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paper bead necklace DIY

how to make a paper bead necklace

paper bead necklace DIYThis paper bead necklace project is easy to make and offers a lot of room for creativity. The beads are spun cotton balls that I painted with regular acrylic paint. The resulting necklace is lightweight and comfortable to wear.

paper bead necklace DIY

Project Materials

Spun cotton balls. They come in many sizes. I used the 15mm diameter ones but you can also use the 8mm, 10mm, the 12mm, the 18mm…My necklace is 17 bead longs (Note that my model in this picture has a fairly small neck).

– Strong black thread and a needle.

– Paint and a brush. Any paint that works on paper will also work on spun cotton balls. I like to use acrylic because it dries relatively fast, it has a good covering power, and it cleans up with water.

– A clasp mechanism (I used the very simple clasp pictured here).

clasp mechanism

– A pair of wire cutters and two pairs of pliers.

Step by step directions

STEP 1: Paint all the beads. The beads are easier to paint if you put them on a stick. A toothpick or a bamboo skewer work well. Spun cotton balls are sold with a hole on one side already so they are easy to poke with a stick.  If you want your paper bead necklace to shine, you can finish your beads with a layer of clear coat. I like mod podge because it is non-toxic.

STEP 2: Prepare your necklace line. The goal here is to reproduce what is displayed in the picture.

You can make your necklace line as long as you want. Make the line longer than what you want your necklace to be because the knots will shorten the line.

I used extra strong thread that I quadrupled  to make it even stronger.

To quadruple your thread, first double it, slide it through the eye of the needle and then pull until the needle is in the middle of the line. .

You then need to tie two knots at the end of the line: knot #1 and knot #2.

necklace craft tutorial

When you are done tying these knots, cut off the excess thread. Don’t cut too close to knot #2 or you risk weakening the knot. We will put a bead over knot #2 to hide it anyway.

Step 3: Insert the first bead. Notice there are two ways to “skewer” the beads: from back to front or from front to back. For the first bead, go “front to back” so that the bead will easily slide over and cover knot #2. When the bead is in place, tie a new knot to lock it into place.

Step 4: Thread the other beads. For the other beads, insert the needle “back to front” because there are less changes to damage the beads this way. After each bead, tie a new knot to secure them into place.

paper bead necklace designs

Step 5: Tie the last knot. Once you have reached the end of the line, insert one last bead and tie one last knot. At this point, I sacrificed the needle and cut it off with a pair of wire cutters.

Step 6: Attach the clasps. I used two pairs of pliers, one in each hand, to open and close the clasp rings.


Do not hesitate to leave a comment and share your suggestions. I am sure there are ways to make this paper bead necklace project even easier.  Thank you and I hope you have fun making your own necklace.

Note: if you like this craft idea you may also like this other tutorial: fabric covered bead necklace.

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