Beads from Old Magazines

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We were inspired by upcoming Earth Day to make beads from old magazines! I first saw this idea in The Complete Tightwad Gazette — a terrific resource. To make your own magazine beads, you will need: glue mixed with some water, toothpick (or straw, or bamboo skewer), old magazines, and a paint brush. We wanted our beads to be green, and one of the best sources came from an old December issue of Real Simple.

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Cut the magazine pages into long thin triangles. Start wrapping the paper around the toothpick and brush some of the watered down glue mixture on top. Have your child roll the paper the rest of the way. Carefully pull the bead off of the toothpick and allow to dry.
Emily used a blunt tip tapestry needle and cotton string to make a necklace out of them, but these would also make pretty earrings! Now go recycle those old magazines!

More Earth Day Crafts for Kids:


  1. sunnymama says

    I made these before and enjoyed doing it so much I ended up with hundreds of beads! I experimented with different shaped triangles and different colours, textures and thickness of paper. The covers of glossy magazines make good beads. I look forward to doing it again with sunnyboy when he’s a bit older, thanks for reminding me about it!

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! And for the compliments. I’m glad I found your paint idea!

  3. Never would have thought of this. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  4. Val in the Rose Garden says

    Oh these are on our list for SURE! Cyan would LOVE that craft! Thanks for reminding me about it. 🙂


  5. We used to make these all the time as kids. So fun and such a beautiful creation!

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone! It just occurred to me that this would make a great activity for a brownie troop. Has anyone ever attempted this with a group of kids? I would love to know how it turned out!

  7. @ sunnymama — There is something about this technique that is addicting! I wonder how foil paper would work?

  8. Foil paper would be interesting to try! The possibilities are endless for variations on this really. Newspaper, wrapping paper, paper food packaging, all sorts of things could work. Shiny materials like foil would look so pretty. As you can tell, I love crafts like this 🙂

  9. Sounds like lots of fun…I’ll have to try it with my little princess.

  10. That is a fun idea. My girls would love doing this. Great Earth Day project.

    Thanks for linking.

  11. littlebear says

    This is awesome! Might make a good Mother’s Day gift to do with the girls!

  12. I haven’t attempted these yet but I like that 1. you are reusing and 2. You can make whatever color and size you want. Thanks!

  13. I stumbled across a link from the Today Show where you showed some paper crafts. This being one of them. Now I find myself making hundreds, and soon to be thousands of them to make my 8 year old daughter a "beaded curtain" for her bedroom. 5 strings done, at least 50 to go! It is ging to look so awesome I can't wait until it's done! THANKS for sharing! God Bless you!