DIYdiy projects

diy project: paper-bead tassels

by Brenna

For this project, a mix of ethnic patterns and bold colors inspired me. John Robshaw comes to mind when I think of the perfect pattern mix; his block-printed linens and patterned textiles display a fantastic combination of intricate and bold shapes and forms. My abundance of saved magazines constantly call me to reuse them for something creative. And their glossy pages certainly deserve to be repurposed. So the project: ethnic-inspired beads created from leftover magazines. I made decorative tassels from the glazed, patterned pages, adding chunky wooden beads to push the theme. Enjoy! — Brenna

Read the full how-to after the jump!


  • magazine clippings
  • toothpick
  • scissors
  • glue
  • embroidery thread or twine
  • large wooden bead
  • small beads
  • sewing needle


1. Cut magazine pieces for the beads. The size of the piece should be about 1 1/2 inches wide and about 3 inches long.

2. Starting on the short side, wrap a magazine piece around the toothpick. Use a small amount of glue at the end to secure. Slide the bead off of the toothpick.

3. To make the tassel, cut 16 to 20 pieces of embroidery thread, each about 18 inches long. Gather all of the string together and fold in half. Slip a piece of scrap string through the loop at the end.

4. Use the small piece of string to help pull the bundle of threads through the hole of the wooden bead. Once the bundle of string is through, tie a knot at the top of the bundle, and push the bead against it.

5. Begin threading each loose string below the wooden bead with the magazine beads. I used 2 or 3 beads on each string. At the end of the string, add a small bead and a knot to keep the magazine beads from falling off.

6. To attach the tassel, thread the scrap thread that runs through the top of the tassel through the needle. Thread through and knot. Use the needle to thread the loose threads back through the knot, making a clean end.

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  • I used to make those with my mom when I was a kid!!! If you cut them into triangles, when you roll them up, you get a striped effect. So cute! It was one good way to get rid of my mom’s old magazines ;)

  • I used to make bracelets out of these in middle school. Been wanting to try using them to make something larger… maybe a picture frame?

  • Love these tassels. Looks like fun. They will add a whimsical flair to so many projects. Key chain is cute!

  • i was thinking of putting these beads on wires to make jewelry, like chandelier earings or a tassle necklace–it would have a very ethnic, bohemian effect. thanks for all the great ideas, and i LOVE the new page layout!

  • I think that is really cool! Great way to recycle. I imagine you could make beads with newspapers as well. It really is all about color and texture when you select the paper. I bet this would make a good keychain ornament as well.

  • My husband’s cousin went to Africa and bought me a great necklace that was made in this same way by women in an African village…I wear it all the time and everyone wants to know how it was made…now I know! Very cute! I am thinking about trying it with cute scrapbook paper!

  • I use paper towels to wipe my brush while water coloring and when they dried I had these fabulous colors of paper.
    I used them to make beads and they are all sitting in a box…thanks for the idea of making tassels !

  • Just found your blog! LOVE IT! I made these beads today and actually attached them to a 6×6 canvas and sprayed them with a silver glitter. Looks lovely! Can’t wait to put it up in my room.

  • Wow, love it.. You know what, sometime I get jealous to those people who have this kind of talent or creativity.. I don’t have that talent..:(