Paper Crafts for Kids: What to Do on a Rainy Day

by sheilamarie

What can you do with kids on a rainy day? With only a piece of paper and a little imagination, you can create a variety of fun crafts with kids.

Fun Things to Do with a Piece of Paper

Need some paper craft ideas to do with your kids? Here are a variety of fun and easy things your kids can make with a piece of paper. Many of these products use recycled paper you have at home.

Whether you want to make flowers or jewelry or a newspaper hat, you can create something really special with just a bit of imagination.

Here are some fun ideas to do with kids when you have few supplies and lots of time.

At Home with Nothing to Do?

All You Need Is Some Paper

When you are at home with your kids and they are looking for something to do, you only need some paper, some imagination, and a bit of patience, and you have all you need for a great project that is fun and will keep the kids busy and engaged.

Some of these projects also require scissors and tape or glue. Some require a pipe cleaner. You can choose your project based on what you have on hand. Or maybe learning about these projects will help you fill your craft box with the raw materials you need for another day.

Make a Paper Corsage: Easy Project Using No Scissors or Glue

Or Paper Flowers

What Else Can I Do with Paper?

I'm Tired of Making Flowers!

When your child is ready for a more involved and challenging project, you may want to suggest this magic fan. Even the word "magic" will entice kids to want to try it for themselves. 

Of course, because this project really is much more complex than the simple flower corsages above, be sure the child is ready to handle it. Otherwise, you may be faced with tears of frustration, and you may find you are the one completing the project. That may be fine by you, but know that you've been forewarned.

An older child may love this challenge, however, and may be eager to make a magic fan for herself or for a younger sibling or even as a present for you!

Once you've made one of these fans, you may find yourself wanting to make another. The more you make them, the easier the process will seem.

How to Make a Paper Fan: Secret Hidden Fan

More Challenging But the Result Is Really Cool! Your Kids May Come Up with More Ways to Use This Technique!

Have you made any paper crafts with your kids?

Please let us know which ones you've enjoyed.
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We love to make things with paper!
PeggyHazelwood on 05/14/2013

We sure do. My grandkids love painting on paper, and cutting out and glueing pieces to make pictures.

katiem2 on 12/05/2012

OMG the things we make with paper, both of my daughters love to fold Origami. You name it they fold it. Plus their 2nd grade teacher, a man, taught them how to fold very elaborate paper air planes. Great fun.

dustytoes on 11/30/2012

I used to make paper airplanes with the boys all the time - they loved them!

Pretty Beads Made from Paper

Recycle Your Wrapping Paper!

Have you ever wondered what you could do with the shiny wrapping paper after Christmas or a birthday party? The colors are usually so bright and sparkly, and it seems a shame to just crumple the wrapping paper up to toss into the trash.

These beads are made with left over or already used wrapping paper.

How to Make Paper Beads

A Great Project Using Recycled Junk!

I remember making these beads myself years ago, but have seen them again recently online while researching this article. They are being made commercially by some jewelers located in Kampala, Uganda, called Mzuribeads. According to the information I have seen, the jewelers are paid a living wage for their products, which are sold worldwide. 

These women make a beautiful product. I know from my own experience in trying to make these beads that they require time, patience, and experience to perfect the technique. The Mzuribeads women have perfected how to make these beads. Selling the beads themselves and the jewelry they make with them is a livelihood for many women in areas that have few opportunities for income and so supporting these women by buying their products is a good thing to do. (I don't get any benefit from this link, by the way. I just think you should know about them.)

But you are here wanting to learn how to make the beads yourself as a project to do with kids. Here are my directions:


Used magazines, used wrapping paper, advertising flyers, etc.





white glue

Procedure for Making the Beads: 

