Wood wood wood. I just can’t get enough of this inspiring natural material lately. I’ve been teaching a few after school art classes and each week we are exploring a new way to create simple art projects from wood, in all it’s forms. Most of the projects I do focus on the process over the outcome, but sometimes the outcome is super great too, like this bracelet made by an 11 year old this summer. Painted wood beads can be used for all kinds of simple art projects for kids. The technique is easy and super satisfying for kids of all ages. Here’s how we did it.
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Start with these fantastic wood beads. They are awesome. I am already on my second order. There are a bunch of different shapes. They aren’t too expensive and there are so many things you can do with them and different ways to paint them. You’ll also need skewers which can easily be found at the super market or you can order them online for pretty cheap. Lastly, you’ll need paint. These are my favorite paint cakes. You can also use this awesome watercolor set or tempera paint. I like these. You could skip paint all together and just do sharpies. Metallics would be awesome. In fact, metallic details over the paint would be so cool. Ooh, I’ll have to try that.
Slip the beads a few at a time onto the skewer and then lay the skewer over a container or small bowl. Any size will work as long as it’s smaller than the skewers. They sit really nicely and don’t flop around much at all.
Next, paint away. I like minimal designs like polka dots and lines. You might like to paint the whole bead or just certain areas. Anything goes, which for me is essential to a successful art process. They dry pretty quickly, especially if you set them out in the sun. After the beads are dry you can do all sorts of things with them. The artist here made a pretty bow from a fabric strip and tied it onto a string for a beaded bracelet. You can also use them for keychains, wood buildings, self-portraits, you name it. Would love to hear how you would use them in the comments below. Thanks for reading along and have fun!