Google+ House Revivals: How to Make Your Own Paper Bead Roller

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How to Make Your Own Paper Bead Roller

If you love rolling paper beads -- or you just want to give it a try, here is a quick and easy way to make your own bead rolling tool using items you have around the house.

I was rolling my beads using the old school method, and it was seriously cramping my hands. I thought there had to be a better way, but didn't have the willpower to wait two days for a bead roller to come in the mail.

I usually use a bamboo skewer to roll my beads around, and I thought to myself  "what if I put a little slit in one end to help get the beads started?" I played around with a couple of incarnations, and came up with a design I really liked -- then I did an internet search and discovered lots of other crafters have come up with similar ideas! Great minds think alike, right?

Here's how I ended up making my tools:  Start with a bamboo skewer.  My local markets carry two sizes of bamboo skewer, a long one and a short one.  I like to use one long skewer cut in half. The longer skewer has a slightly larger circumference, so if you need a smaller hole for your bead, use the smaller skewers. If you use the smaller skewer, you will need two of them.

  • Cut your long skewer in half (skip this step if you are using the short skewers). 
  • Set the pointed half aside and carefully split the blunt half into two pieces. I just used an old pair of scissors to start the split, then used one blade of the scissors to gently separate the two sides. If you are using short skewers, just split one of the two skewers. You can snip off the point first, if you want.

  • I learned the hard way that bamboo can be a bit splintery. You will want to lightly sand away any splinters on the newly exposed flat surfaces of the split skewer.

  • Next, you will want to glue the split skewer back together. Just a couple of light dabs of glue is all that is needed.

  • Basically, you're done! If you want, you can roll some high tack tape, like this pretty patterned duct tape, around the glued end to create a little handle. The thicker handle is much easier on tired or arthritic hands.

  • I use the pointed half of the skewer to open up bead holes, and to help manipulate beads, so I wrapped matching tape around the blunt end of the pointed half of the skewer to make a matching set.

Now you are ready to roll lots of beads -- experiment with different widths and thicknesses of paper and have fun!

You can seriously make these cute paper bead rolling tools in under five minutes! You will find yourself rolling beads in a fraction of the time it usually takes. I really wish I'd thought of this when I was doing this project.

Are you a jewelry maker?  Have you have rolled beads from paper?