How to Make a Paper Bead Roller

paper image by max blain from

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch thick by 6- by 4-inch wooden block
  • Stainless steel L-brackets
  • 1/2-inch steel screws
  • Electric drill
  • 2 wooden pencils with erasers
  • Coping saw
  • Large embroidery needle
  • Round-nose plier and wire-nip combo tool
  • 20-gauge craft wire

Paper beads offer a way to recycle old magazines, newspapers, printer paper, wrapping paper scraps and any other kind of paper you have lying around. You can paint and glaze these beads to make fashionable jewelry for pennies. The only tool you need is a paper bead roller. While craft stores sell metal rollers at somewhat expensive prices, you can continue your green streak by making your own paper bead roller at home.

Lay your "L" brackets so one arm of each is flat against your wooden block and the other arm sticks straight up into the air. Turn them so the upright arms are closest to each other and slide them until they are 5 inches apart and lined up perfectly parallel. Screw the bottom arm of each bracket into the wood with screws and a hand drill.

Brace the eraser-end of each pencil against your table and gently, but firmly saw off the first 3 inches of each with your coping saw. These little saws work well for delicate cuts like this. You should have two 4-inch pencils with erasers at one end when finished.

Push the pointed end of your needle into the center of the eraser of one pencil. Push the eye of the needle into the other eraser; this may take some muscle. The result should be a horizontal line capped on either end by pencils with a needle in the center.

Slide the pencil-needle assembly through the top holes in your L-brackets so it rests between them like a bridge.

Nip a 6-inch piece of 20-gauge craft wire and wrap about 2 inches of it around the cut end of the right pencil (or the left, if you are left handed). Wrap the coils close together, pinching them tight to the pencil with your pliers. Bend the remaining wire into an L-shaped handle. You can roll your beads on the needle in the center by turning the wire handle.