How To… make a Newspaper Mâché Bead Necklace

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A while back I saw some newspaper mâché beads over at We Are That Family. That got me intrigued and excited! I love beautiful things made out of seemingly worthless materials. A google hit came up with very few tutorials on how to make newspaper mâché beads and then ones I found one, I didn’t like – mainly for two reasons: they used PVC glue and the used drills! Far too complicated for me. Plus I am not too handy with drills.

So I decided to have a go myself. I used homemade mâché paste made from flour and water. Use our easy peasy guide to how to make paper mache from flour – inexpensive, environmentally friendly and quick!

I think my result is pretty good, but I think if you have a little more time you can do even better! Also, these are a little on trickier side, so you will need patience and maybe do these with slightly older children? The more you do, the easier it gets!

Materials: Newspaper, Toothpicks/ skewer, Flour, Old container, Acrylic Paints (min 2 colours)

1) Tear up the newspaper into tiny tiny shreds. A shredder could come in handy! The smaller the better and the neater your end result.

2) Pour boiling water over them and let soak

3) Make mâché paste as per instructions here.

4) Drain water.

5) Start shaping the beads whilst mixing in lots of mâché paste. I made different sizes.

6) Put on skewer or use a toothpick/ wire to make a hole. I actually moulded mine aournd the skewer, saving me the fiddly job of getting a hole in it. Try and squeeze as much moisture out, whilst ensuring there it is smothered in paste (tricky!).

7) Let dry for 2-3 days, until TOTALLY dry. Some instructions suggest going back to the beads regularly and reshaping them, other sand down rough edges at end. Also re-poking the hole. Others drill a hole at the end. I, ahem, did neither of these. With small children I don’t have the time to keep revisiting! But this is the stage when you get the beads finer!

8 Once dry, paint. I did this by rolling them in a pot of paint & then letting them dry on a plastic carrier bag.

9) Add 2nd coat of contrasting paint.

10) Varnish if you wish.

11) Thread onto some thread or a ribbon and you are done!

A great project for holidays and keeping teenagers or just yourself busy!  Enjoy!

Why not check out my other How To’s here?