Friday, August 22, 2014

Clothespin Wire Jewelry Using Paper Napkin Beads

I had lots of wire hinges leftover after making my clothespin napkin holder and I promised my readers I would make something out of them.    After a little research on the web I think Michelle In L.A.  had the best idea of making jewelry out of the wire hinges.  She has a knack for upcycling the most unusual objects and made fabulous jewelry with her hinges.  I couldn't come up with something actually different.   There were quite a few designs out there using different sizes of beautiful beads with the clothespin wire hinges.  I don't have any really pretty beads that would make a piece of jewelry stand out.  Nor did I want to spend any time or money searching the craft stores or thrift shops for beads that I could use.  So I thought it cool to just make some paper beads out of the napkins pictured in my napkin holder.   I recently discovered that Dee Ann Rick has a wonderful video tutorial on turning beautiful napkins into awesome beads that you should check out.                                      
Here's how I made mine:

Open the paper napkin and pull apart the two plain layers from the printed side.

  The layers should easily separate.
Lay the printed napkin on a plain sheet of paper and glue down a little bit at a time until the whole napkin is glued to the paper.  Doing this adds strength to the napkin and makes it easier to cut out the strips.

   Don't worry about wrinkles.  This adds texture to your beads. You need to make two sheets.  


Once the paper is dry,  mark off 1/2 inch increments for the templates on one sheet and triangular 1/2 inch base strips on the other sheet. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this but the cut out strips look like this:

The first type of paper bead I made is like a Pandora style bead that included using a 3/16 bead core or eyelet core insert. Since I didn't have a bead roller, I needed to add tape to my skewer to get the correct 3/16 hole size so the core would fit into the rolled paper. 
Once satisfied that the core would fit into the rolled bead ends,  place one end of the 1/2 inch strip first and carefully roll around the skewer, keeping the tension tight and the paper centered. Just before the end, put a bit of glue on the strip and add the tapered piece. Continue rolling the tapered strip, tight and centered until just before the end. Add additional glue and finish rolling.
Using a paint brush I applied triple thick brush on gloss to the beads and let dry.
This is my contraption I made with a wire stem for rolling the beads around while the gloss dries.   
Once dry, using E6000, glue the cores to each end.

I then added the Pandora style bead to each hinge and strung them on a small chain necklace.
After making the Pandora type bead necklace, I started playing around with other designs.   First, I put plain hinges together for a bracelet.  Just pull the ends apart and insert through the coiled portion. 

Then,  I rolled a napkin paper into a tube, cutout three smaller tubes and glued them together.

 Next, I took printed napkin sheets without any backing, rolled into a tube, flatten, and shaped it into a triangle, pinching the corners.

Glued them all together before adding it to the wire hinge.  I painted on triple thick gloss to all of the napkin beads I created.
The possibilities are almost unlimited as to how you can design jewelry using clothespin hinges.  Just use your imagination.

It's really fun to upcycle items leftover from other projects.  What have you tried lately?

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!



  1. This is unbelievably cool! Gosh, how do you come up with so many creative ideas. Love it, Gail!!

  2. This is awesome, thank your for sharing again with us at the #WWDParty!

  3. Oh my gosh! I was waiting for you to use those, but had no idea what you would do! So fabulous! Has Mich in L.A. seen this yet???? You've reminded me that I have some Triple Thick!

  4. Wow- very cute! You're creativity always surprises me!

  5. totally neat!!! so fun and unique!

  6. Amazing how paper napkins can be made into pretty beads. This is a beautiful necklace:) Impressive!

  7. You are AMAZING!! They are the best paper beads I've ever seen. I've tried making them, because I adore them, but mine didn't stick and looked awful dont know what I did wrong.

  8. I did not need to see this post. I threw out a small bag of the pin hinges and now you are showing me how to make creative jewelry from them. These are quite beautiful.

  9. This is gorgeous! I'm amazed at the beauty of the creative things you make. Lovely!

  10. This is so amazing! Never would have thought of using clothespin clips like this. I've made paper beads before, too, and they are time consuming! I can totally appreciate all the time and energy that went into making this.

  11. I'm so amazed by your creativity Gail! To think that those beads were made from paper napkins. They're just lovely. Your jewelry is so fun and funky. I love it!

  12. Hi - Thanks for stopping by Pandora's Box! This necklace is gorgeous - I really like how you capped each end of the paper bead (I never gave that any thought years ago when I made paper beads), It gives it such a nice finished and polished look!…Going back to read more of your blog!!!

  13. You clever clever lady, these are so lovely!
    I love your wire contraption for letting the beads dry - very simple but effective. I love the bracelet too - such a good idea.

  14. I really like this necklace. So pretty!
    I'm visiting from Friendship Friday.

  15. To view the full tutorial go to There are 5 total video lessons

  16. You make the best crafts out of the most unusual material! The jewelry is gorgeous.

  17. Gail, These are fabulous! I also saved clothespin wire from a project I made and have been wondering what to do with them. This is such a fun and creative idea! Thanks for sharing!

  18. This is so cute! How creative, too and a great use of those old clothespin wires.

  19. Very pretty! Your wiring technique is perfect! Great repurpose!

  20. you are killing me! omg these are so beautiful and you used a napkin and clothespin?!?! you are so amazingly talented and we are so lucky you share these wonderful tutes with us!

  21. What will your creative mind think of next. It looks so pretty too.

  22. So creative, Gail! It really turned out beautifully and I would never have guessed it was paper napkins! :)

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