Learning Library

Make Your Own Beads (From Magazines)

Make Your Own Beads (From Magazines)
Make Your Own Beads (From Magazines)

Learning area: Art
Time commitment: Moderate (30 minutes to 1 hour)
Best for: Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4


It’s amazing what you can create by recycling! Pages from any magazine can be used to make tons of unique beads.



  • colorful magazines
  • bamboo skewer, 1/8-inch dowel, or soda straw
  • thick craft glue or standard white glue
  • yarn
  • scissors



  1. Select several full pages from the magazine.
  2. Carefully cut each page into long strips about 1 inch wide. (An adult can do this for younger students.)
  3. Carefully cut each of these strips diagonally into two long triangles.
    Paper triangles to roll magazine beads
  4. Roll the wide end (the base) of one magazine triangle tightly around the skewer two times.
  5. Coat the rest of the triangle with glue.
  6. Continue rolling the triangle around the skewer. A bead should form that is fatter in the middle than on the ends (like a football).
  7. Slide the bead off the skewer and set aside to dry.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the other triangles to make more beads.
  9. When the beads are dry, string them onto yarn to complete your necklace.


Learn more: Fun Facts About Beads

Beads can be made from just about any type of material. You’ve probably seen plastic and glass beads, but wood, metal, and stone are also common materials.

Beads were originaly used as a form of trade or barter between different groups of early people.

They’ve also been used for centuries for:

  • decoration, such as on a tapestry or as jewelry
  • religion, such as prayer beads
  • health, such as worry beads or fidget beads
  • games, such as Mancala

The oldest beads ever found were discovered in a cave in South Africa and are thought to be more than 70,000 years old!

Originally posted 2023

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