Paper Beads - History and Trends
Paper beads available at I-Beads
are handmade in the Philippines, with a delicate subtle clear glaze and a wooden core. Each bead is handmade, has a beautiful feminine and nostalgic quality that will be beautiful for making vintage style jewellery. We recommend that you avoid contact with water, due to the delicate nature of these beads.
Paper Beads - Earth
In the UK, making paper beads is a traditional craft that goes as far as the Victorian age. Wallpaper became a new trend in decorating upper class homes. The scrapes left over from the wallpaper were used by Victorian young ladies, they would hand make paper beads from scraps of wallpaper rolled on knitting needles. Paper beads would be polished with bees wax, hung on long pieces of string/yarn and used as door curtains to divide rooms (so it wasn't the 1960s and 70s who first created the bead curtains but the Victorian's).
Paper Beads - Michelangelo Angels
More recently paper beads have been made in cooperatives as part of development projects in countries such as Uganda. This sees a move away from charitable aid towards business enterprises that provide sustainable income and development opportunities. Rather than using wallpaper scrapes, scarp paper from printing companies and paper recycling markets have been the source of material, with the techniques used for making African paper beads remaining largely the same as Victorian times.
If you feel adventurous and want to follow in the steps of Victorian young ladies, make your own beads. All you need is some paper, wallpaper or other scrap paper, a knitting needle or something similar, water and wax. You could also wrap the paper around existing beads such as wooden beads or any other article that could be used as a bead (needs to have a hole drilled into it).
newspaper paper beads