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How To Make Beads

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Art and craft activities in the class can be so much fun, but they can also be lots of work to set up and sometimes extremely messy 😉

When I was teaching in Port Hedland the school I was at would have one afternoon a week where teachers held different clubs. At the beginning of the term the students would select which club they wanted to join and then spend the term on that activity. Some of the clubs I ran included drama, math games, science activities and making beads.

Bead making was quite popular so I thought I’d share with you this fun art and craft project. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty special. They would would make a great Christmas or Mother’s day gift.

Materials

You will need the following supplies:

  • Plastic cotton tips/buds with the tips removed
  • Coloured construction card
  • Newspaper/magazines/coloured wrapping paper
  • Clear nail polish
  • Scissors
  • White craft glue
  • Small paint brushes (for the glue)
  • Pencils and rulers
  • Felt tip markers

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique. Steps

1. Cut the base

Cut a strip of coloured construction card to the dimensions: 1.9cm wide and 15.2cm long. This makes the cylinder base.

2. Cut the triangle

Cut a long isosceles triangle from any colourful piece of paper; such as the newspapers, magazine or coloured wrapping paper. The triangle dimensions are 1.9cm wide at the bottom and 22.9cm long. Add the extension to the triangle (as in the picture below); this will then cover the entire surface of the cylinder base, this should measure 2.5cm.Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

3. Glue the base

Brush some glue on the end of the construction card, covering about 1.5cm of it.Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

4. Begin to roll

Position the cotton tip on top of the glue section. Roll the paper around the stick; if you have difficulty getting started, roll the paper back and forth against the stick a few times.Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

5. Roll and glue

Continue to roll the paper around the stick. Press down firmly with your thumbs as you roll so that it rolls as tightly as possible. Add glue as you go.

6. Glue and press

At the end of the strip, apply more glue all the way across. Press it down and hold it for a few seconds until the glue sets.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

7. Glue and position triangle

Apply some glue to the end of the extension on the triangle, remember to apply the glue to the wrong side of the paper. Position the end of the extension evenly across the cylinder bead.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique. 8. Roll, glue and press

Start rolling the triangle around the cylinder. Keep the point of the triangle in the middle and add glue as you go. At the tip of the triangle add more glue and press it down and hold until it sets.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique. 9. Varnish

The bead is now finished, but don’t remove the stick yet. Hold the stick and use the clear nail polish to paint over the surface of the bead. One coat is enough, but if you want the bead to have a high gloss do a couple of coats of nail polish. Make sure the polish is dry before applying more layers.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique. 10. Remove stick

After the polish is dry, hold the bead in one hand and twist the stick with the other hand and pull it out. If it’s stuck don’t try to force it out as the bead may come apart. Try holding the stick with a pair of pliers and twisting until it turns freely, and then pull.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique. 11. Varnish ends

Paint the ends of the bead with polish.

12. Add string

If your students would like to wear their bead; with a needle, thread through a piece of wool / string and tie the end in a knot.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique.

Variations

You could also use felt tip markers to colour the edges of the triangle and part way down the extension (2.5cm). In this example you have a longer extension, so it would be 2.5cm wide, 15.2cm long and the triangle is 7.6cm long.

Bead making is a fun art and craft project to complete with kids. With some simple household items, the beads come out looking pretty unique. See, not too difficult and the beads look quite spectacular. This lesson also has some great incidental math teaching, with measuring and accuracy.

If you have a go at making the beads I’d love to see some pictures.

Happy crafting!

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