I am showing you in this post, click here to go to YouTube.

If you are here to find out where you can buy the tools I use in the video, scroll down to the end of this post to find the links.

My favourite thing to do is go to my local card shop, buy a birthday card and then make a beautiful bracelet from the bag it came in.

It’s always tricky giving friends and family handmade presents. We all know that fine line between something that looks handmade because it’s so badly done and something that is handmade but also very pretty and wearable.

These little bracelets are brilliant if you are looking for low budget craft ideas for making presents or, even to make stuff to sell at craft fairs.

The beautiful beads on the right were made from this small, flimsy paper bag that many people would throw away. And they make gorgeous, delicate bracelets.

So you can see, low budget craft ideas don’t have to look cheap.

Most people are shocked when I tell them that the bracelet I have given them is made from the paper bag their birthday card came in.

The beads actually look like they are made from china if you finish them properly with a few coats of glaze.

And if you are someone who doesn’t have a ton of money to spend, a well made hand crafted gift is a great alternative to a shop bought present.

I would be touched if someone spent their precious time making me something.

The beads below were made from a sheet of waste printer paper and wrapping paper from one of my birthday presents.

The low budget craft ideas I show you in my current YouTube video will probably get you thinking differently about scrap paper.

The technique I show you for how to use the wrapping paper to make paper beads means that you can use any kind of printed matter as the base for the beads.

So that means you can use old bank statements, letters, junk mail – anything that comes in a standard page size with a rectangular shape, or that can be cut into a rectangular shape as you see me doing in the video.

What about the tools I use in the video?

The paper bead rolling tool I use is my own design. I manufacture them myself and sell them online at a very reasonable price.

I also design and sell the printed templates which you can buy online and download to print off but for those who don’t have a printer, I have designed some paper bead strip template stencils that you place on to top of your paper and draw inside.

The stencils come in one sheet with four different size stencils on it.

Click here to buy this 3mm tool in my Etsy shop.

Click here to buy this 5mm tool in my Etsy shop.

paper bead techniques

Click here to buy this paper bead strip stencil template from my Etsy shop.

Click here to buy the printable 1 inch paper bead strip template in my Etsy shop.

And if you are looking for any of the other craft supplies I use in my videos, visit my Amazon craft supplies page, Rainbow Lane.

For those people who don’t have access to a craft store or who don’t have time to search around online, I have created this page where you will find some of the products I use and some other products that are similar.

However, I do urge people to shop around to find the craft supplies they need – my Amazon page is there to give you suggestions if you don’t know where to get your supplies.

Amazon Affiliate Statement.

Thank you for reading this post.

I hope you enjoyed it and are fired up with some low budget craft ideas – see you next time with more crafty ideas for you!

Saucer Beads

Saucer beads can be quite tricky to master when you first get into making paper beads.

I tried all sorts of ways but then I found the best way to make saucer beads of all different sizes is to use the layering process.This works best of all for me.

To make the necklace you see above, I used an old 12 x 12 inch sheet of scrapbooking paper I had laying around. I cut it into quarter inch tapered strips and then layered them to get a variety of shapes and sizes.

Easy Beady paper bead tool.
Quarter inch paper bead strips
Saucer beads made from quarter inch strips drying.

Saucer beads of varying sizes can add shape and design to a necklace.

I designed this necklace on paper before I even made the beads, so I knew what shape the necklace would be. Using the saucer beads gives the necklace a focal point.

Having one larger one in the centre, followed by two smaller ones on either side and then two even smaller ones breaks up the line of the necklace.

Saucer beads are much easier to make if you have the Easy Beady paper bead tool.

One of the reasons I designed and made the Easy Beady paper bead tool was because I struggled to make paper beads that were of a consistent high quality.

The first very basic implements I made to roll beads, back in the mists of time, were from bamboo skewers, but they often dragged the middle of the beads out when I tried to pull them off the stick.

Large beads made with very narrow strips were very difficult to master using a bamboo roller and I experimented over the years with lots of different ideas using a stainless steel shaft with various wooden, plastic and paper handles.

But the only part that mattered the most was the stainless still shaft which made my paper bead making so much easier.

Saucer beads, while still fairly tricky, are much easier with a bead tool. My tools is available to buy on Esty. You can find them by clicking here.

Saucer beads are much easier to make with the Easy Beady paper bead tool. Click To Tweet

The paper bead tool comes in two sizes – the 5mm and the 3mm.

The 3mm Easy Beady gives a 3mm threading hole for using with finer stringing materials.

You can go straight to the Etsy listing by clicking here.

The 5mm tool gives you a 5mm threading hole through your beads which is ideal for making Pandora style paper beads (also known as European style beads) which usually get threaded onto heavier weight stringing materials such as leather, or snake chain bracelets.

You can find the 5mm paper bead tool by clicking here.

With this  paper bead tool and some practice, you will be making brilliant saucer beads to make gorgeous jewellery to wear or give as gifts. 

If you have any questions about saucer beads or any aspects of paper bead making, please contact me via the contact form.

