Like all kidful households, we’ve got a mountain of paper with crayon scribbles and I just can’t bring myself to throw it out. So I took a little bit of it to make decoupage kids’ art beads, from which I made a fun dress-up necklace for each of my girls plus some for myself!

How to Make Kids Art Covered Beads

Original Post Date: Spring 2010

Supplies

  • Kids artwork: They used washable crayons, on regular white paper .
  • Mod Podge: For this project, I used the glossy kind.
  • Wood beads: These are round beads, about 1/2 an inch in diameter. They were purchased at Michael’s.
  • Ribbon: The holes in the beads are rather large, so I was able to use 1/4” ribbon.
  • Anti-Fraying Glue, for ribbon ends
  • Also, a craft knife, self-healing cutting mat, a sponge brush (any small brush is fine), sand paper, 2 wooden skewers, rubber bands, and a jar for holding skewer upright.

Directions

The wooden beads are round 1/2” in diameter, and about 2 inches in circumference around the equator. I made a rectangular template a little bit bigger than that (so 2 1/8” by 3/4”). Find a spot on your kids art with colors that you like. Using a craft knife or scissors, cut around the template.

Every 1/8 inches or so, make a little slit along the edges on the long sides of the rectangle. This will help the paper lay flat along the curvature of the bead.

Put a light layer of Mod Podge onto the wrong side of the paper.

Twist a rubber band around a wooden skewer and place this into a jar. This will be your 3rd hand to hold the bead while you decoupage. Lightly sand the bead, then thread the bead onto the skewer and put a light layer of Mod Podge all over the bead.

Center the paper on the bead and wrap it round, joining the two short ends.

Then use your fingers to push down the long end of the paper around the holes of the bead. The slits will lay on top of each other. Use your fingers to gently smooth out the paper as best as possible (there will be wrinkles but I think it’s ok).

Allow to dry for one hour. Seal the outside with another thin layer of Mod Podge.  Allow to dry for another hour. 

Thread onto another skewer to dry and start your next bead. As before, allow to dry for an hour, and put another thin layer of Mod Podge on top. Allow to dry for another hour.

Now to make the necklaces.  For my girls’ dress-up necklaces, I used velvety pink and yellow ribbons for my necklaces. Cut enough ribbon to make a necklace that would easily go over their heads. Cut the ribbon at an angle and thread it through a bead. Center the bead in the middle and tied knots on each side, pushing the knot as snugly as I could to the bead. Thread a bead on either side and tie more snug knots. Tie the ends together and use anti-fraying glue on the ends. {Remember to supervise your little ones when they wear their necklaces.}

I wanted to make a necklace for myself to wear with them when we play dress-up, but I wanted to incorporate both pink and yellow. The ribbon is one-sided, so I used my Xyron machine to apply adhesive to both sides. You could also use a glue gun.

Layer one ribbon on top of another.

And now you have double-sided velvet ribbon!

But I was a total dingbat and didn’t cut enough ribbon to make a necklace to just throw on over my head. So I tied the ends to this chunky chain I had, trimming the ends off right at the knot and using more anti-fraying glue on the knot. Then at the other end, I wire-wrapped some pearls to attach the clasp. Note: a tutorial on wire wrapping will be added soon.

Hmm what to do with the remaining beads…make a keychain, or make a fancy schmancy necklace? Fancy schmancy necklace it is. Note: a tutorial on how to make the fringy beads will be posted soon.

All of our necklaces together.

 My babies in 2010. Sigh.

Happy Kid Crafting – Steph

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