Ornate Paper Beads

I came across PaperBeads.org recently and was impressed with the pretty things Janice Bautista makes with simple strips of rolled paper.

She told me about her journey this past year... that's right, Janice has only been involved with paper beads since last winter - and in a big way!

First of all, she's busy with two careers - by day she's the owner of a health care registry and she also owns a shop in Glendora, California called Aubrey's Beads - but her evenings are reserved for crafting. Janice sews, does origami, and is a self-taught jewelry designer with lots of imaginative ideas for making and using paper beads.

For example, she recently printed out a photo of a beautiful California sunrise, cut the picture into strips, and made these beads.

Her fascination with paper beads began when she noticed a magazine article about children making them at summer camp... she found the process to be a stress reliever and liked the idea of recycling magazines and catalogs into something beautiful and useful.

While on the phone with her sister who lives in the Philippines, Janice spoke of her newfound hobby. Surprisingly her sister, who is more into charity work than crafts, listened intently and then called back the next day to say all she could think about was paper beads! She was determined to find a way for bead making to bring much needed income to people in the Philippines. Soon she had workers making multitudes of beautiful beads that Janice sells in her store and online.

Janice is impressed with the workmanship of the durable beads which are finished with a light non-toxic varnish. The workers have come up with a variety of shapes, some of which are quite small and require practice and dexterity to make. A number of the beads look like wood or shell in person - lovely enough to be mixed with pearls, semi-precious stones, and crystals.

But not only are Filipino people earning wages for their labor. The first $500 profit raised by bead sales was used to buy school supplies for three hundred children in the poorest part of Manila - notebooks, pencils, and crayons for kids who otherwise would go without.

Janice and her sister are anticipating another donation in May, as the school year begins in June in the Philippines, and Janice has also set a goal to provide Christmas gifts for the children. She's pleased to donate 100% of profits to helping underprivileged kids and says doing so makes everything worthwhile.

Janice blogs [edit: no longer available] about her paper bead creations, but not just necklaces, bracelets, and rings. She's also been known to showcase messenger bags, bookmarks, and key fobs.

Janice offers tutorials, how-to videos, and sometimes features paper bead projects made by others on her blog, so get rolling!

In the JaniceMae online store and Janice's Etsy shop, you can find rolling tools, beads, and kits to make complete jewelry pieces.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. These are the most beautiful paper beads I've ever seen!!! Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. I absolutly LOVE these paper beads!! The jewwery is beautiful and the colors are so vibrant and earthy.

    Janice sounds like a wonderful lady, what she is doing with these beads is very inspring... I love the idea of going grean by using recycled paper from magazines, and how good comes out of every bead made.

    I cant wait to visit her blog and read some more. :)

  3. I received a paper bead necklace for Christmas and I love it! These pieces you have in your post are gorgeous.

    Just stopping by from SITS to say hello. Thanks for sharing this type of jewelry making!

  4. you feature many oh so beautiful things in your blog but these paper beads are really gorgeous too. it always touches my heart whenever i hear charity works being done anywhere in the world. inspiring story, you write beautifuly too.

  5. go green!!!these are paper beads?!! they look like some shells to me, the sizes vary too. i just wish my patience is as big as my desire to start this hobby. thank you for featuring these.

  6. Wow those are gorgeous beads. I've only tried to make paper beads once and they came out awful... these are amazing!

  7. I was just talking with my girls this morning about paper beads. We are now even more inspired to make some. All these here are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I learned to make paper beads years ago but never considered the limitless possibilities Janice has discovered. These are the most gorgeous paper beads I've seen!

  9. Wow these paper beads are really impressive, I especially like the bracelet with the tree charm, and how it represents going green. Its great that its going towards the education of Filipino children as well, the little boy with the strands of paper beads is adorable. Im definitely going to have to get myself one of her kits and give it a try


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