Jewellery making is not the only thing you can do with beads. Beads can be used in lots of craft projects with kids. Here are some great arts & crafts ideas using beads.
No matter how much you enjoy making jewellery, there comes a time when you just want to do something else. There are some great projects you can make using all your left over beads and findings, and most use only basic jewellery making techniques.
Bead mosaics are a fun to make, and even really young children can join in.
To start with, find a base you want to mosaic. It could be something big like an old mirror or something smaller like a picture frame. Old coasters and placemats are fun to mosaic, and smaller things like puzzle pieces and bottle caps can be made into brooches or magnets. You are only limited by your imagination, so take a look around and see what you can find.
If you want a specific pattern, draw it onto your base before you start, then simply start gluing. Jewellery cement is clear glue which is specifically for cementing beads, so while it is a little more expensive than ordinary craft glue, it definitely does the job. Some craft glues will also hold the beads in place, but make sure you check the back of the bottle first.
Once you have completely covered your base in beads, you can use tiny seed beads to fill in the gaps. Coat the mosaic in clear varnish and it’s ready to use or display.
Making a mobile out of beads is easy peasy, and they look particularly good in kids bedrooms.
Start with a wire ring for your base. You can either make this out of heavy gauge wire, or buy ready made hoops from a craft supply shop. Loop a piece of tiger tail wire over the hoop, and use a crimp to hold the loop in place. Add 5 or 6 more strings around the hoop.
Once you have all your mobile strings in place, start threading your beads. You can either stack the beads to form a solid line, or use crimps to give a floating effect. Finish each strand with a crimp to stop the beads from falling off the end.
Use tiger tail to make a carry handle over the top of the hoop, and use it to hang over a hook.
Table Cloth Weights
Table cloth weights make great presents, and are especially good to make in summer when everyone is eating outdoors.
Simply take a silver bulldog clip and thread a piece of tiger tail wire through the hole. Loop it back on itself, and slide a crimp over both pieces, pulling it tight to the clip. Squash the crimp flat to hold the wire in place. Thread beads onto both strands of wire and finish with a crimp to hold the beads in place.
The weights are then clipped onto the corner of a tablecloth, and the weight of the beads stops the tablecloth from blowing around in the wind.
Beaded Serviette Holders
You can make serviette rings as simple or as elaborate as you like, and with the use of alphabet beads, you can even name them!
Cut a length of heavy gauge craft wire (about 20 is good), and using round nosed pliers make a small loop at one end. Thread on all sorts of different beads, and then make a small loop at the other end to stop them from falling off.
Wrap the wire around and around a cylinder to create a serviette sized ring. (I use the Greggs spices jars, but hunt in your pantry to find something that works.) Gently slide the ring off the cylinder, and walah….one serviette ring.
Wine charms have been around for years now, but they still make neat presents, and they are fun to make if you are having a party.
Simple wine charms can be made by threading different coloured beads onto earring hoops, but you can add a special touch by dangling different charms off each one. Either buy ready made charms to attach, or make your own by threading beads onto a headpin, and creating a loop at the end to thread through. You can also make dangly charms by threading beads onto tiger tail, and attaching the wire using a crimp.
There is no end to the creations you can make when it comes to key rings. Simply bead and create on wire, head pins or chain, and then attach your creation to a split ring. You can use the same idea to make a cell phone charm, but instead of attaching your creation to a ring, use a clasp that can be hooked onto the end of your phone.
Dress up a plain lampshade by dangling beads from the bottom of the shade. Simply punch holes around the bottom, and then thread through tiger tail wire. Use a crimp to hold the wire in place, and then thread on your selection of beads. Either stack the beads to form a solid dangle, or use crimps to give a floating effect. Finish each strand with a crimp to hold the beads in place.
Cut a length of fine gauged wire (about 26 is good), and poke one end of it into the bottom of a candle. Thread on a selection of beads, and slowly wrap the wire around the candle as you go. Once you get to the top, poke the end of the wire back into the candle to hold it in place. If you want you can add charms and danglies as you go.
As the candle burns, the candle wrap holds its shape and you are left with a fabulous beaded coil.