When making jewelry, I’m always looking for interesting ways to decorate paper beads. Adding stripes is one of my favorite quick and easy ways to do this.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to find at your local bookstore, but you can still find both used and new copies on Amazon and other used book stores.
How to make Striped Paper Beads
Cut paper triangles. In this case, the base of the paper strip is about 1 inch wide and the length is 8 inches.
Color the long edges of the paper. In this case, I am using a fine tip Sharpie pen. I have the Sharpie Fine-Tip 80s Glam pack which comes with 24 colors.
I like using Sharpie pens. Since they are alcohol-based markers, they dry quickly and the color doesn’t smear when it comes in contact with the wet glue when I roll the bead.
If you are like me, though, I didn’t let my kids use Sharpie pens when they were little! So if you are making beads with children, water-based markers like Crayola Washable Markers work fine. (The color may spread a little and not be as sharply defined when you add the glue, though.)
Use a paint brush to apply glue to the back of your strip. I was using strips of junk mail to make these beads which is why there is writing all over it!
Apply glue to the”wrong side” (the back) of your strip from the point until about 1 or 2 inches from the end.
Then roll the strip into a bead. (If you need more info on making paper beads, see my post on how to make paper beads.)
See the pretty stripes?
If you want the edges to have more metallic highlights, you can use a gilding pen like the Krylon 18 KT Gold Leafing Pen. Let it dry for about 5 minutes before rolling the bead and it doesn’t smear at all.
Have fun and try making paper beads with different types of paper.
I used different paper for each bead here: scrapbook paper, newspaper, handmade paper, junk mail, and a piece of printer paper that I had randomly painted. Depending on how much contrast you have between the color of the marker and the color of the paper, the stripes can turn out subtle or bold.
I was very happy with how these beads turned out!
I strung them on a stretchy beading cord (Stretch Magic Clear Bead Cord) with a couple of silver beads and now I have a pretty bracelet.
If you want to make your paper beads a little more durable, seal them before you use them to make jewelry.
Once you’ve rolled them, seal them with Mod Podge (matte or glossy) or other sealant. (See How to Protect Your Paper Beads.) Then, put them carefully on waxed paper to dry and turn them occasionally until dry or hang them on a bead dryer. (See How to Make a DIY Paper Bead Drying Rack.)
Where to get supplies
View on Amazon
This paper bead book is filled with great ideas for different types of paper beads. Unfortunately, it can be a little hard to find. There are used copies available on Amazon and other places online.
Sharpie Pens dry quickly and are waterproof. This pack has a lot of color choices. This is one of my favorite ways to color the edges of paper when I make striped beads.View on Amazon
If you are working with kids, Crayola Markers might be a better option because they are washable. However, the lines won’t be a crisp on the final beads. Also, make sure you cover the bead with a little Mod Podge so that they colors won’t run after you finish making the bead.
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For a more metallic edge, a gold leafing pen works nicely. Like the other markers, you just draw on the edges and let dry before rolling.
Mod Podge works well as a glue for rolling your paper beads. You can also use it as a sealer afterwards by painting the whole completed bead and letting it dry. I like matte finish, but if you want a shinier bead, you can also get it in glossy.View on Amazon
Any inexpensive paint brush works well with glue. I use the plastic kind and just throw them out when they get old.