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Mzuri Beads - Uganda's Handmade Recycled Paper Beads and Jewelry

Paper Wonders
Part 1 of 3
Most of us probably made paper beads as a craft at some point in our lives. It's a great way to recycle paper. But I hadn't realised how gorgeous they could be when they are coupled with seed beads in African beading styles.

I recently came across Mzuri Beads, an ethical trading and cooperative business based in Uganda where the women get to earn fair pay making paper beads and jewelry. The business was established in 2006 by British born Kirstie MacLean who met the beaders when she was volunteering in that country. Today Mzuri Beads export their eco products worldwide. Note that Mzuri Beads are well varnished and can withstand quite a dunking in water.

As you can see the beads are colorful and beautifully made using recycled magazines. Mzuri Beads even wrote up a tutorial on how to make paper beads if you've forgotten how! Here's a picture of the artisans themselves and a sampling of what they make :

Related Post :
Amazing Paper Quilled Pendant Tutorial
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. So beautiful and colorful! The gallery where I sell my work also carries fair-trade, recycled paper beads. They do look spectacular with the seed beads! Thanks for sharing this,

  2. loves it - this is progress and hope - peace for all

  3. I'm back! Yea -thanks for fixing the IE issue on the blog Pearl!

    I love the colors of these mzuri beads -and recycled -double love!


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  5. What an inspirational and beautiful blog post! I loved the story of Mzuri Beads and how this business helps women in Uganda learn jewelry and entrepreneurial skills.

    The pictures were fantastic as well! Thank you so much for sharing this.


  6. what a great story! the beads they make are beautiful and I bet it does wonders for them to have a fair and fun job =D

    Thanks for sharing, Pearl


  7. Pearl, your blog never ceases to amaze me. I am constantly finding terrific posts that I've somehow overlooked or missed and this is one of them. The handcrafted paper beads are beautiful and knowing that these women have learned a craft that helps them support themselves and their families - well it truly is heart warming and inspirational.

  8. In an age where we are constantly bombarded with bad news in the media, it IS good to know that there is some good being done for disadvantaged people in some parts of the world.


You're AWESOME! Thanks for the comment and feedback. You do make a difference on my blog!

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