Making Beaded Jewelry – Crafts with Kids Series #1

Creative Inspiration

Beaded necklaces by Elias

The different presents I have gotten over the years. 🙂

Hello! As a mom I try to find things that my kids can do that don’t require electricity. Crafts have always been a staple for our house (as I could probably stock Michaels from my supply closet) and so today I will talk about BEADS!
I love beading and so does my youngest boy.  All children have used the big plastic beads with yarn (I have a few I still wear to work occasionally) but with a tiny bit more effort and a few different supplies your kids can make items that are gift worthy, something they are proud of and something you might want to wear!  You can do so many different things with beads such as necklaces, bracelets, wall decorations, the ideas are vast!  Best of all, once they are started children will enjoy some quiet time without realizing they are having quite time (Insert glass of wine for me, Moms need quiet time too haha)
 
 

Supplies Needed

Beads – Beads come in so many shapes and colors that they can be overwhelming.  For children’s Beadsbeading projects I usually fill a small bowl with a bunch of different styles within 2-3 complementing color groups.  The end result is a pretty and eclectic piece that they will be proud of and you will be proud to wear. Note: I give the same quality beads to my children as I would want to use.  In my bead mix I include the Swarovski’s and the unique pretty glass beads. My reasoning is nice materials=nice results.
IMG_7555Stringing materials – There are many different types of string. I use beading string in either black or white depending on the beads I use.  In a pinch the best is good ole dental floss! Beading wire is really nice and doesn’t require a needle but will require a few other small tools to finish the item.
Closures – These are easy to find and can be small basic clips or the more fancy front ring and post closures.
Needles (if you don’t have a stiff stringing material) – Beading needles are very fine and sharp.  I taught my children to use them as young as 5 without any problems. Use a kitchen magnet to give them a place to put them when they aren’t using them.

Making a Bracelet

Step 1: Gather Supplies and Set up a space
Step 2: Cut length of string about 6 inches longer than you need.
Step 3: Finish off one end.  The easiest way is to use bead covers with an open loop. These are available at any craft store.

Finishing a Bracelet End

The steps for finishing off an end to a beaded jewelry project.

Put a small seed bead on the sting and tie a knot twice right over it.  String the bead cover (hook facing toward end) and then squeeze the cover closed.  Thread the beading needle and all ready! Tip: Make a few of these at a time and always have a quick craft project ready to go.

Use a paper plate for supply control! Note the magnet to keep pesky needles from rolling away. The marks on the thread show the end and the middle of the project.

Use a paper plate for supply control! Note the magnet to keep pesky needles from rolling away. The marks on the thread show the end and the middle of the project.

Step 4: Mark off where you want them to stop beading and then mark the middle between that spot and the end you just finished.  You should have about 3 inches left past the last mark. Show your child where the middle of the project will be so they can put their favorite beads there.
Step 5: Thread the needle and let them bead away.  I had to teach myself to walk away at this point because I always wanted to ‘help’ them.  I found my favorite pieces were the ones they did all by themselves.
Step 6: When they reach the end, carefully (I have dumped a whole necklace on the floor once, oh boy), place a bead cover and then the seed bead.  Tie a knot around the seed bead and, using the needle, drag it down into the bead cover.  Leaving a small gap is ok and will let the bracelet be more flexible. Tie two more knots around and through the bead and then run the needle back through the end of the bead cover. Hide the excess thread inside the beads. Squeeze the bead cover closed and now it is time for the closures!

Steps for finishing the project's end.

Steps for finishing the project’s end.

 

 

 

Step 7: Place a jump ring inside one open bead cover loop.  Using your fingers or small jewelry pliers close the loop.  Repeat with the other side of the closer.  ALL DONE!!

IMG_7573Finished Bracelet

I would love to see any projects you do!

 

Have a creative day! Alicia B.

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