How to Make and Sell Paper Jewelry

By Eric Hammer

Believe it or not, there are a large number of different types of paper jewelry that can be made and then sold for a profit. Paper beads are the most common type of paper jewelry, which are then made into necklaces and chains. However, we also found a web site that shows you how to paper hoop earrings and of course there is no reason that a grouping of paper beads couldn’t be glued together to create a brooch. Other types of paper jewelry can be made as well – it’s really mostly a matter of your own imagination.

The key here is both skill with the paper and imagination. You’ll want to use magazine paper or construction paper (old plastic bags can also potentially be used). Newspapers by comparison should be sent off for recycling. The problem is with the ink on the newspapers, which can transfer to fingers and which will make for a poor choice for paper jewelry.

The basic way it’s made is to take magazine paper or construction paper, cut it into thin strips, then add some glue and roll the strips up to create beads or hoops (we’ll let you look at the resources to see more specifics of how to do it). The important thing however is that once you get good at doing it, your paper jewelry can then be sold on websites such as eBay and etsy (which specializes in handmade crafts).

For a look at what's possible, see this video from Hippie Kingdom.

How Much Can You Make?

A quick check of prices for paper jewelry reveals that the costs range from about a dollar for very simple pieces to as much as $20 for more complicated pieces of jewelry. Considering that your costs for materials are minimal (you can ask friends to recycle their magazines with you and then your own cost is the glue and toothpicks, plus the metal parts such as the earring pieces or pins for brooches.) the profit potential is really limited only by your own imagination.

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Make sure that when you work on making paper jewelry that you protect your table or other work area with a plastic sheet or a piece of cardboard. Otherwise, glue can get all over the place.

Remember also that paper jewelry doesn’t just have to have the colors that came from the paper. You can also add in rhinestones and other fake gems along with things like glitter glue to give your work a much more colorful look.

Finally, when it comes time to sell your work, make sure that you photograph it correctly. Either photograph against a plain white background or get someone to model the pieces for you so that it can be photographed in a way that allows people to see how it may look on them. Be sure to mention that the material you sell is all handmade and one of a kind as this will make it much more appealing to your customers.

Qualifications / Requirements

You only need to have some imagination in order to make and sell paper jewelry. You’ll need to learn how it’s done, though anyone can learn to do it. The harder part is imagining different designs which can be made so that you can create something unique that people will want to own and pay money for.

First Steps

Start by trying out making paper jewelry for yourself (or your significant other). Look at the resources below for more information on how to do it and practice. Once you get good at it, start photographing your work and put it up for sale on places like eBay and etsy. Then, you can expand to sell your work at flea markets and you may even be able to offer them to novelty stores and low end jewelry stores who may buy them wholesale or sell them on consignment (Tiffany’s probably will not be interested though).

Resources

Check out these helpful resources to find out more about making and selling paper jewelry:

Craft Stylish: How to Make Dangly Earrings With Magazine Paper – This web site shows you how to make hoop style earrings with paper.

The Beading Gems’s Journal: How to Make Paper Beads and Jewelry Tutorials – This is a grouping of tutorial pages on how to make a wide variety of different kinds of paper jewelry (though the hoop earrings above are not mentioned).


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