DIY: Painted bead necklace

I can’t remember how I first stumbled across Laura Parke, but I’ve been bookmarking a few of her crafts for awhile now. I think the first one I knew I had to make was this painted wooden bead necklace. It was simple, yet so fun.

I kept putting it off because for whatever reason, I couldn’t find the right wooden beads. That is until I went a little craft crazy with my mom last week in NC. I think we visited A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, and  Michael’s at least 3 times that week…not to mention all the bead boutiques! I was appalled to learn how lacking my own craft stores were.

Anyways, after a few days of scavenging for craft supplies, I was finally ready for this simple DIY. Laura gives a thorough step-by-step tutorial and even suggests using painters tape for clean lines, but I like to live on the edge and free-handed my project.

To get started, you need:

  • 10 wooden beads
  • craft paint, colors of your choice
  • paint brush
  • necklace (I used cord)
  • clasps


1. First, paint your beads cream. Laura actually left hers natural, which I didn’t realize until after. But, no bother, I like the cream base.

2. Next, paint the colored bit. Here’s where Laura used painters tape. Note: I did have to give my beads a few coats of paint, but I put that down to the quality of my craft paint.

3. While your beads are drying, sort the clasp for your cord/chain. I used a lobster clasp & cord crimps (I think that’s what they’re called) since the cord I had was too thick for crimp beads. Only attach one side so you can still slide on your beads.

4. Check the inside of the beads to see if there are any shavings stuck inside. If so, use your paint brush to push and clear it out.

5. String your necklace with like colors together as above (i.e. cream to cream, pink to pink). You may notice a bit of paint transferred onto my cord. This was due to my own impatience as I thought my beads were dry, but apparently there was a tiny spot of wet paint inside.

6. Lastly, add your other cord crimp and the other half of your lobster claw. And voila!

Even though there’s a little bit of paint on my cord, I’m really pleased with the finished product. I have to say, the more jewelry I make, the more I like this little hobby. In related news, I wore one of my mom’s jewelry creations out on Saturday night and I just have to share…more or less, because I’m so proud of her talent. Isn’t it gorgeous?



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