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Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

09th June 2021

Popularised in the UK during the Victorian era, more recently paper bead-making has sustained co-operatives in Africa, whose intricately hand-tooled, colourful decorations make for striking jewellery.

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

09th June 2021

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

09th June 2021


★ Colour pages from magazines

★ Scissors

★ Pencil

★ Ruler

★ Paper straws or cocktail sticks (wooden toothpicks)

★ PVA glue

★ Brush or spreader


★ Card

★ Decoupage glue (see page 30 for method)

★ Varnish

★ Needle and embroidery thread (floss) or earring fixings

1 Cut out the most colourful magazine pages. Using a pencil and ruler, trace very long, equal triangles horizontally or vertically across the page. The base of each should be about 1–1.5cm (¾–⅝in) wide. You might want to make a template out of card to help you or you may brave freehand cutting!

2 Take the base of the pennant (long triangle) and roll it tightly around a cocktail stick (toothpick) or straw twice.

3 Dot a little glue down the pennant and keep rolling, keeping the paper tight, until you reach the end. Slide the bead off the stick or straw.

4 Brush a layer of PVA glue, decoupage glue or varnish over the whole bead. Leave to dry, separated on a plate, tray or suspended on a wire.

5 String your beads on a length of embroidery thread (floss) to make a necklace or bracelet, or use earring fixings to create dangly designs.

You can paint the beads, but I adore the eye-popping, random colours of magazine pages. Try making them in different shapes, such as a long rectangle or an off-centre triangle template. The beads can be used in so many crafts – to decorate picture frames, door signs or furniture or create decorations for a Christmas tree.

Taken from Rock, Paper Scissors, by The Green Parent’s own Kate Hodges. Published by Quadrille Books. Available at all good bookshops or online