Homemade Valentine Gift

Fine Artist Rebecca Shapiro and her daughter Natania stopped by our studios today to show an easy and fun craft perfect to give for Valentine's Day.

For more information about Rebecca Shapiro, check out her website.

Valentine Bracelet


  • newspaper
  • flour
  • red paint
  • glitter
  • red + white pkg of Crayola Model Magic (at grocery store or craft shop)
  • yarn needle
  • elastic thread (at craft shops)
  • wax paper


To make textured paper beads:

  • Tear up a couple of sections of newspaper into little squares. Do not use the shiny inserts. They won't work.
  • Let the little squares soak in water for at least 24 hours until it's pulpy.
  • Squeeze all the water out of the newspaper and set aside in a large bowl.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine 2 C flour with 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups of water until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Pour about 1 1/2 C of the flour/water mixure over the newspaper and begin mushing with your hands to form a paper dough. Add more flour/water mixture until the newspaper is fully mixed and wet and can hold a shape. Be careful to not mix in too much of the liquid or the newspaper will not hold the shape.
  • Note: you will have leftover flour/water mixture. You can save it in a jar and stick in the fridge for other paper mache projects. Will last about a week.
  • Put a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Pinch off some dough, roll into a ball and lay on the cookie sheet to dry. Continue rolling balls of dough until you have enough beads for your project.
  • Note: you may have leftover dough. It will keep in the fridge for about a week.
  • It takes a couple days for the dough to dry depending on the size of your bead. If you're in a hurry, you can put the beads in an oven at the lowest temperature, about 170 degrees.
  • Check the beads after about an hour to hour and a half when they are partially dry but can be manipulated.
  • At this point, you can re-roll any beads that may have lost some shape.
  • Take a yarn needle and poke a hole through the bead. You can wiggle the needle around to make a bigger hole. Be sure to make a big enough hole because the dough will shrink as it dries and you want your yarn needle to fit through later.
  • Once the beads are fully dry, add a couple squirts of red paint to a plastic container with a tight fitting lid or a ziplock baggie.
  • Toss the beads in the paint until fully covered. You can touch up any missing spots with a paint brush but it isn't really necessary if you have enough paint.
  • When the paint is wet, sprinkle with fine glitter.
  • Set the beads aside to dry before stringing.

To make smooth model magic beads:

  • Pinch off a small piece of model magic and roll in your hands to form the bead.
  • You can mix a little bit of white and red model magic to make pink.
  • Make as many beads as you need for your project.
  • Use the yarn needle to poke a hole through the bead making sure to make a large enough hole for stringing later. You can also reshape the bead a little after making the hole.
  • Set the beads aside to dry overnight.

To make the bracelet:

  • Thread some elastic thread on the needle.
  • This is great because you can make the bracelet stretchy and you can easily knot the elastic thread closed.
  • String as many beads as you need to make the right sized bracelet.
  • Play with the order of the beads. Alternating the paper beads with the model magic beads nicely balances the textures and colors.
  • Test the size of your bracelet before knotting the elastic thread.
  •  Knot the elastic thread a couple times and you're done!


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