It's both my aunts' birthdays in early March, and this year I made them both necklaces made of paper beads. These are so easy to make (if a little bit of a faff) and they look great (if I do say so myself).
If you're not keen on making them, you can very easily buy them. Get them from a supplier like this one and give some money to Ugandan women at the same time. If, however, you'd prefer to make your own, there are lots of Youtube videos and online tutorials to show you how, so I'm not going to do that here. This is a good, simple set of instructions if you want them.
I made two very different necklaces with mine. For one aunt, I made them from Peter Capaldi. Magazine pages are good type of paper to use, as they're thin and glossy and good colours. I chose Peter because I thought my aunt would like the resulting beads - mostly dark grey, with pinkish highlights. Here he is being cut into triangles:
|Peter Capaldi in the Radio Times being cut into triangles|
Then I rolled them up, glued them and left them to dry, then varnished them. If you put them on cocktail sticks this is much easier to do. Mr T came up with this great idea for a stand, scrumpled up tinfoil:
|Beads drying on cocktail sticks|
Once varnished (two coats) and dry, they look like this:
|Finished varnished paper beads|
I strang them with grey seed beads in between, and a few silver-coloured metal ones at the front. They're from an African stall at Portobello Road market in London:
|The finished necklace|
For my other aunt, I used normal white paper and coloured it with permanent marker. You only need to colour the edges of the paper where it'll show when it's rolled, not the whole triangle. Then I did the same as with the Capaldi ones:
And I strang these ones with blue and red seed beads, and chips of malachite for super-bright contrast:
|The finished paper bead and malachite necklace|