Nifty tool for making paper beads

Tool for making paper beads
On a visit to my hometown a few weeks ago, I found myself in Eugene Toy & Hobby, an old-fashioned mom & pop store. Amid the model trains and airplanes, I spotted a tool for making paper beads. I couldn't resist. I've "home-rolled" my share of these, and I was willing to try something that promised to make the job a little easier, especially for only $9.95.

Still, I felt guilty, buying a brand-new plastic gadget to do my upcycling, one packaged in a box a few sizes too large. Inside, I found a simple but sturdy tool. Although the box shows it sitting atop a plastic bottle, the bottle isn't included or even required. It does make a handy container for the finished beads, though. (And a good way to keep them out of my cats' paws!)

After reading the simple instructions, I grabbed a page I'd been saving and sliced it into long, narrow triangles.

Because I didn't care if the beads were exactly the same size, I made the cuts without measuring. I inserted the widest part of the strip into the tool's roller. At first, getting the strip to stay put was a little tricky, but eventually I got the hang of it.

Using the wand included with the tool, I dabbed some glue onto the end of the strip, and the bead was done! It didn't take long for me to finish the all the strips. 
The resulting beads were more uniform than those I'd done by hand, if narrower.
The one task the tool doesn't make easier is the final step -- applying Mod Podge to each bead and letting it dry without sticking to other beads. In the past, I've put the sticky beads onto pins and stuck them into an old cardboard salt cylinder. The job is messy and takes time. 

All in all, I'd recommend giving this tool a try, especially for kids, who may not have the dexterity or patience to roll the strips by hand.

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