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.
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
- White craft glue
- Small paint brushes (for the glue)
- Pencils and rulers
- Felt tip markers
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.
3. Glue the base
Brush some glue on the end of the construction card, covering about 1.5cm of it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.