I do hold paper bead workshops in Suffolk where I cover everything from the very basics for beginners to more advanced techniques such as layering for making saucer beads.

If you would prefer to have a go at making saucer beads on your own or live too far away to attend a workshop – just order the paper bead tool or any other of my paper bead supplies by following the links above.

Why did I make paper bead tools?

Making paper beads from junk  is one of my favourite crafts. I have always loved transforming mundane pieces of paper into beautiful jewellery.

I also love creating my own artwork to use. But my enjoyment was spoilt by not being able to roll the paper bead strips very easily.

I wanted something that gripped the paper well enough to get the bead started easily.

I also wanted something that would allow me to slide the finished bead off quickly, smoothly and without pulling the middle out of it.

There have been many bead rollers for sale for many years but they were made from bamboo that has been split into two and then bound with paper to make a handle.

They were ok and I made quite a few of my own over the years. The problem that I found was the bamboo could sometimes snag the paper making beads hard to slide off.

So many years ago, I created my own tools.

Learn to Make Gorgeous Paper Beads In Minutes!

Once you have the tool and have practiced on a few strips of paper, making beautiful beads is really easy.

Watch my easy to follow tutorial over on YouTube by clicking the link below.

https://youtu.be/J2kiP1pbk9A

With the paper bead tool, you will never get mad at junk mail again!

Instead, you will be saying thank you for all the wonderful free paper you are getting.

And think of the thrill when you make a really beautiful bracelet out of something that used to annoy you! Make unique presents that have cost you next to nothing.

Or create your own art work and make some really colourful beads that are truly unique and cannot be copied.

The possibilities for creating paper beads of all different shapes and sizes is endless with the paper bead tool.

I really enjoy colouring designs on plain paper and then making beads from it. If you add several coats of glaze, they look so amazing, no one guesses they are made from paper.

After experimenting with lots of different materials for many years, I came up with a paper bead tool that I absolutely loved using.

The design was nice and simple and very easy to use. It rolled nice tight beads that were easy to slide off and I was happy with that.

I eventually made the tools in two sizes, 3mm and 5mm.

The 3mm size allows you to make beads with a smaller core for threading on finer stringing material up to almost 3mm thick.

The 5mm size allows you to make beads with a larger core for threading on thicker stringing materials such as leather or Pandora style bracelets.

After the paper bead tool issue was conquered, I set about making myself templates to use over and over again so I didn’t have to measure every time.

For many years I used my drawn out templates with carbon paper because I had no printer or computer in those days.

Eventually, I refined my templates to sell to other people that I was teaching in craft groups.

In recent times, I extended that further to create downloadable templates for sale online that people can print off and stick onto their craft paper with removable glue tape while they cut with a craft knife.

And then I designed a set that can be used with electronic cutters such as Silhouette Cameo.

For easy cutting of paper bead strips without all the hassle of measuring and drawing lines, I have designed some templates you can download from my etsy shop

They are very easy to use. Click here to find out how you can use my templates to cut quick, easy strips and then use the template paper to make more beads so there is no waste! You can also use the templates in image editing software such as Photoshop to overlay onto printable  designs.

Strips cut by printing the template lines onto white paper, sticking it to the chosen bead paper with removable adhesive tape and cutting through both. You get two sets of strips – 1)Your chosen paper 2)The plain white strips to roll and paint.

Easy ways to cut paper bead strips.

The 1 inch digital template cut lines printed onto a design for easy cutting.

There are two ways to use the downloadable templates.

You can print the template, fix it to your chosen bead paper with removable adhesive tape and cut your strips along the lines with ruler and craft knife.

The picture to the left shows strips cut with that method. As you can see, this gives you the strips cut in your chosen paper and the left-over template strips. You can hand colour those with Sharpies and make more beads. No waste!

Or you can overlay the png file onto an image on screen (see the blue design above), print it and cut along the printed lines with ruler and craft knife or a guillotine. Visit my etsy shop today to get your downloadable templates.

Please note – we have now changed the handle design of the Easy Beady Paper Bead Tool back to the original one I used when we first began making paper bead tools for my students to buy.

The bead tool demonstrated in the video is the one that we produced to sell online to be lighter weight and easier for posting all over the world.

There is an updated video here showing the new tools in action.

The original handle we used was bigger and heavier and pushed up postage costs. However, my workshop students who have tried both handle styles over the years preferred the heavier, more curvy handle on the 5mm tool and most people said they found the grip better on the curvier 3mm tool handle.

So we took the decision to sell the online paper bead tools with the old style handle.

Return to the original style handle.
The paper bead kit
The straight handle (no longer available)w

We have also released our Easy Beady paper bead strip stencil template for sale on Etsy.

paper bead techniques

You can see the stencil in the picture above. It can be found on etsy by clicking here.

At the moment, when you buy both the 3mm and the 5mm curvy handled bead tools together, we are giving you the paper bead strip stencil template free.

Click here to go to that offer.

We ship all over the world.

If you would like to start using a paper bead tool to make your crafting life easier, order my tools and template today – you’ll be glad you did!