Making your own beaded jewelry continues to be a trend rolling its way back and forth across the country. Stop at almost any outdoor art fair or peek into any bead store, and you'll see exquisite beads from around the world in all shapes and sizes that inspire us to be creative.
There's nothing new about beading. The popular art form has been around for centuries, passed down from generation to generation.
I remember making beads from glossy magazine paper when I was in kindergarten. We rolled the bright-colored paper into narrow beads, strung them on shoelaces and wore them around our necks.
If you and your kids would like to create some dazzling designs of your own this fall, here's how to make paper beads and fashion them into necklaces and accessories.
Tear out illustrated pages from a magazine or save a sheet or two from the Sunday comics in your newspaper. Gift-wrap paper also works well. The more colorful the paper, the brighter the beads.
Cut the paper into long, narrow triangles, approximately 5 inches long and 11/2 inches wide at the broad end.
To form each bead, carefully roll the triangle around a pencil or sturdy drinking straw (use a large nail or toothpick for narrow beads), beginning with the broad end of the triangle and ending with the pointed end. Glue the point to the rolled paper. Remove the pencil or straw. Continue until you have a nice collection. Young
To make necklaces, string beads onto bright cording, yarn or string. Knot the ends together. For variation, add buttons, aluminum washers and craft beads between the paper beads.
To make a brooch or hair clip, use a glue gun to glue several beads together in a row on the top of a jewelry clasp or a plain, flat hair clip.
Note: To protect the beads and make them shine, paint them with nontoxic water-soluble varnish before you string the necklaces or make accessories. It's also fun to add dots and designs with craft paint from squeeze bottles.
Donna Erickson is the executive producer and host of public television's award-winning family lifestyle series "Donna's Day." Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families." For more ideas, visit MinnMoms.com/donna, sign up for Donna's e-newsletter at donnasday.com, like the Donna's Day Facebook page or follow Donna at twitter.com/Donna_Erickson.