Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Papercraft Beads for Primary Girls, 1923

Papercraft Beads for Primary Girls, 1923

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 31, 2011

Here’s a suggested craft for the Seagull Girls (12-14-year-olds) of 1923. I’d have had fun making these – still might – but probably at a slightly younger age than 12.

“Lovely colored beads may be made from old magazine covers,” the instructions say. Covers were the only pages in magazines of that era that were printed in color – we’d have an easier time today with all the color advertisements and inserts available. “The picture or design of the cover will not count, of course, except to give varied color effect.”

First, mark the lefthand side of the page at 1-1/2 inch intervals. On the right side, mark down 3/4 inch from the top, and then mark the rest of the page at 1-1/2 inch intervals. Use a ruler to connect the marks in a zigzag pattern across the page, as in the illustration here. Cut along the lines so that you have a number of wide triangular strips. (The top and bottom strips of the page should be discarded as not matching the rest.)

Roll each triangular strip, starting with the large end, and rolling around a small knitting needle or large darning needle or something similar that will leave a tunnel in the center of each bead for stringing. Use a small amount of glue to secure the point once the bead has been rolled.

“In stringing a necklace, choose beads that are alike, or almost alike, for opposite sides of the chain.” Or, make beads of different lengths by varying the height of the triangular strips, or smaller diameter by using only a few inches of the triangular strip (use the pointed end), and alternate bead sizes when stringing. For a pendant, “make several odd beads from an inch to two and a half inches in length.

“Very artistic and pleasing color combinations can be worked out by arranging the beads with care.

“Magazines whose covers are printed in colors make beads that every little girl is sure to like for every-day wear. A few magazines use soft, pastel shades on their covers, and beads made from these are particularly lovely to wear with light dresses on special occasions.

“The nicest thing about these magazine cover beads is that one can have as many necklaces as one wishes at very little cost.”



  1. Ardis,

    Excellent! My wife Ramona is always looking for great ideas for Primary girl activities (ages 8-11). This is perfect. I’m passing this on to her immediately.

    Comment by Rameumptom — January 31, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  2. Cool! Do let me know, please, whether she decides to use it.

    I’m thinking of making some beads from today’s junk mail.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 31, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

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