How to Make Round Paper Beads
Once you've gotten the hang of making simple paper beads, you may want to branch out and try making other shapes. Round paper beads are usually one of the first types bead-makers want to learn. They're a bit trickier than plain tapered tubes, but the basic process is the same.
Lay your paper on your cutting surface, wrong-side up. Round paper beads from medium weight paper require strips that are 1/2 inch wide and 24 inches long. Since it's hard to find paper that long (or a cutting surface that long to cut it on) you should make your strips in two sets for joining together.
Mark the bottom edge of your paper at 1/2 inch intervals.
Make a mark on the top edge of your paper 1/8 inch in from the right edge. Use that mark as your starting point, and mark the remainder of your top edge at 1/4 inch intervals.
Cut your first strip from the 1/8 inch mark at the top edge of your paper to the lower right-hand corner. Discard this strip.
Make your second cut from the first 1/4 inch mark at the top of your paper to the first 1/2 inch mark at the bottom of your paper. You should have a strip which is 1/2 inch wide at the bottom and 1/4 inch wide at the top.
Make your third cut from the next 1/4 inch mark at the top to the lower right hand corner. You should have a strip which is 1/4 inch wide at the top and a point at the bottom.
Continue this way, alternating making 1/2 to 1/4 inch strips with 1/4 inch to a point strips, finishing with a 1/4 inch to a point strip.
To roll your beads, begin with a 1/2 inch strip. Roll it around your toothpick all the way to the end. Secure the last inch with a dab of polycrylic.
Now choose a 1/4 inch strip and brush the first bit with polycrylic. Butt it up against the 1/4 inch end of the previous strip as if it's a continuation and hold it until it's secure. Be careful to butt it up beside the strip rather than overlapping so you don't have a bump in your bead.
Continue rolling the second strip all the way to the point and secure it with polycrylic.
Push your bead so it hangs half off the toothpick and coat that half with polycrylic. Then turn your bead and coat the other half. Try not to get polycrylic on the toothpick.
Push the toothpick into the Styrofoam block and allow your bead to dry. You may follow with additional coats of polycrylic for more protection and gloss.
Tips & Warnings
Experiment with different lengths, widths and thicknesses of paper to find other combinations for round beads. The wider the bead, the longer the strip needs to be. Thicker paper (such as card stock) may be more difficult to work with, but adds thickness to the bead with less length.