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Make a rainbow paper bead necklace – it’s great fun for kids!

make a rainbow paper-bead necklace - image of a handmade paper-bead necklace coiled up, in all the colours of the rainbow.

What’s the idea?

Use up those colourful scraps of paper and make a rainbow paper bead necklace – it’s the perfect craft project for kids and spot on for Pride too!

What’s the story?

Paper crafts are one of the easiest and most versatile crafts for kids of all ages (even grown-up kids!).

And all kids love dressing up, so making a paper bead necklaces is a great way to both use up leftover craft paper AND add to the dress-up box.

Plus if you’re celebrating Pride, this is the perfect accessory for your rainbow Pride shirt.

People should do this because…?

Children love to explore their sense of style and dress up as fun and playful characters.

You can explain the significance of the rainbow for the LGBTQ community, so it’s an opportunity to celebrate equality and personal identity.

This activity is appropriate for children of all ages – although smaller children may need a bit of help from an adult to create the beads themselves.

This activity combines upcycling and fine motor skills in an activity that allows children to explore their imagination and create their own fashion style.

The rolling and threading of beads helps strengthen finger dexterity and teaches focus and hand-eye coordination.

Stuff you will need

  • Scrapbooking paper in the colours of the rainbow
  • Scissors
  • Paper rolling tool (or wooden skewers)
  • PVA glue
  • Toothpicks
  • String or fishing wire for threading
  • Extra plastic or wooden beads (optional)

How do you do it?

  1. Cut lengths of your scrap-booking paper in various thicknesses. Make sure there is a good mix of all the colours of the rainbow.
  2. Try also playing with strips of gradient widths (thicker at one end and thinner at the other). Different lengths and widths of paper will create different bead shapes, so play with different length patterns!
  3. Using a wooden skewer or paper-rolling tool, roll the strips of paper tightly around themselves, into a bead.
  4. Add a dab of glue under the very end of the paper strip, and glue down onto your completed bead.
  5. Carefully slide the bead off the paper rolling tool or wooden skewer, and insert a toothpick into the hole.
  6. Cover the completed bead in a thin layer of PVA glue to hold the bead together and give it a slight shine. Stick the toothpick into a sponge or similar to keep the bead upright and allow to dry.
  7. Once the paint is dry, measure a length of string or fishing wire to the desired length for your necklace. Allow enough length at the ends to tie the necklace.
  8. Begin to thread your necklace! Experiment with a mix of your handmade paper beads and wooden or plastic beads, to make different designs.
  9. Tie the end of your necklace together to prevent beads coming off, and enjoy your handmade jewellery!

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