I remember when I was little I would make jewelry out of paper clips. Chains of paper clips taken from my parents’ office desks became necklaces and bracelets. They were all so easy to make because all I had to do was clip the paper clips together!
This project takes paper clip chain jewelry one step further by making each link in the chain into a paper bead. And since the paper beads are made directly on the paper clips, it is a fast project to make and one that you can do with the kids.
You will need:
- Paper clips: I used the 1 inch metal paperclips that you can find in the office section of any store. I used 7 to make my bracelet.
- Paper: Any type of lightweight paper – newspaper, copier paper, etc. I used an old college catalog.
- Beads: Small beads with large enough bore to thread onto the paper clips
- Glue Stick
- Round nose jewelry pliers if you want to make the clasp just a little more fancy.
How to make paper clip chain bracelet
1. Cut paper into 8 x 8 inch sheet.
2. Decorate the last 2 inches of the paper any way you want. I dabbed gold and silver directly from my stamp pads on the edge.
3. Cut your paper into 3/4 inch x 5 inch strips.
4. Pick up the first paper clip and extend out the longest end of the wire. The longest end will be your clasp.
5. Slide 2 beads on to the other side of the paper clip
6. Optional: After sliding on the beads, use your round nose pliers to create a more decorative clasp by make a small loop at the end of the wire. You could just leave this straight if you wanted to, though.
7. Lay a paper strip with the decorated edge face down and furthest from you.
8. Coat the side facing up with glue stick.
9. Lay your paper clip on the paper strip, and wrap the paper around the paper clip. Congrats! You’ve made the 1st bead.
10. Take your next paper clip and slide 2 beads on it
11. Slide your new paper clip onto the first completed bead.
12. Lay another paper strip down and coat with glue stick.
13. Wrap the paper around the new paper clip.
14. Keep repeating steps 10-13 until your bracelet is long enough for your wrist.
15. When done, squeeze the clasp back so it doesn’t extend any more.
15. Place aside for about 30 min or until dry.
The Final Paper Clip Chain Bracelet
Tada! You’re done! Enjoy your new bracelet.
These beads aren’t sealed. If you want to, you could hang the bracelet and carefully coat the outside of each bead with a little mod podge on a paintbrush just to get a little bit of protection from your skin’s natural oils. However, I wouldn’t recommend getting these beads wet.
Afterthought: A Duck Tape Paper Clip Bracelet
I also played around with using zebra striped Duck Tape brand tape to make the beads. It works well too, especially since there are so many cool duct tape designs out in the craft stores. But…well… duct tape isn’t really paper and so it can’t officially make a paper bead. But it was fun to try it out!