Newspaper beads are a more recent innovation in East Africa. However, the techniques used to make the beads are similar to those used during Victorian times by young ladies gathering socially to make beads out of paper for room dividers. The only difference is that the women in Africa are not using wallpaper samples, but recycling old newspapers to craft their beads.
Once varnished, these beads are able to remain water resistant and durable. Newspapers are the preferred raw material because of their abundance, eco-friendliness and the fact that most use color fast inks.
Found in countries such as Uganda and Kenya, these beads have in recent years formed the basis for income generation among the women in cooperatives.