Recycled Paper Beads Kit

From time to time I buy crafts kits to do with my 5 year old daughter. I’m sure many of you parents and grandparents do the same thing. Since it is hard to know which kits are good, and which aren’t so good, I thought I’d share our experiences with some of them.

I got this bead maker kit and we worked on it together one day after school.
IMG_4530
When we opened the box this is what we found.
IMG_4532

  • elastic
  • glue package
  • a sponge tool
  • directions
  • papers (to get started with)
  • two plastic mechanism pieces

Hang on, where is the bottle?
The fine print on the box says “Comes with an attachment that will fit most bottles,” but not most of the bottles we had in our house. (I guess they didn’t say “most liqueur bottles” did they?) I went dumpster diving ( in our house) and found a mini Coke from a recent party and washed it. Drying it out was a trick. Sure enough, the tool screwed right on perfectly.

The paper needs to be cut into strips to make the beads. That was not in our skill set (yet). The kid is good at cutting, but not fine strips along a straight line. So she cut some and I cut some.
IMG_4535
Then came the winding.
IMG_4537
The tool is fussy. The paper has to go into the metal pieces at a right angle. If it is not lined up correctly, the bead will form a sideways spiral.
IMG_4540
Then turning the crank was problematic to know which way to go. If you had a little fold in the paper to start the bead correctly, then it was hard for Amelia to tell if she should turn the crank towards her or away from her to make the color on the paper appear on the outside of the bead. There also needs to be a consistent tension on the paper, to make sure the winding actually forms a bead.

Once the paper is wound to the last 4″ or so, a little glue needs to be applied. The kit comes with a glue packet. I’m gonna be honest, a “packet” of glue scares me. I’m not afraid of glitter, but the sticky mess from a “packet” gives me the shivers. I got out our own gel glue (that we can control) and we put a drop on the end of the sponge applicator. We ran that along the white side on the point of the paper. We used a plastic plate to help us. After the glue, you keep winding until the end.

One other funny thing was the bottom half of the winder. The kit offers this handle. I guess in case you really do not have a plastic soda bottle of any type in your home when you get started.
IMG_4544
This arrangement actually would not work at all though. You need to use one hand to turn the crank, and one hand to guide and keep the paper straight. The team I was on used all four hands we had and that was when the crank was fixed to the bottle.

Despite the challenges, we had a good time making beads and she stuck with it for a long time. On the box, the beads are resting in the bottle. In order for them to get there, you have to make them and then put them in the bottle. So that was a little bit funny.
Here are our beads, in a ramekin.
IMG_4542
I suspect this kit will be a hit again, as her skills continue to become more and more refined.

*This was a kit I bought. I was not compensated in any way to write about it.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2014 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish
8 months ago by in Crafting with Kids , Crafts , Crafty Mom , Reviews | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
3 Comments to Recycled Paper Beads Kit
    • Ros
    • Looks like it’s something she’ll be able to enjoy doing on her own in a few years. The beads are pretty enough that it’s worth the effort.

      • Susi
      • Ros, I think you are absolutely right. The pieces are well made and look like they will be around a while. I am kind of excited to try some other papers. Like, thicker, glossy magazine paper in really bright colors.

        • Ros
        • Yes, I like that it’s a kit which isn’t limited to one or two uses. You can add your own paper and keep trying different things.

Leave A Response

* Required