There are many crafts that are made with recycled paper. While visiting my sister I was able to shop at a Ten Thousand Villages store. The crafts that are made there by artists in developing countries, some using recycled materials like paper, were amazing- coiled paper baskets, bags, jewelry and more- it was all very impressive.
Using that as our inspiration, we tried our hand at making recycled paper bead necklaces recently. The materials for the activity include: magazine pages, scissors, glue stick, damp sponge or cloth, work mat, pencil, yarn and a darning needle (or children's needle).
The beads were made from pages of a magazine. I decided to cut the inch-wide triangle shaped pieces beforehand. The more colorful the better!
To make the beads, my daughters applied glue, stopping about an inch from the widest end so that the bead would slide off the pencil after being rolled.
Next, starting at the widest end, glue side up, we rolled the paper.
After the paper was rolled, we applied glue to the tip of the triangle if needed. We then slid the bead off the pencil and trimmed the edge when needed (some of my youngest daughter's were unevenly rolled but this could be fixed just by trimming the ends). If the pencil got glue on it or fingers got sticky we used a sponge or cloth to wipe clean.
After cleaning off hands, we got out some yarn and a needle and set to stringing the necklaces.
I tied a large knot at the end in hopes of preventing beads from sliding off (that can be so frustrating!)
We made extra beads to add to our bead collection for future necklace making. The magazine also has a permanent spot at the art cupboard to encourage more bead making and whatever else they may be inspired to make.
I feel a project such as this, allows my daughters to participate in the process of making something from very basic materials into something much more. I hope it encourages more creativity and an appreciation and openness to recycling and reusing beyond the recycling box.