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Retro 80s Paper Bead Choker Necklace

Go a little ‘Retro’ with these fun-funky beads made of paper stamped with Castaway strung to create a neat little tie-on choker, from Jacquard Products.


  • Jacquard Castaway Stamp Pad
  • Jacquard Pearl Ex stamp pad - Gold
  • Jacquard Pearl Ex Varnish
  • ribbon: two 36" pieces and two 30" pieces
  • glass beads with large holes
  • rubber stamps
  • Two needles
  • cardstock: 1-2 sheets 12 x 12"
  • glue (I used Aleene’s Thick Designer Tacky Glue)


  1. Stamp Cardstock: Experiment with different papers and stamps to discover the effect that pleases you most. I used a stamp from ToyBox—Lg Mayan Glyph Stone, it has nice shapes and thicker lines. The stamp is roughly 4" x 4", a good size for my larger beads and conveniently has 6 rows of 6 images that are easy to divide up into rectangles for the first step in making the bead. Stamp the image five times on the cardstock. When dry, iron the paper to bring out the stamped image. (Use a dry iron only!) Cut into rectangles about 1 3/8" x 4"”. The stamp I used made this part very easy—I just used two rows for each bead.
  2. Cut the beads: The size and proportions of the triangles you cut will determine the shape of your finished bead—long, narrow triangles make shorter, rounder beads; short, wide triangles make longer, skinnier beads. (As always, I recommend experimenting with different shapes to see what happens and find out what you like the best.) I used both kinds for this project. Trim the Castaway stamped rectangles into triangles. You will need a total of 14 beads to complete the project. Cut some extra pieces to allow for goofing up. My triangles are 1 1/4" at the base, 4" from the base to the point, your dimensions may be a little different depending on the stamp you used.
  3. Accent the edges of the triangle by rubbing onto the Gold Pearl Ex stamp pad. Set aside.
  4. Use plain cardstock to cut triangles for the smaller beads. You will need a total of 6 for this project. Start by cutting a 5" x 6" rectangle. Mark the long edges every 5/8" then use those marks as guides for cutting the triangles. Accent the edges by rubbing onto the Castaway stamp pad. Let dry and iron.
  5. Roll the beads: Start at the wide end of the triangle, wrap the cardstock around the end of a paint brush, a skewer or some small round thing—make sure it has an even diameter for the size of your bead. Roll tightly with the printed side out. Apply glue as you go—I like the super tacky stuff, it really holds! Keep the pointed end of the triangle centered as you go so that your bead doesn’t come out lopsided. Gently remove from the skewer and replace part way (just to make sure you can take it off easily). Coat with Pearl Ex Varnish to finish. Carefully remove from skewer. To dry, string the beads on thread, pinning the ends to a cork board so the beads hang below.
  6. String the choker: Thread two 36" pieces of ribbon with a needle each. String one long bead on each ribbon (leave about a 10” ribbon ‘tail’ to finish the choker with later). String one short bead using both needles, one from each end as shown in photo, pull snug.
  7. String one long bead on each ribbon then one short bead using both needles, as before. Continue this pattern until you have 6 small beads and 7 pairs of long beads.String one long bead on each ribbon then one short bead using both needles, as before. Continue this pattern until you have 6 small beads and 7 pairs of long beads.
  8. Remove needles from ribbons and thread both ribbons through one needle. Add a glass bead to bring the two paper beads together. Repeat for other end.
  9. Thread one piece of 30" ribbon and string it through the glass bead you just added and one long bead. Add one glass bead and string through next long bead. Continue to other end then repeat for other side.
  10. Trim the ribbons to an even length if you like or leave them varied—it’s up to you!!
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