How to brighten up newspaper beads with watercolor

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Newspaper is great for making paper beads.

On it’s own, you can make nice black and off-white beads. (I say off-white because the white is never truly bright white in a newspaper.)

However, what if you want to have something a little more exciting?   If you want to add custom color to your newspaper beads, you can easily color newspaper with water color paints.

Watercolor newspaper beads with different color combinations.

Watercolor newspaper beads with different color combinations.

To make newspaper beads colored with watercolors, start with a sheet of newspaper.  I just cut out a random section.  If you newspaper has color photos on it, you will want to avoid those sections because they will change the colors of your final beads.  For watercolors, I just used inexpensive watercolor paints that I found at my local craft shop.  I decided to use purple and yellow for this project.

Newspaper

Newspaper

Using a large paintbrush, first wet the paper down with water.  Then paint one side of the paper with one color and paint the other side with your other color.  The more water you add, the more translucent your paint will be.  I added more water to the watercolor paints towards the center of the paper and left the edges of the paper darker.

Newspaper colored with water colors

Newspaper colored with water colors

Let your paper dry and then cut into strips for rolling into beads. In the above photo, be sure to cut cut from the top to the bottom so you get both colors in each bead.  I use a paper trimmer to do this, buy you can just as easily use scissors.  You’ll end up with triangles.  (How to Make Basic Beads.)

Paper bead strips cut and ready for rolling into beads

Paper bead strips cut and ready for rolling into beads

Roll your beads using Mod Podge and then let them dry, and you’re done! Be sure to roll carefully. I find that newspaper can be pretty fragile when I am rolling it.  If it tears while rolling, just dab on a little extra glue and re-attach the torn part of the strip and finish rolling.

I really like how the colors came out with these beads.

Watercolor Newspaper Bead Bracelet

Watercolor Newspaper Bead Bracelet

Once they dry, you may want to seal them again with another layer of Mod Podge or with a water soluble varnish like Polycrylic.

Use your beads for your next beading project!  I put my beads on an elastic cord and made a bracelet.

Enjoy!

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2 Responses to How to brighten up newspaper beads with watercolor

  1. Hilda Lugo March 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    I really enjoy all you wonderful paperbeads postings. I follow you on pinterest. I am so happy I found you. I too have been afraid of using newspaper for my paperbeads. You have given me the courage to try and especially when I am able to get such lovely colors just by using watercolors.

    • Dara April 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Thanks! Good luck with using watercolors with the paper!

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