I gotta admit, I didn’t realize there would be so much interest in this small hobby the girls and I love. We’ve been beading for years. It’s such an easy DIY and there is so much versatility. It’s also one of those hobbies where you can keep it fairly inexpensive until you’re ready for the big girl beading.
TOOLS | BEADS | STRETCHY CORD
Full disclosure – we aren’t doing anything too intricate here. But it really doesn’t matter. Emery and Anisten can whip them up so quickly and they love making them with friends.
It’s a great way to recycle old jewelry (great Saturday Good Will activity) or take apart your old jewelry, add chunkier beads, etc. You could seriously pick up some awesome stuff to use at your local thrift store – so much old jewelry is just thrown out!
If you’re just starting out, I’ve put together this basic list of tools/supplies that you’ll need:
- SCISSORS: I love these because they’re easy for small hands and they get fewer pinches with these
- RULER/MEASURING TAPE: k, kids have no idea how to do things in moderation. They will always cut WAY too much string than they need. Having a ruler handy will help preserve your stock! I like a flexible ruler (like a sewing ruler) for measuring wrists etc and a wooden or metal one for measuring the length of string.
BRACELET MEASURING GUIDE
- CLEAR STRING: We use stretchy string for a few reasons. These are for kids – they are going to stack them, pull on them, and if they’re the ones making them, they don’t have to deal with frayed string, wax, etc. Trust me, stretchy string is the way to go!
- TOOLS: We use these to crimp beads at the end of our bracelets to hold them on. It’s going to happen – you’re going to have a kid who is completely finished and they let go of one end and all the beads slide off! Heck, I’ve even done it. But crimping a bead at the end prevents this and also makes it much easier to connect the two ends!
- TOWEL/BEADING MAT: If you’ve beaded before, you know how annoying a smooth surface can be. Fuzzy surfaces are even worse – that’s why we love these beading mats! They hold the beads in place, the beads don’t get lost, and I don’t run the risk of the entire pile of beads sliding off my table or lap!
- CRIMPING BEADS: These beads are typically some type of metal and they hold all the other beads in place. They can be used to tie off a finished section or connect two ends in a loop!
- SEED BEADS: We love 11/0 sized beads. They’re a great size for stackable single bead bracelets and are easy for the kids to handle. My kids seriously whip these up so fast!
- BEAD CONTAINER: These are my absolute favorite ones. I will link some others down below but I think these are the best bang for my buck and I don’t have to worry about when my stock gets low and digging into a really tall container!
SHOP MY FAVORITE BEADS
BEADS | TOOLS | RULER | STRETCHY STRING | TALL BEAD CONTAINERS (I don’t love these as much)
The girls don’t really use any books as they mostly do single strand bracelets. There are sooo many things you can do with beads. I do have bendable needles that are great for kids who aren’t able to keep a bead on the stretchy string. They also come in handy when you’re wanting to make a flower or other shape where you need to loop back through a bead. If you want more instruction, I’ve put together some of the top rates beading books:
BOOKS ON BEADING
I’m so excited to see what you guys create! We seriously have so much fun and it’s a great activity for Sundays, long car rides (bring a cookie sheet for each person to put their beading mat and tools), and when your kids are quiet, you won’t be worried that they’re destroying the house!