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Creative Beading Projects for Kids
Getting creative with beads is a wonderful way to introduce children to arts and crafts. Beads offer tons of variety and require little preparation time. Simple projects allow younger children to stay focused on the project at hand.
Older children can stay occupied for hours with projects that are slightly more advanced but not overwhelming. Using beads also helps children refine motor skills and gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment by creating something they can treasure and share.
Simple ideas that don’t require fancy tools or expensive materials include beaded key chains, friendship and name bracelets, necklaces, and bookmarks. For each of these projects, pony beads are the perfect option because they are economical and easy to find at your local bead or craft store. Personalized key chains can be created with just a bag of alphabet beads, a key ring and thick cotton cording or plastic lacing. With just a spool of stretch string, kids can also very easily create friendship or name bracelets. Beads offer variety in shapes, sizes and colors, so that children can create an array of unique designs and never get bored. Stretch cord is perfect because it is easy to knot (using a surgeon’s knot is recommended).
Bookmarks can be easily created by adding beads or charms to the ends of a piece of cording. The cording is placed between the pages and the beaded ends dangle from the outer edges of the book.
For simple, yet professional looking jewelry, use a crimp tool with flexible beading wire and crimp beads. Use the tool to attach clasps to necklaces and bracelets. This technique can be used with single strand and multi-strand pieces. Instructions can usually by found on the packaging of any quality crimp tool.
For more advanced projects, macramé techniques can be used to create beaded friendship bracelets or hemp bracelets. Kids can get creative by using a variety of beads and cording. Embroidery floss and hemp are available in many colors and will provide endless possibilities when combined with beads.
Beading projects are perfect for summer, weekends and rainy days. Kids will have fun creating jewelry they can wear and give as gifts. Bead crafts can be done as a pair, a group or individually.
To get started, visit your local bead shop for expert advice on basic supplies and techniques. You can also find project ideas and additional resources on the internet or at your local library or bookstore.
Joyce Lee is a jewelry designer with over 15 years of experience in jewelry design and production. Ms. Lee also enjoys teaching jewelry making classes to children and adults of all ages. Visit www.beadbee.com for project ideas, instructions, and materials. Additional ideas & tips can be found at Bead Bee's blog. Joyce's artisan jewelry can be seen at Bead Bee Boutique