I’ve had a big interest in jewelry making for a while now, so over the years I’ve accumulated a massive stash of beads. It seems like any time a craft store has a good sale, I can’t resist buying at least a few strands of beads to add to my collection. Although I’m not quite as impulsive as I used to be, I still have more beads and other jewelry supplies than I know what to do with.
In the last few years, although I still love making jewelry from time to time, I’ve mostly moved on to other crafting projects. That leaves me with thousands (yes thousands) of beads that I have no plan for. So anytime I can think of some sort of alternate project to use up a few of my beads I’m more than happy to try it.
Naturally, when I started making different kinds of paperclip bookmarks I had to think, “Is there any way I can use beads to make some of these things?” After a bit of thinking, the beaded paperclip bookmark you’ll see in this tutorial is what I came up with.
What You Will Need for this Project
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The thinner the wire, the easier of a time you are going to have wrapping it around your paperclip. I tried both 26 and 22 gauge wire and found the 26 gauge to be much easier to work with. If you happened to want to work with 22 gauge you still can, but I found it much harder to bend around the tight curves of the paperclip.
How to Make a Beaded Paperclip Bookmark
Step 1: Wrap Wire around paperclip
Start off by cutting about 6 inches of wire to wrap around your paperclip. Then choose what side of the paperclip you want to start wrapping first. Since I’m right handed I find it easier to work from left to right, but if you want to work in the opposite direction that’s fine too.
Before you start wrapping the wire, make sure the paperclip is facing the way you want. If you plan on using it to clip onto anything, the inner curve of the clip needs to be facing downward.
Position your wire about where you want your wire wrap to start. Don’t worry too much about getting this completely precise because it can be adjusted as you work. Then begin wrapping the wire around your paperclip.
It’s completely up to you how many times you want to wrap your wire, but I found about 7 to 8 times to be a good number. I think that made everything secure enough without taking over too much of the top of the paperclip in case I wanted to clip it onto anything.
When you are wrapping the wire, try to get the coils to be flush against each other without overlapping. If you are having trouble getting them nice and close while you wrap, you can still easily tighten and adjust after wrapping each coil.
Before moving on to the next step, I also like to trim the beginning of my wire so the first side is completely finished before moving on to adding any beads. However, if you prefer, this can also be done at the very end.
Step 2: Add bead to Beaded Paperclip Bookmark
Now it’s time to add your bead. For size reference, I’m using a 10mm bead in my pictures, but whatever size you want to use should be fine as long as it’s not too huge. Slide the bead onto your wire, leaving some space at the end next to the coils you just wrapped. The bigger your bead, the more space you are going to need.
Next, bend the wire and adjust the bead so the holes of the bead are parallel to the top of the paperclip. This can take a bit of trial and error, but just keep adjusting until you are happy with how it looks.
Step 3: Finish wrapping wire
Bend your wire back down toward the paperclip and begin winding around the other side.
Try to do the same amount of coils as the opposite side so that everything looks even. I was lazy and didn’t count so I think I ended up with 7 on one side and 8 on the other. But I think that’s still close enough and you can’t really notice at a glance anyway.
Step 4: Adjust and Cut Excess Wire on Beaded Paperclip Bookmark
Lastly, do any final adjustments that need to be done for your wire to look the way you want it. When you’re happy with it, snip the excess wire.
Now your paperclip is ready to either hold some papers together or save your spot in a book.
As I mentioned further up, I found it much easier to do this project with a thinner gauge wire, around 26g. But my first attempt was with 22g wire, and just to show what the two wires look like wound around the paperclip, here are both of them side by side:
The biggest difference is that the 22g is noticeably thicker. It makes it harder to wind around the paperclip, but you also don’t need to wind it as many times as the 26g. In the end it will mostly come down to personal preference.
Beaded Paperclip Bookmark Variations
Just to show some other ideas on what you can make with similar supplies, I put together several more beaded paperclips. These all use very similar steps to the example above so I’m not going to go into too much detail, but along with the pictures should be pretty self-explanatory. All of these use the same amount of wire, which is about 6 inches.
First up is a charm. You can use just about any charm you’d like as long as the hole faces the same way as the front of the charm.
Start by wrapping the wire around one side of the paperclip about 7 or 8 times.
Now position your charm at the top of your paperclip and feed the wire through the hole.
Depending on how big the hole of the charm is, you will need to wrap your wire through the hole several times so it can be secure.
Wrap the other side of the clip about the same number of times as the first side. Do any final adjustments and clip off any excess wire to finish.
Multiple Small Beads
Next is some small beads. The ones I used are about 4mm and I chose to use five of them to wrap around the top of the paperclip.
Start wrapping your wire around one end of the paperclip. Since there’s more beads on this one you don’t need to wrap the beginning wire as many times around. I only coiled it 4 times here.
Now add your first bead. Adjust so it is lying parallel against the paperclip, then begin wrapping the wire again 2 or 3 times.
Add the next bead. Again, once it’s adjusted, continue wrapping the wire another 2 or 3 times.
Continue this until all the beads have been added. After adding the last bead, coil the wire around another 4 or so times and clip the excess.
Different Size Beads
Lastly, I have three gemstone beads. The larger one is 8mm and the two smaller ones are 6mm.
Start by wrapping your wire on one side of the paperclip about 5 times.
Add your first bead, which will be one of the smaller ones. Adjust so it is lying parallel to the paperclip and wrap your wire on the other side about 3 times.
Now add the larger bead. Adjust it, then wrap the wire on the other side another 3 times.
Add the last of the smaller beads. Adjust and wrap the wire around 5 times, then cut any excess.
I was happy with how all these paperclips turned out. They were quick, easy, and best of all took a few beads and a charm out of my stash. It wasn’t much, but it’s a start!
I decided to put together a few alternate styles for this project just to give a better idea of what can be done, but with so many different beads and charms out there, the combinations are endless.
Here’s a shot of all 4 different styles side by side so you can see what they look like together:
I can’t wait to start using these the next time I’m in need of a paperclip.
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and happy crafting!