Last week’s post promised a little peep into my corner of this whole paper beading frenzy.

Once you begin really getting into this hobby, you'll see there are several different methods, but the process with any of them is fairly simple. Time consuming, but simple. And addictive. 

Paper beads can be made from just about any material, seriously. Scrapbook paper is almost always on sale at Hobby Lobby for half price. Normally, it only costs 44 cents per sheet, so half off is a huge bargain! (Cutting the strips for small beads of ¼ inch, I believe 78 beads can come from just one sheet, if I remember correctly.)  If HL Isn’t readily available in your area, there is always Wally World. They carry pads of colorful paper for about $5. But the beauty part of this hobby is the fact that you don’t even have to spend money (unless you need glue).

Magazines, fliers in the mail, and those nice flower catalogues everyone seems to get in the spring? Save them! Ask friends and family for their copies.

I have used cereal boxes, pizza boxes, you name it. Just remember the thicker the material, the thicker the bead. Another tip to keep in mind is the size of the hole – use a toothpick for a smaller opening, a bamboo skewer for a larger one.

YouTube has a bunch of useful tutorials, so I recommend finding your favorites *coughjenniebelliecough* and just dig in.
My own method takes about a full week to complete a batch of beads, from selecting and cutting the paper to actually creating jewelry. 

How the strips are cut determines the end result of the finished bead shape, of course, and there are plenty of templates online. 

Once I've rolled … a couple or 300 beads, they are threaded onto 4-weight monofilament line (fishing line, from Wal-Mart, a 98-cent investment). I generally group them in like colors or shapes, some kind of organized manner, maybe 50 per group. 

Once this is done, they go into a bowl of PC Petrifier for 30 to 35 seconds. Available on Amazon, from $6 up. This step isn't absolutely necessary, but it will cause the beads to become rock hard and as an extra bonus, the beads make that clacking sound when they bump up against each other, which is satisfying.

Have a drying rack ready; you will need to dry them right away. Be certain to already have newspaper in place to catch the drips. (This stuff will totally ruin a kitchen counter!) Allow up to 24 hours for drying time, depending on humidity, turning the beads and separating them once an hour for a bit to make sure they aren't sticking together.

Open a can of clear polyurethane and dip the groups of dried beads again, another 30-ish seconds. Dry and separate as before, let dry 24 hours. 

Once cured, the beads are now water-resistant. This does not mean water-proof, and should not be worn in the shower! After all, theses ARE formed out of paper.

This is where you get to snip those lines, put on your creative hat and build something awesome! Hope you enjoy as much as I have!