  1. Take a sheet of wrapping paper (the thicker the better) or a colorful page from a magazine. Using a ruler, measure along the top width, making a dot with your pencil at one inch intervals (or 2 cm if you are using metric). If you are using wrapping paper, you will want to use the side without the pattern to make it easier to see your measurements. Obviously, those using inches will end up with a slightly larger bead, but I recommend these measurements in order to simplify the process. It doesn’t really matter what the exact size of the bead is at this point. If you decide later that you want a larger or smaller bead, you can adjust your measurements to get the results you are looking for.
  2. At the bottom of the sheet, measure in 1/2 an inch (or 1cm), and then begin making your dots at every inch (or 2 cm). 
  3. Draw lines from the right hand corner of the paper to the first bottom dot. Then draw a line from that dot to the first upper dot. Continue drawing lines from top to bottom dots until you have a zigzag pattern of lines on your paper. These lines will make the triangles you will use to make your beads.
  4. Cut off the first triangle and discard. This triangle will have one right angle which will make it unusable for this project. 
  5. Cut out the triangles from top to bottom.
  6. Place a toothpick at the base of a triangle. Roll it a little to start the process and then wrap the paper around, ending with pointy end.
  7. With a little white glue, stick the pointy end to the rest of your paper bead. 
  8. Coat the bead all over with white glue. For a more professional look, you’d want to use varnish or clear nail polish, but for children, the white glue will be sufficient and a lot less toxic.
  9. Let your beads dry. When they are dry enough to handle, string them on some fishing line or strong thread. (Dental floss may work, too.) An alternate method would be to stick the toothpicks wrapped in paper into a styrofoam block. These are sometimes used for packing electronics or other fragile items.
  10. Let fully dry for a couple of days. 


You can use your beads to make necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry. They would also look nice strung on a cord and hung on your Christmas tree. Kids will love using them to make presents for their families and loved ones.


Excellent Product for Glazing Paper Beads

Judikins Diamond Glaze, 2-Ounce

A dimensional adhesive that dries to a clear glass-like finish. It securely holds vellum glass beads glitter and many other mediums. Diamond Glaze is also mixable with dye-based...

View on Amazon

Thorough -- If Long -- Explanation of How to Make Paper Beads

Helpful Explanations on the Details -- Especially If You Want to Decorate Plain Paper Beads

Newspaper Hat

For Pirates, Robin Hood, or Anyone Else, Impersonators Included!

For this newspaper hat, you need newspaper and your fancy folding fingers. (See -- a teaching moment about alliteration!)


Standard size newspaper page -- use the folded page

Paint and feathers (optional)


  1. Hold the folded newspaper flat. Fold from top to bottom.
  2. Find the midway point of your fold. Bend the corners from the midpoint down so that the two corners meet near the middle of the page.
  3. Fold the front half of the bottom up to meet where the corners folded down. Fold up the outer corners of this section. Fold up the whole flap.
  4. Turn the whole thing over and do the same thing (#3).
  5. If you want to, you can paint your hat.  Go out for a walk together wearing your new hats and find some feathers to stick into the brims.

Make a Flute from a Piece of Paper

Which of these projects will you try first?

Vote for your favorite

Enjoy These Activities With Your Kids!

Thanks for Visiting

These activities are only a few of the many possible activities that you and your children can do with a simple piece of paper. I hope they have inspired your creative ideas.

Crafts with kids don't have to be complicated. You don't need fancy craft kits, either, nice as those kits may be. All you really need, after all, is an active imagination and that simple piece of paper that would otherwise be thrown into the trash.

Have fun!

Updated: 04/20/2013, sheilamarie
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Marie on 01/20/2015

Paper can provide endless hours of fun crafts. I love making paper beads - it's not something I've done in a while but this page has been a reminder to do that with my daughter.

sheilamarie on 05/14/2013

The beads can be fun. Kids need a bit of patience, but I can remember making them when I was a young one.

PeggyHazelwood on 05/14/2013

Great ideas for paper crafts. I used to make paper beads. I should do that with my grandkids.

sheilamarie on 12/13/2012

Perfect gift for kids who enjoy crafts! (And for big kids like us, too!) Thanks for the suggestion.

sheilamarie on 12/10/2012

Thanks, Katie! It's always fun to hear how people have enjoyed these activities.

katiem2 on 12/10/2012

I know they will I'll be sure to update you on the fun

sheilamarie on 12/05/2012

Thanks, Katie. I hope your girls enjoy these paper crafts!

katiem2 on 12/05/2012

I can't wait to try the paper beads, how cool. This is a great list of fun ideas for holiday break. The kids need structured activities to keep them happy and busy while Mom's and Dad's work on the holiday festivities and such. I love your paper crafts, off to tweet about it. :)K

sheilamarie on 12/03/2012

Yes! A pretty paper scavenger hunt! (Now where did I put those magazines?)

sheilamarie on 12/03/2012

That's a great idea, 2uesday. You could keep a few supplies in a box and slip the box under a bed or on a shelf when not in use. But even if you haven't organized your supplies in that way, many of these projects can be done with just ordinary things you can find lying about.

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