Paper beads are so easy, cheap and fun to make. And this brilliant device makes it even better.
This is the Great Gizmos Green Creativity Recycled Paper Beads kit. It costs around £10 and is available from Amazon (link at bottom) and many craft stores.
The bead maker is a sturdy plastic device and can be used in two ways. You can screw in the lightweight handle to hold the turner, or screw the top onto an empty plastic bottle. I am using an individual size Coke bottle, the family size 2 litre version also fits, so I assume most standard fizzy drink bottles would. The bottle makes it much easier to hold the winder comfortably. I tend to hold mine between my thighs which frees my hands for the winding bit.
Handy hint! If you are using a small size bottle, drop a few coins into the bottom of the bottle before you start creating. Otherwise the turner and bottle combo is quite top heavy and easy to fall over if you stand it up between bead making sessions… and picking loads of little beads up off the floor can get boring very fast. Adding the coins makes it far more stable. The bigger sizes of bottle are less likely to fall over.
Using the bead maker is very simple. You just slip the end of a thin strip of paper into the metal grip, then turn the handle to wind the bead. There is a spring-loaded “foot” which gently presses on the bead to keep everything smooth and tidy. Just add a spot of glue at the end and pull the bead off the grip. If you have the bead maker on top of a bottle you can then drop the finished bead through a hole in the base and into the bottle for storage – very convenient indeed!
As well as the bead maker and its optional handle, also included in the box are an assortment of small papers, pre-printed and ready for you to quickly cut into strips. There is also a small sachet of glue and a handy little foam-topped dabber for applying it. A very clear and concise instruction leaflet is also included.
You can make beads from all sorts of paper. Pretty scrapbook and crafting papers can look stunning, but equally beautiful results can be had from using colourful junk mail, magazines, old maps and more. A fun way to recycle stuff you would otherwise throw away.
The resultant beads are lightweight and ideal for making necklaces, earrings and other jewelry.. or using in mixed media and other crafting projects. I give mine a quick coat of glaze for protection and extra gloss. You can also coat the beads in a thin layer of PVA glue for protection. You can paint the beads or add glitter and other coatings too.
Whilst it is perfectly possible to make paper beads using a knitting needle, or a simple pronged stick, this sturdy bead maker does make the process easier and faster
I also find turning the handle is much easier on my wrists than twiddling a stick to wind the beads. I don’t have any children around to test, but I suspect it is a lot easier for youngsters to turn a bead on this winder than with a small stick. I definitely end up with less glue on me using this device than when I used a small pronged stick type turner.
The option of adding a bottle for a built in storage device is very clever and convenient.
The handle is sturdy and I am sure will last many years. I love making paper beads and as I make quite a lot of them the investment of buying this bead winder has already saved me a lot of time and wrist ache.
This link leads to the item on Amazon.com. If you purchase it from this link then I would get a small commission from Amazon for sending custom their way.