Kenyan Beading

For one recycled paper bead bracelet you will need the following materials:

1 page from an old magazine, junk mail, calendar, brochure, or gift wrapping paper
A glue stick
Wooden toothpicks
Clear nail polish and small piece of styrofoam (optional)
Elastic beading cord, string, or chenille stick (about 9-10")


1. Tear or cut the page from the magazine (calendar, brochure, wrapping paper, etc.) that you have selected.
2. Using scissors, cut the page into 1/2" strips. (approx. 1/2" by 7-8") You may cut the entire page into strips or cut at least six for the bracelet.
3. Next, cut each strip in half on the diagonal. To make one mixed bead bracelet, use 8-12 diagonally cut "triangle" shaped pieces of paper.
4. Take a toothpick and one paper strip. Roll the WIDE end of the paper strip completely around the toothpick ONE rotation. Next, take the glue stick and quickly cover the remaining paper surface with glue. Run the glue stick over the paper twice. You may need to wipe any excess glue from your hands if they get too sticky!
5. Completely and TIGHTLY roll the paper strip around the toothpick. Smooth the tip/end of the paper strip in place. Next, slip the paper "BEAD" off the toothpick.  

This step is optional...

You may add a gloss coating to the beads. It seems to harden/ cure the paper and helps the bead to be more water-resistant (ex. if water splashes onto the bracelet when washing your hands).
1. Select a finished/glued bead. Place upon a toothpick and "polish" with the clear nail polish. Stick a row of the toothpicks containing the polished beads in a piece of Styrofoam so they may dry without touching the table top or each other.
2. After the beads are dry, inspect each one and use the scissors to trim away any tiny paper tags that are not completely glued/ sealed in place.
3. String the beads and tie the end of the strings together to the desired size to fit on wrist

Original “recipe” modified from

CultureALL believes that sharing the cultural richness of our community with others will elevate our society and the quality of life for all.