In the spirit of 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle', I'm including a link to these fun "recipes" for paper beads from Wiki How: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Paper-Beads
This is something to get you started if you want to do something productive with all that wrapping paper after the holidays! I'm also including some photos here of paper beads I think are great. Most of these I found on Etsy – which is a good place to look for pretty much anything handmade. And check out these Pinterest links for folks who really have great collections of paper bead images – just for perusing or for inspiration if you think you might seriously get into it.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/188799409349245261/ (video tutorial on paper-bead-making)
http://www.ehow.com/how_7683436_make-paper-beads-finished-resin.html (self explanatory title)
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/283726845246075693/ (a list of all the stuff you can make paper beads out of...)
http://www.ilovepaperbeads.com/blog/how-to-make-a-basic-rolled-paper-bead/ (a whole blog about paper beads)
Making paper beads is a traditional craft that goes back as far as the Victorian age. Young ladies would gather socially in their dining rooms and make handmade paper beads from scraps of wallpaper rolled on knitting needles. Then they would polish the beads with beeswax and string them on to long pieces of yarn. They would then be used to make door curtains to divide rooms. (I guess this practice was reincarnated in the 60's with the bead curtains my hippie friends used to have!!)
The practice of paper bead making (in England, at least) was revived in the 1920s and 30s, this time for the purpose of jewelry making. More recently, artist-made paper beads have been made in cooperatives as part of development projects in countries such as Uganda. This endeavors to move beyond charitable giving – towards business enterprises that provide sustainable income and development opportunities. The techniques used for African paper beads remains largely the same as used in Victorian times, but in this case many beads are made from printing companies' scrap paper and paper recycling markets. One of the best-known enterprises of this type is a Scottish based company called Mzuribeads who market and sell Ugandan paper beads, as well as cow horn beads, barkcloth beads, banana leaf beads and lampwork beads made from recycled glass.
You can also buy paper beads from independent bead making artists around the world, often sold through their own web sites, or online marketplaces such as Etsy and Artfire.
So before you toss out all that glittering, gorgeous Christmas paper, think twice. Maybe it can be reused, by you or someone else!
Until Next Time,