Several years ago, I bought a drop spindle with the thought that I’d learn how to spin wool yarn with it. I never spun a lot of wool with it, and eventually the drop spindle found its way to the back of my crafts closet. But recently I learned something that had me picking up my spindle again!
I learned that you can spin paper into paper yarn. Paper yarn? (Okay, maybe I’ve been living under a rock somewhere, but this was the first time I had heard about it.) Anyway, I’m convinced that there are a few paper bead concepts in this idea.
Spinning Paper into Yarn
First I had to learn how to spin the paper. There are a few videos on youtube for spinning. I watched this one by Vickie Howe about spinning newspaper (Check her video out on YouTube). She does a great job explaining the process, and after watching it, I thought, “Hey, I can do that!”
I decided to spin white tissue paper. I wanted to be able to control the final colors of the yarn. I used 1 sheet of tissue paper cut into 1-inch strips.
Using Watercolor Paints on Paper Yarn
I decided to take it one step further and used white tissue paper. I wanted to be able to control the final colors of the yarn.
I used 1 sheet of tissue paper cut into 1-inch strips. Once my tissue paper yarn was spun, I painted it with watercolors. I did this by laying it all out on the counter and spritzing it with water. Then I used a paintbrush and gently touched the colors to the yarn. From time to time, I would add more water so that the colors would spread. After painting all the yarn, I let the paper dry.
After it dried, it was surprisingly strong. I loved how the watercolors soaked into the yarn.
Making a Wrapped Paper Bead with Paper Yarn
Now that I had the paper yarn, what to do next? At first, I wanted to try to crochet some sort of bead, but I couldn’t find my crochet hooks…. argh.
So, I decided to make a wrapped bead.
First I made a straight sided wrapped bead using 2 inches x 3/4 inches rectangle of scrap paper. This would be a base for the yarn bead and help keep it stabilized.
Then I applied glue to the outside of that bead and wrapped the paper yarn around it.
And Now We Have Paper Yarn Beads
I liked how the final beads looked. They had an interesting texture and color. The amount of paper yarn that I had spun from 1 sheet of tissue paper would probably make at least 15 or 20 beads. (Each bead was 3/4 inch wide.) They also felt pretty durable, though I would seal them with a clear finish before using them.
These were fun and fairly quick to make (after making the yarn.) It’s easy to come up with a lot of paper bead crafting ideas that use paper yarn. Now, if I can only find my crochet hook…