January 3, 2009

Cute Paper Beads from Security Envelopes

Filed under: Projects — laupre @ 9:21 pm

Closeup on some of the beads I made. Cute, right?

I saw some cute little paper beads while browsing Craftster the other day and thought they were so cute and clever! I was instantly transported back to my childhood on one of those long summer days when you just have to whine, “I’m bored!” My dear packrat Grandma pulled out some old craft magazines (like 60’s or 70’s old) so I could find a project to do. I found an article in one magazine on making paper beads and spent the rest of the afternoon with a stack of junk paper, a bottle of Elmer’s glue and a plastic handled paintbrush (to wrap the paper around). I can still remember peeling the glue “skin” off my fingers and stringing the beads onto a piece of yard to make the most beautiful necklace I thought I would ever see.

Hit with that blast of nostalgia, and an evening with nothing to do, I decided to once again try my hand at making some paper beads. I loved the idea of using the insides of the security envelopes so I dug through the recycling and found a few. I used my rotary cutter to slice long strips of the envelopes, then tore the long strips into shorter lengths (the torn ends seal better than cut ones). I opted for glossy mod-podge instead of the classic Elmer’s and thought I’d be mature and apply the glue with a paintbrush instead of dipping and wiping with my fingers. I wrapped the paper strips around a thin DPN and slid them off carefully to dry.

I don’t know how I had forgotten all about paper beads for so long, but now I might just have to make a few more. I started thinking about cute scrapbooking paper I’ve seen and how they might look. I don’t really do much beading, though, so these are just sitting in a little box on my desk for now. I think I might just string a bunch of them together and toss them on my keyring with some pretty glass beads.

(p.s. I ended up giving up on the paintbrush about 5 minutes in. By the end of the night I was peeling off my extra layer of mod-podge skin with a little grin. What can say? Sometimes your hands are the best tool, even when it means getting a little messy.)


  1. I loved making paper beads when I was a kid! The security envelopes make some awesome beads! When you said you were using a paintbrush for the mod podge, I was wondering how long it was going to take for you to go back to the messy way. =)

    Comment by knittinnoodlin — January 6, 2009 @ 4:11 am

  2. These are great! I love that they look modern (and vaguely japanese) with the security patterns on them. Sweet! I will be linking at

    Comment by dollarstorecraftsdotcom — January 6, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

  3. […] Laupre posted instructions to make these amazing paper beads using the printed insides of security envelopes. I love this modern twist on a traditional craft. The security patterns (found inside any of the envelopes your bills are mailed in) look vaguely Japanese, I think! I love reuses of things that would normally be thrown away, and this project does it with great style! […]

    Pingback by Make Modern Paper Beads from Security Envelopes | Dollar Store Crafts — January 16, 2009 @ 8:06 am

  4. […] throw away those security envelopes with the pretty patterns inside – do what Laupre has done and recycle them into paper beads. [via Dollar Store Crafts] SHARE THIS POSTClose Bookmark and Share This Page Save to Browser […]

    Pingback by Folding Trees » Security envelope beads — January 17, 2009 @ 4:00 am

  5. I can’t wait to try these. I did those a long time ago from shiny magazine pages too. They were pretty good but I like these better. Thanks

    Comment by eve — April 12, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

  6. You’re a life saver! I was asked to teach a paper bead class. I knew the basics, but needed graphics. Thanks so much. Also, for the new idea of using envelopes!
    Chris Greer, Abingdon, VA

    Comment by Chris Greer — April 14, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  7. […] Paper Beads From Security Envelopes […]

    Pingback by Paper Bead Jewelry For Adults — December 13, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  8. […] Security Envelope Beads Security Envelope Business Card Holder Repurposed Security Envelopes (turn ‘em inside out and reuse ‘em!) Security Envelope Valentine Security Envelope Flowers, Mobiles, Garlands & More […]

    Pingback by lovely delights » Blog Archive » recycled gift card mini notepad — February 15, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

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