One of my prized handmade possessions is my paper bead necklace pictured above. I made it years ago for a college art course that asked me to construct a wearable book, and it was delightfully simple. You can make your beads of any old standard weight paper: magazine tear outs, photos, old texts, or your $.20 copy of Carter Brown's The Sad Eyed Seductress as I did.
You'll need your paper selection, a ruler, a sharpie, scissors, an old school bottle of Elmer's, and toothpicks. Start by dividing your paper into oblong triangles. The widest part of the triangle will be the width of your final beads, so use your ruler to measure out your desired dimensions and your sharpie to mark the triangles, then cut the triangles from your paper source.
There is a great photo stream on Flickr by sgjennin showing all of the supplies needed to make recycled paper beads:
a clasp or knot closure to secure. The final step is to wear your handmade necklace proud as a peacock and sleep well at night knowing that you not only saved a few bucks and recycled some paper, but you also made something with your two little hands.
The fun thing about recycled paper beads is that the paper you use can change their whole look. I love that you can sort of still read my beads, but the pictures below from Flickr user and Etsy star Jesssprkle show that you can choose color over content to gorgeous effect.
Make these and I'll call you resourceful, not crafty. Send me pics if you take on the project; I'd love to see what you come up with.