Thursday, January 26, 2012

How To Make Recycled Newspaper Beads

I saw this post on another blog Freetail Therapy and I loved the idea!  It sounds really easy to do.  Being a couponer, I have a LOT of extra newspaper that we recycle.  So I am going to try this out, I am sure my kids will love helping me with this project.  To see the original post go HERE.  I will do another post after we try this out, to let you know how it goes!  If you go to her site, you can also pin this to pintrest (which of course, I already did!).

Old newspapers Large pot or metal bowl Glue (Elmer’s or other liquid glue) Sandpaper A drill to make holes in the beads Whatever string or ribbon you want to string the beads with Leftover paint Varnish
1. Grab a few newspapers before they make it to the bin or recycling basket. Try a couple different papers for different colors. The Sunday comics might be interesting!
2. Rip the newspaper into small pieces in a large stock pot or metal bowl.
3. Cover the paper pieces with boiling water (easy if you have a kettle on hand).
4. Allow this mixture to sit for an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
5. Drain the water using a strainer or try to get as much water as possible out with the lid of the pot.
6. With the paper back in the pot, add enough glue so that the mixture sticks together.
7. Squeezing water out with your hands, roll the mixture into balls. You can make the balls as big or small as you like.
8. Place the balls on parchment paper or foil.
9. Roll them several times a day for several days as they dry. Roll them every 3‐4 hours for a couple days for compact beads.
10. When completely dry, use the sandpaper to sand off any rough points on the bead.
11. Drill a hole through each bead for stringing. Bigger holes can accommodate ribbons and the like.
12. You can now paint the beads with any paint you have on hand. When dry, you can varnish them with Mod Podge, clear acrylic spray, or other varnish. For a great painting and drying rack, cut small notches into a shallow cardboard box, such as a shoe box. This will catch any drips when you paint and varnish the beads. Place long needles, coffee stirrers, or sturdy wire through the beads and secure in the notches of the box.
13. When dry, string the beads. Ribbons work especially well for these chunky beads, but you can experiment with other materials.
Enjoy your recycled newspaper beads!


  1. made these when i was a kid. of course i'm very old (lol) and so in those non pc times we called em "wampum beads" you could use anything, old wallpaper ones make those hippy bead curtains in an afternoon. sidenote fasttrack stuff like the wallpaper beads and roll the string right into them from the get go. they'll dry fine hung up :)

  2. I love the idea of the hippy bead curtains!! My 9 yr old daughter would love that for her room! I will have to do that along with regular beads for the kids crafts! I set aside today's papers so we can do this.