Ultimate Guide to Recycled Newspaper Crafts

Recycled Newspaper Beads

One project that's fun for both adults and kids is creating beads out of recycled newspapers. Chances are that you'll have just about everything you need around the house.

You'll need:

  • Newspapers
  • Clear drying glue
  • Varnish
  • Craft paint
  • A large old pot
  • A large pot
  • Sandpaper
  • Toothpicks [source: Sanborn]

Start by filling the large, nicer pot with water and heating it to a boil on your stovetop. While the water is heating, spend several minutes ripping several sheets of newspaper into small pieces. The smaller you make your pieces the easier it will be to create the beads in a size to your liking. Toss the newspaper pieces into a large old pot that you no longer use for cooking. The pot may be difficult to clean after this process, so an older pot is best. In fact, you may want to pick one up at a local thrift store or yard sale.

Once you've finished ripping newspaper, pour the boiling water into the pot with the pieces. Make sure it's enough water to cover the newspaper scraps, and let it sit for an hour. Once the hour is up, stir the newspaper to help it decompose and drain as much water from the paper as you can. Then add enough clear-drying glue to the mixture to hold the paper together.

Now comes the fun part. Roll a portion of the paper-glue mixture into a ball the size you'd like your beads to be, squeezing out any additional water as you go. Take a toothpick and pierce the center of each ball going through to the other side to create the hole for stringing them. Let the balls dry for a few days, rolling them two to three times a day so that the beads keep their shape [source: Sanborn].

Once all of the beads have dried, sand down any rough edges. Paint the beads with craft paint, and once the paint dries, cover the beads with a light coat of varnish to protect your art. Then start stringing!

Now that you're good at tearing newspaper, read on to learn another craft you can tear into.