How to make paper beads

Learn how to make paper beads and transform coloured strips of paper into beautiful quilled beads in this easy step-by-step tutorial

How to make paper beads

Learn how to make paper beads and a beautiful blue quilled necklace following our free guide and step-by-step tutorial with pictures! The paper beads themselves are made from strips of paper, coiled into different shapes. You can make quilled shapes by eye, or if you prefer you can buy a quilling board – then all you have to do is coil the quilling paper into the shapes in the board.

Work on a flat surface to coil your paper strips, as this will help to keep the shapes neat. Here are designer Deb Rudge’s top tips for making your own paper beaded jewellery:

  • Remember to only use very tiny amounts of glue to attach the ends of the paper strips to avoid mess.
  • Tweezers are really useful for moving small elements into position.
  • Take your time with the quilling and always work in a comfortable position with good lighting.
  • You can vary the look of your beads by adding decoration. Try using inks, glitters, Liquid Pearls or gloss to colour them and make them unique.
How to make paper beads - earrings
Earrings made from paper beads

To make the earrings, make two of the largest beads as described for the necklace. Thread one of the beads onto a headpin, followed by a metal bead. Trim the headpin with flush cutters to leave 10mm above the beads. Use round nose pliers to make a loop. Attach the headpin onto an earring wire using a jump ring. Repeat to make the second earring.

Once you’ve made your paper beads be sure to tag us in a picture on InstagramTwitter and Facebook (if you want to, of course) – we love to see when you’ve made one of our projects!

How to make paper beads

To make this quilled necklace you will need:

  • Paper quilling beginner kit
  • Gold plated copper essential findings kit
  • Gold coloured thread
  • Jewellery making tools
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Adhesive
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Step 1

How to make paper beads

For the small beads, wind 26 different coloured 3mm strips into tight coils. Glue to secure. For the medium beads, coil four 5mm brown strips and glue ends. Attach 5mm blue strips and wind onto the coils.

Step 2

How to make paper beads - step 2

Use your finger and thumb to push the medium coils into a dome shape. Coat the insides with glue. Glue two domes together and cover the join with a 3mm purple strip. Repeat to make a second medium bead.

Step 3

How to make paper beads

For the large bead, coil two 5mm brown strips. Wind 5mm green strips and 5mm white strips onto the coils and secure. Push into domes and attach together. Add a 5mm brown strip and a 3mm purple strip on top.

Step 4

How to make paper beads

Wind a 5mm black strip and four 5mm blue strips together. Push into a dome. Add a 3mm purple square. Use 3mm strips to make four coils, 1⁄2 lengths for four pale blue coils and 1⁄8 lengths for four green coils.

Step 5

How to make paper beads

Make four teardrop shapes by coiling 1⁄4 lengths of 3mm green and pale blue strips. Let the coils open slightly before pinching one side. Arrange the beads to create the pendant as shown. Glue and allow to dry.

Step 6

How to make paper beads

To make the surround, cut a 5mm strip in half. Glue the halves together, one on top of the other. Bend and secure the ends with a paper clip. Repeat until there are 12 layers. Glue the pendant inside the surround.

Step 7

How to make paper beads

Glue two small beads at the top of the surround as shown. Cut a headpin to 20mm, make a loop on one end, thread through the top bead and make a loop on the other end. Attach a short chain to each loop. Varnish.

Step 8

How to make paper beads

Thread the beads and pendant onto a 45-50cm length of beading wire. Add a crimp tube and toggle clasp onto the thread, squash with flat nose pliers and add a crimp cover. Repeat with the other half of the clasp.

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How to make paper beads

Loved this quilling project? Check out our tutorial on how to make quilled flowers – choose from daffodils, bluebells or tulips – or why not make all three!