Making your own homemade beads not only allows you to customize the look of handmade jewelry, it also allows you to recycle materials that might otherwise wind up in a landfill. Using full color magazine pages, you can create beads in an endless array of color combinations. Best of all, the process requires little in the way of extra tools, so you won’t need to spend an unnecessary amount of money acquiring costly craft items to complete your beads. With your finished beads, you can create jewelry, artwork and home décor. Your only limit is your imagination.
Choose the magazine page you will use to make your beads. Keep in mind the colors you would like to see on your finished piece. While large details might not show very well, little details such as words and small designs can add to the uniqueness of the piece.
Cut the magazine page into strips lengthwise, roughly one inch in width.
Apply glue to the “backside” of the strip. This side will not be visible on the finished bead. Leave roughly one inch glue-free.
Roll the magazine strip around the coffee stirrer, keeping it tight, but not so tight that it will cause the page to tear. Leave one inch of the strip unrolled.
Apply extra glue to the remaining inch. Once you have placed glue on the remaining inch, roll it toward the bead, pressing it into the bead to attach.
Coat the bead with Mod Podge. Be generous with your applications, but careful not to “goop” the glue onto the bead as layers that are too thick will have difficulty drying. If you’d like a thicker glaze, allow the first layer to dry and then apply a second layer.
Remove the bead from the coffee stirrer. You may have to tug at the bead to remove it, as the bead will sometimes stubbornly stick to the stirrer’s surface. If you are unable to remove the bead, twist the bead while firmly holding onto the stirrer near the edge of the bead.
String your beads onto a necklace or use them as barrel beads for earring dangles. While the layer of Mod Podge on their surface generally protects these beads, they will not withstand exposure to water or extended sunlight. Remove any jewelry created with the bead before swimming or sunbathing.