Thursday, November 29, 2012

Homemade Necklace- Upcycled Cereal Box Beads


I've recently decided to get into accessorizing more, but instead of spending a lot of money on accessories, I wanted to see what I could make at home either cheaply or completely free, ideally using what I had in the house already.

I had known for years about making beads out of magazine pages, but we don't read buy magazines, and I couldn't get from neighbors because magazines are a precious commodity where I live, trade around until they fall apart, so everyone can get a chance to read them. So I never made beads out of magazine pages. And I'll be honest, I didn't really like the look of the magazine page beads, as I found they tended to be wide and flat, just little paper cylinders, which didn't do it for me.

But then I was browsing Pinterest for ideas for upcycled accessories, and came across the idea to make beads out of cereal boxes- immediately I was hooked. Because magazines I don't have, but cereal boxes I certainly do. Unfortunately for health, gluten free cereal is the standard breakfast in our house, more often than not... At least I manage to find it cheaply now. But either way, we go through it quickly and I always hate just throwing the boxes in the trash and filling up landfills- if I could find something fun and creative to do with the cereal boxes, even better!
The other thing I liked about cereal box beads is they have some shape to them; the cardboard from the cereal box is thicker so the beads end up having some substance to them and aren't just hollow tubes like the paper beads are.
These types of beads are very easy to make, and cost virtually nothing. The more colorful your cereal boxes are, the better. Mine are a pretty purple and white, or blue and white or orange, all perfect colors for bead making.

This necklace of mine has received lots of compliments- no one believes it is made out of cereal boxes, and I've got orders from people who want me to make some for them too!

Homemade Cereal Box Bead Necklace

What you need:
1 cereal box
String (I used something about the thickness of embroidery thread)
Glue (homemade glue works fine)
Shish kebab skewer


1. Take your cereal box and cut it into triangles, alternating directions, roughly in this shape. It doesn't need to be perfect- I don't even measure before I cut, just cut. You just want to make sure its not a right triangle, but that all sides of the triangle are less than 90 degrees, and that it is long and thin. These triangles are a little wider than I like them- I prefer to make them thinner- these shaped triangles will make very wide beads.


2. This is the dimension of the triangle that I like. Turn the triangle upside down on the table.


3. Take your shish kebab skewer, lay it against the short edge of your triangle of cereal box, and start rolling a little bit. You'll likely need two hands.


4. After you've rolled it a little bit, put glue most of the length of the rest of the triangle, making sure not to put too much glue, otherwise it'll get everywhere.


5. Roll it all the way to the end, making sure to keep the tip of the triangle in the middle; if its not centered at least somewhat the bead looks funny.


6. Slide the bead off the skewer, and let it dry.


7. Make a whole bunch more beads.


8. When you have enough beads, thread them on to a string, and wear it!


Note that each bead has a different color because of the design on the box. When making your beads, sort out the beads by the predominant color of the bead, and make patterns with your beads with that in mind. You can also use a few different colored cereal boxes for more obvious patterns.

Do you eat cereal in your home? How often do you go through cereal boxes? What do you usually do with your empty cereal boxes?
Does this seem like a project you'd try out?
Are you an accesories person? Do you tend to wear necklaces or not?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the step by step instruction! I'm leading a Brownie troop in making these and was looking for all the details. I actually work with an organization called Trades of Hope that empowers women out of poverty through handicrafts and we have a group in Haiti that makes bracelets with cereal box and clay beads. Would love for you to collaborate with us by hosting an online Empowerment Event or joining our sisterhood of Compassionate Entrepreneur! Check out my website (www.mytradesofhope.com/melaniesunukjian) and let me know! Thank you again!


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