Wooden Beads - DIY Decorating

Wooden Beads - DIY Decorating

So last week, in my last live sale, I featured a new item which was some wooden beads in many styles. Whether it was patriotic, or party themed, lemon-inspired, bee-themed, or natural, I have become obsessed. So, I thought you might like to know how I made them!
First, you can find several sizes of beads on Amazon. You need to decide what pattern you'd like to form with the beads in terms of color and size. At one point, I felt like my elementary child back when he was learning about patterns! Yellow, honey, yellow, white, yellow, honey, yellow, white... and so on.colored beads layed out in patterns
How would I paint these little wooden spheres of potential decorating bliss?

I had planned to skewer my wooden beads and lay across a box in order to hand paint them. My mind was saying "Are you crazy, girl? This is going to take FOR-EV-ERRRRR!" But I love them so much I was crazy enough to consider that approach. It was my ten year old son who said, "Are you going to spray paint them?"
"That's genius, my son! I wasn't going to but I sure am going to try now!" You see, I think of my mind like this when it comes to pretty much any project. There's This Will Be Awesome Avenue which leads to a side road called Complicated Lane. Complicated Lane ends up being a a cul-de-sac that leads me back to That Was Way Too Complicated Boulevard. Once I get there, I usually end up either exiting the route altogether or finding Simpler Crossing. In the case of this project, I think my son got me a direct route to Simpler Crossing.
Don't get me wrong. I won't say it was Easy Peasy Drive. However, it had to be better than what Complicated Lane had to offer...
Spray Paint!

spray paint in bright colors
I made a list of all of the wooden beads styles I wanted to give a shot at trying. I may have ended up on Complicated Lane on this one simply because I can never just offer one of something new. I quickly realized that my creative brain couldn't handle just one type of bead strand. I had to go back and give those tiered tray sets we offered in the previous live sale a matching bead strand buddy! But, I digress... I'm supposed to be telling you how proud I am of the simplification process that was the paint technique. Not how I wanted to make ALL the styles. So, moving on...
I grabbed some boxes I had laying around from dog food, Costco orders and so on. In the pantry, I knew I had about half a bag of skewers that have probably been in there for fifteen years. I knew I'd find a use for them one day! These made the perfect bead spraying holders. I taped together two skewers so that they'd reach across the entire box.person attaching two skewers with blue tape
wooden beads being spray painted red
wooden beads being spray painted yellow I strung some beads on some skewers and carefully sprayed one color at a time. (Now, keep in mind, that I had to have some idea of how many of each color I needed. So, first I had to go back to that elementary school lesson to which I referred above... And then I tallied how many of each color and size I needed for EVERY.SINGLE.STRAND of each style I wanted to do.
There is a right and a wrong way to spray paint.
  • Spray when there is no wind.
  • Spray in weather that's not damp or humid.
  • Work in well venitlated areas (preferably outside) so that you do not inhale the fumes.
  • Start spraying before the line of beads and stop after you've passed the beads. This will prevent the paint from pooling on a bead and running or dripping.
  • Rotate your skewers as you go back and forth so that you can get coverage on all "sides" very quickly.
  • Let the first round of spraying dry - walk away and do something else. Seriously. WALK AWAY before you are tempted to keep spraying until you have drippy wooden beads. I mean it! I said WALK AWAY, my friend. In words similar to a commercial I love, "I know a few things because I've done (and seen) a few things." Those beads can come off those skewers singing because they love their new look. Or they could tell you where to go.
  • Let the beads dry before removing them from the skewers. Or, perhaps, you'll be telling this whole project where to go.painted red wooden bead
I sorted my beads into cups and containers based on color once each set was dry.wooden beads separated into color
wooden beads separated into red white and blue
Now for the fun...

I tied a light knot in one end of some twine, leaving a little excess for later. One by one, I dropped those spray painted round goodies onto the twine and watched my patterns take life! When I got to the end, I either tied another loose knot just so that if the table turned upside down, my floor did not look like a gumball machine exploded. See how I make the tassels in this quick video.
Tassels, tags and embellishments.

If you want to add a star, heart, or other pieces on an end, thread the twine into those as you tie the knot around the tassel loops. Ribbons make nice additions to the tassels and you can cut a couple of pieces and lay them over the looped yarn/twine before threading and knotting the long piece of twine holding the beads.looped yarn for making tassels
I love using the wooden beads for decorating around smaller items... wooden books with city coordinates
a mantel decorated with a vase, sign and wooden beads
patriotic wooden letter blocks with matching beads
And larger items as well!
entry way with blanket ladder
Are you ready to tackle making your own wooden beads or would you be happy just buying them already done? (Because we have them in the online shop!)
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Thank you so much for sharing how you did this !!! About 6 weeks ago I was thinking you should start making farmhouse beads !!! ( I was even going to message you a suggestion – lol ) Anyhow, last month I bought some unfinished wood beads . I read that you can dye them using Rit Dye ! I tried it and I have to say it is great for dying a large qty of beads. You definitely get a more matte finish , so depending on the look you are going for , that may be a good thing !!! That being said , I will probably hand paint my beads in the future only because I feel like I wasted a lot of the dye since I didn’t need a ton of one color. But let me know if you want to explore dying your beads next time . I am happy to share what I learned !

Rita Ostapchenko

Love the beads!
In my former life, I was a software developer. When designing and coding a new feature, things would sometimes beome complicated. I had a boss that always said “there has to be a simplier way”. And there always was.

Your son suggesting spray paint reminded me of that.

Janice Blinn

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