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By Olivia DeMirjian
Photos by Susan Sheridan

Over the summer, I went to art class with my mom, who is an artist. Her art teacher showed me a project that really interested me – colorful bracelets made out of paper and glue. She showed me how to cut and roll the paper to create a bead. Each bead was then strung onto clear elastic thread and – voila – a bracelet was born.
When I got home, I decided to take the project one step further and designed my own paper using markers, basic white copy paper, and my imagination. My first bracelet was called “Olivia’s First”, and it was made up of primary colors. After that, I began making more bracelets, including “Tutti Frutti,” “Happy Fever,” and “Party In the USA.” I started wearing the bracelets to school, and a lot of my friends really liked them. From the start, I knew I wanted to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. I have three charities that I donate to, and this makes me feel good as I am creating the bracelets.

Materials

Plain white recycled copy paper
Colorful markers
Ruler
Pencil
Scissors
Mod Podge or a clear glue stick
Small inexpensive paint brush, 1/2″ wide
Several toothpicks
Wax paper
Epoxy
Clear elastic thread
Painter’s tape
Small glass beads in multiple colors

Directions

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Step 1: Create a design with markers on the white paper. Your design can first be drawn out with a pencil or made up without a pre-planned design.
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Step 2: Take a ruler, and with your pencil, make lines that form long triangle strips. Cut the strips. I make my strips about 1/2″ wide at the base and about 1/8″ wide at the tip.
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Step 3: Paint the uncolored side of the triangle strip with Modge Podge. Lay the toothpick at the base of your triangle strip (on the sticky side) and roll up your strip. You will be rolling from the base to the tip of the triangle. Roll tightly and carefully, using the toothpick to help wrap up the paper. Make sure to keep the triangle centered as you roll. Pull your bead off the toothpick and set onto wax paper.
Step 4: Roll at least 8-10 beads. Once you have done this, begin epoxying the beads. After the beads have dried from the epoxy (1-3 days), you can begin to string them.
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Step 5: Lay your roll of clear elastic down on your work table and tape its case down with painter’s tape (making sure not to tape down the thread itself). This will make it easy to string your beads without also having to deal with your spool of thread. Now take your clear thread and begin stringing one epoxied bead onto the elastic. Follow this with one, two, or three glass beads – however many you desire. Repeat this and measure as you string to make sure you have enough beads on the elastic to fit your wrist. Once you finish stringing, make sure you have at least 3″ on each end of your beads before cutting the string.
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Step 6: Knot the elastic and then trim, making sure not to accidentally cut into the knot.
Step 7: Wear and enjoy your one-of-a-kind, completely handmade bracelet.
About the Author:
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Olivia DeMirjian is a 12-year-old student that never considered herself creative until she uncovered her own talent by creating these one of a kind, completely handmade, uniquely designed bracelets. She donates a portion of her profits to three different charities.
About the Photographer:
Susan Sheridan has been a freelance photographer for 12 years, focusing on portraits for children and babies. She has also photographed corporate headshots for Universal Studios, Paramount Studios, E! Entertainment, and many other networks and studios. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. Visit Susan Sheridan Photography to see more of her work.


Related

Comments

  1. Barbara Byrum says:

    Use colorful, glossy magazine pages. It recycles, and they make great beads.

  2. Shilpa says:

    Olivia! This is really great!!!
    Can you explain what epoxying the beads means OR how to do this process in detail?

  3. Ginette Schwenn says:

    Please clarify what you mean by “epoxy”. What brand name do you use, where purchased, how is it applied. Thanks so much!

  4. Lori says:

    Very impressive. I love all the color. I love you having a bunch of bracelets on. Its looks so cool and fun.

  5. deezyone says:

    thanks for such a great idea, Ive been looking for beads with larger holes to use with the less ablebodied, and these will be ideal.

  6. sarah says:

    THIS IS SO COOL! I am so going to do this tomorrow. Hopefully they turn out as good as yours.

    1. karen says:

      it will turn so perfect like mine with practice! I sell mine on eBay with a reasonable price! all my beady are way pretty than anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Robin E. says:

    A wonderful tutorial, and it never occurred to me it wasn’t written by an adult until I got to the end. I want to make these sort of beads for myself and I know my daughters will want to join me, but I, too, am unsure by what you mean by “begin epoxying the beads”. Please do an additional blog post explaining the product you use and how you use it to achieve such bright and shiny beads.

  8. tessa says:

    wow! I am a bead junkie, and I think this is the greatest I have seen. Great job hun! :)

  9. Olivia says:

    Hello everyone!
    To answer the epoxying questions it is very hard to do this step. I have my dad help me with it. Since it is hard I would recommend buying varnish from pretty much any art store.
    Thanks for reading this article it means so much to me!
    Also it would be awesome if you could like me on Facebook. Just type in Beads, Paper, Scissors and it should come up.
    Thanks!!!
    Olivia

  10. Olivia says:

    Hello everyone!
    To answer the epoxying questions it is very hard to do this step. I have my dad help me with it. Since it is hard I would recommend buying varnish from pretty much any art store.
    Thanks for reading this article it means so much to me!
    Also it would be awesome if you could like me on Facebook. Just type in Beads, Paper, Scissors and it should come up.
    Thanks!!!
    Olivia

  11. CJ says:

    Olivia, you have inspired me to make beads. And now I’m signed up for a beginning bead stringing class, too. I wanted you to know that your tutorial was wonderfully done. As a result, I have a new craft to explore and am having a great time…..all because of your post. Thanks so much and God bless!

  12. CJ says:

    Olivia, you have inspired me to make beads. And now I’m signed up for a beginning bead stringing class, too. I wanted you to know that your tutorial was wonderfully done. As a result, I have a new craft to explore and am having a great time…..all because of your post. Thanks so much and God bless!

  13. Nkambo James says:

    thank you for talent and the art you have please and praise be to God.
    OLIVIA,
    i work with proverbs 31, and we have a page . its a non profit organization that works with needy women.HIV positives, widows and those that need really help. we do this by teaching them how to make paper beads which we later look for market here and later look for market here and out like in states. we make fashions that can fit and suit the market, am therefore asking you if you in any way have your contribution or looking up market, volunteer and teach women different fashions, gather clothes and give them away to these families or any thing you can afford, we have worked with SHAUNA RICHARDS and she knows us. thank you.
    GOD BLESS YOU

  14. yna lei says:

    This is really awesome!
    it helped my sister’s project. we used clear nail polish for alternatives, but what you did was much wonderful. thanks a lot olivia :)