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Tips & Techniques

Get tips and techniques to become a better beader at Lima Beads.


How to make a paper bead

About this Tip:

Roll your favorite issue of Popular Mechanics or Seventeen into a paper bead using this specialized tool!

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The products featured in this tip are listed below.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
Select the paper strip you want to use. Take the bamboo roller apart, into two sticks, and align the edge of the paper to the flat surface of one stick. Insert the opposite stick into the first stick's hole (if you're confused, see the blown up photo below). This should hold the paper to the tool for easy rolling!
Step 2:
When you've locked the paper into the little roller tool, beging to spin that stick to roll up your paper. You can guide the paper to create a uniform look or experiment by angle-ing one way or another. However you decide, do make sure you're keeping the paper rolled tight against itself.
Step 3:
With about an inch and a half of paper left to roll, apply some of the bead glaze to the paper. You could pour out a small amount into a little cup or small tupperware, or just dip a paintbrush directly into the bottle of glaze. It doesn't take much! After you've got a layer of glaze on there, continue the last of the rolling and fasten the glazed paper to the rest of the bead.
Step 4:
Remove the bead from the rolling tool by disconnecting the two sticks. This should be easy-- a smooth slide! Your bead is nearly finished...
Step 5:
Cut some fishing line (resists sticky things!) and string your paper bead (or beads) on to it. Pour some of that glaze into a little cup or jar and give your beads a little dunk into the glaze. This will seal them up and give a little glossy finish to them. It'll take about 24 hours to dry. If you want more sheen, repeat the dunk a time or two more, after drying first. Pour remaining glaze back into your bottle-- you can re-use it! :-)

Additional Images:

Designs using this Technique:

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Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. TheBohemianCowgirls
    TheBohemianCowgirls says:


  2. CAS
    CAS says:

    Very interesting. How difficult will it be to get replacement glaze or is there something that will substitute for it once the original runs out??

  3. No Photo
    M McMenamy says:

    I’m going to try the Paper Bead Kit w/Bamboo Roller it looks very
    interesting. Does the book tell you how to cut the paper for all beads?

  4. rdmorgan
    rdmorgan says:

    Do you get instruction how to make different shapes Deb

  5. DB
    DB says:

    I was looking for larger beads on the African paper beads – with this I can make my own.

  6. Butterfly girl
    Butterfly girl says:

    very interesting,Definatly want to try this Thanks for the instructions:)

  7. DB
    DB says:

    Still waiting for this to be back in stock.

  8. No Photo
    C Rash says:

    When will you have more of the kits awailable? Thanks Connie

  9. Kate
    Kate says:

    Hey all! Paper bead kits are back!! http://www.limabeads.com/Paper.....ler-P22549

  10. Lily Cat
    Lily Cat says:

    What a fantastic idea!!! I love it!!!! Gotta try this!!

  11. Robbin H
    Robbin H says:

    After you dip the beads into the glaze is it hard to take them off of the fishing line? I have been doing paper beads for a while now and I have been facing a mess. I use 3 coats of Mod Podge and 3 coats of a poly acrylic to finish them. I paint these on toothpicks after I have rolled the beads, and sometimes I have trouble breaking them off the picks. Is this easier? Also does it completely seal and make them hard coated? My beads usually look like glass.

  12. Kate
    Kate says:

    @Robbin: the paper bead glaze is not quite as bulky as ModPodge might be.. after the 24-hour dry, they slide right off the fishing line (also helps that the fishing line doesn’t take to the glue as much as a wooden toothpick might)

  13. No Photo
    Debbie y says:

    Hi I make paper beads as well, it is so much fun, i make necklaces ,but i am in need of lessons on how to string them other then on elastic, i get a lot of compliments,and sold some as well,,

  14. No Photo
    A Southers says:

    I have made paper beads before and painted them with nail polish… With nail polish you can skip the bead glaze. They look really cool.

  15. No Photo
    hypalus says:

    where did you get your ring?

  16. No Photo
    M walker says:

    do you have patterns for other shape beads? Or where can I find that?

  17. No Photo
    Myra P says:

    I would like to try making paper beads.

  18. Laurel p
    Laurel p says:

    I want to try making the paper beads.When will the kit be back in stock?Can you let me know when?

  19. No Photo
    FayMarie G says:

    I,too, would like to know when you have these kits back in stock. Thanks!!

  20. No Photo
    A beer says:

    I recently made 2 necklaces w/matching earrings with my first paper beads.sold both sets within a few days. fun to make and a great use for magazines.

  21. Linny May
    Linny May says:

    Does this kit tell u how to make the smaller beads shown in the detailed photo or does it come with instructions on how to make the large saucer beads, thoes are the ones dying to learn how to make the large saucer ones, one of the photos for the kit shows the saucer bead but others dont so im quite confused

  22. No Photo
    Grama Bonny says:

    very cool.

  23. Kajyra
    Kajyra says:

    If you are looking for more designs just do a search on Google using ” paper bead designs ” and you can find tons of tutorials on other ways to make them on Youtube. You can find great ideas on how to use them in all types of jewelry including earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Good luck to you all!!

  24. Kajyra
    Kajyra says:

    I have been making paper beads for over two yrs and have made some awesome beads that created some beautiful earrings as well as bracelets and necklaces. If you have any questions or problems feel free to email me at kajyra@msn.com or if you have any ideas or tips you would like to share with me feel free to email me those too. Hope you all have as much fun as I have been.

  25. No Photo
    P Boyd says:

    I run a craft group at a nurse ing home they love making the paper beads and the best thing is they are so light around their necks we make them using wooden skewers that I break in half and I break the points off them just to be on the safe side and we just roll the paper on to them and I make our own mod Podge using craft glue and water mixed together works a treat I hope this is some help from Patty in Australia

  26. No Photo
    C pinckney says:

    I have made paper beads and find that plastic coffee stir sticks work well to roll the beads and dip them with easy removal. Wallpaper makes a beautiful, thicker, more sturdy bead. I measure and draw the lines on the back side of a particular size of wallpaper remnant and use a paper cutter to get smooth edges.

  27. No Photo
    Okello d says:

    Am OKELLO David from Uganda Africa,we have a group of children who are orphans who makes paper beads,we are looking for people who can buy the Breads so that to support their education.we have 10000 pieces now if interested email me at davidokello30@yahoo.com

  28. K McPhail
    K McPhail says:

    Interesting that paper beads are “in” again… Nearly 50 years ago, crafters (including my grandma) were making these things like crazy using wallpaper and Mod Podge or regular white glue and toothpicks, skewers or very small knitting needles. Grandma could get outdated wallpaper sample books for free and one-off/discontinued rolls dirt cheap from our local home decor shop. Her paper bead necklaces and bracelets sold like hotcakes at the local craft fairs and annual city-wide flea market. Luckily, my cousin recently found a small box at the farm house of left over beads which survived all these years, and sent them to me along with the rest of Grandma’s bead stash and tatting samples. What awesome memories!!! <3

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