Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Paper Rosary Beads

Today, on this beautiful Fall day to honor Our Lady of the Rosary, we are coloring and making paper beads to turn into rosaries. I was at Curves a few weeks ago and saw (which was a miracle since my eyes were barely open at the hour) a display in the middle of the room that had these gorgeous pieces of beaded jewelry made out of paper. One of my morning exercise buddies said to me, "We made those in an art class once." She mentioned something about a process, but my ears were not in the present as much as my eyes however, the magic of the internet saved the day. Now, don't go searching for "how to make paper beads" or you will waste precious time. Some of those people are as intense about paper beads as others are about quill pens. You're a mommy and I am a mommy and you don't have the precious time to waste, plus... I already did it for you. But if you really want to, you can peruse these two sites. I found them most helpful. Also, this page has some really beautiful ones but uses a very different, much more involved process.

OK. That's enough clicking. Let's make some!!!!

Here are my supplies:
Strips of paper cut into "pointed" shapes (scrapbook. magazine, catalog, etc...)
glue stick
toothpicks (for little ones, a bamboo skewer might work better)
clear nail polish
damp rag (not pictured)
egg carton or styrofoam

Cover the back side of one strip with glue. I used a blue glue stick just so you could see that when you cover the back side with glue, you want to leave about an inch to an inch and a half unglued at the widest end.
Using a toothpick, start rolling the paper up from the widest to the narrowest end.
Here it is all rolled up. Now, you should know that some of the glue will squeeze out and get all over your fingers and the bead. That's OK as long as it dries clear. Use the damp rag to wipe off your fingers in between EACH BEAD. The more glue on your fingers, the harder the next bead is to make. Trust me. Also, the paper will slide around after it is rolled up, so just slide the bead along the toothpick to make sure it didn't get glued to the stick and then slide your rolled paper back to the center of the bead if it happens to get lopsided in the process.
I am using this empty egg carton to stick the toothpicks in until the beads are dry. Shouldn't take more than about an hour. Now, those other intense sites give you all kinds of instructions about using a sealer like Modge Podge or a mixture of glue and water and dipping 6-8 times with ten minutes of drying time in between or embossing powder blah blah blah. Don't listen to them. This is a craft, not a family heirloom. Use a coat of clear nail polish and be done. Or if you want to get a little fancy, the one on the left that is a little out of focus got a coat of translucent pearl that I had left over from back when I used to do my nails (French manicure anyone? Actually, I preferred the American version).

Now go have fun!


  1. Those are just awesome, Charlotte!

  2. I stand waiting to be dazzled by the Rosary you will make with these beads!

  3. When my 12 year old was 3, we made beads like these from colorful magazine pages (It was a recycling craft that I found in a magazine.) and it was a lot of fun for both of us. When it was done she had a one of a kind beaded necklace. But I never thought of making a rosary out of the paper beads. The individual beads you are creating are so lovely! I can't wait to see the finished product!

  4. What a beautiful idea, Charlotte! I showed Dylan and he wants to try making a necklace for Caitlyn's upcoming birthday! :)

  5. Michelle, honey, you need to sit down cuz' this could take a while! :)

  6. Ooh! I remember making these in school with magazine pages! The beads turn out great! What a fun idea for a rosary!!

  7. Wow!! What a totally cool idea!! I can't wait to see your finished rosary!

  8. Oh my goodness, those are beautiful! What a terrific idea. Show us a picture of your rosary when you're done.

    And all those years ago when I used to get manicures (don't miss 'em one bit!) - I always got an American - so much more natural-looking than French! It's funny, my fingernails right now look like they've been French manicured, only this time, it's white paint underneath! These days are so much better than the old ones, aren't they?

  9. Really nice, these can really make nice rosaries for adult and children as well!


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