• gems31

How the HECK is May almost over? And I am an addict.

I absolutely cannot believe that the calendar is telling me the truth, that MAY is almost ending? I think that I lost March and April someplace in the midst of the flu, laryngitis, and a lot of coughing…winter ugh. Well, I guess it is so I better get myself moving forward!

Oh yes, it is true. I believe I am addicted and if that isn’t bad enough, I have gotten a bunch of other people addicted as well. Addicted to…?

Making paper beads! I have lots of paper, piles of beautifully colored paper. And with this paper I have discovered that one can make beautiful beads of all sizes and shapes. I discovered this new passion while researching 100 year old hand crafts to teach at my local historical society where I volunteer. It’s easy, uses simple materials and supplies, and is highly addictive. Don’t believe me? Just listen to what some of my students have said:

“Karen, you warned me that it was addictive. I laughed. Well, I was watching paper bead videos on YouTube in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. Yep, addicted.”

“I had so much fun learning to make paper beads that I went home and made some more. Then I made some more. I just finished making two dozen bracelets for my women’s group. Oh dear, I think I am hooked!”

“I got so excited when I saw clear glue on sale, I yelled ‘Wahoo!’ out loud in the store. Then I saw the scrapbook paper on sale at 50% off and started cheering. Hooked for sure!”

It’s so easy to make paper beads, I will give you a quick tutorial here:

1) Cut a strip of paper

2) Wind it around a core, like a skewer, toothpick, knitting needle

3) Dab Elmer’s clear glue on the last 1 ½” of the strip and finish rolling it up

4) Carefully remove from the core, let dry and voila! You have your first bead!

If you want more detailed instructions and suggestions of other tools you can use, glazing techniques, and templates for different bead shapes and sizes, just send me an email: and I will be happy to send you info.

Now, I am one of those type A “all in” kind of gals and I also have a big studio loaded with tools. So, I actually figured out some tools to make the beads more easily and then stepped it up a few notches and came up with a traveling paper bead box! I have made beads in the car when going on long trips (my husband was driving!) And I now have a name for my paper bead collection: Papyrus! I plan to post some of my new Papyrus jewelry on my website in June, so stay tuned.

Have you found something new that you really are enjoying exploring? Please share! I’d love to hear!

Happy May,


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