The creation of paper beads has been said to have started in England as far back as the Victorian age. Where women would get together and spend their time creating paper beads out of the beautifully elaborate wallpaper scraps of the day.
To create their paper beads they would make use of their knitting needles and wrap their trimmed wallpaper scraps around them to form the beads. When they had finished making all of their paper beads they would then polish the them with bees wax. These Victorian women were said to have created beaded curtains and room dividers with their paper beads. Today we can only imagine how beautiful these creations were.
Making paper beads then made a comeback in the 1920s and 1930s where young women were now making them smaller and using them in the creation of their jewelry pieces.
These women to used knitting needles to form their paper beads, but they used news print and other printed papers which created much smaller beads. Another thing these crafty women started to do back then was that they would use their perfumes on the finished bead, creating scented paper beads. As they were coming from a time when treats like perfumes were hard to come by, this way they could wear their favorite scents every day without the worry of using the perfume up.
From then to now paper beads have pretty much been made the same way. But now in this present time we have access to many different types of papers such as, rice paper , construction paper, and we even make our own handmade papers that can be used in the creation of paper beads. All of which add character and texture to the beads. We also live in a time where people have come up with many ways for us to roll our paper beads, tooth picks, hand rolling tools, and even hand cranked machine like tools. So many to choose from all trying to help us find a way to make the best paper beads we can.
I think it is time to come up with a few ideas to turn paper beads into something new and different and add our own chapter into the paper bead making history. We are in a time where recycling and up-cycling is an important part of our lives. And there is no reason that jewelry pieces made with these beads need to be considered ugly. It is time to show that paper beads are equal to every other type of beads known and should be used with them to create artistic pieces of jewelry.