It’s a rainy day and the kids can’t go outside. You’ve heard the cries of boredom and need to supply them with a quick and easy craft project to keep them occupied. Why not have them make their own clay beads? There’s no need to rush down to the bead store to buy beads for this project. You have all the supplies you need to make beads on the shelves of your kitchen cabinet. Here’s how to get the kids starting making clay beads in a flash:
Three cups of all-purpose flour
¾ cup table salt
A mixing bowl
A large mixing spoon
A metal baking sheet
Non-stick baking spray
Wooden kebob stick for making holes
Acrylic paints in a variety of colors
Spray-on acrylic sealer
Make clay beads: Gather your supplies
The salt, flour, and water should be readily available. A large, standard mixing bowl in glass or ceramic will work well. Your metal baking sheet should be prepared by spraying it lightly with non-stick baking spray. If you don’t have acrylic paints and paint brushes, these are available at any craft store. Spray-on acrylic sealer is available at most craft and hardware stores.
Make clay beads: Prepare your flour mixture
Pour three cups of all-purpose flour into your mixing bowl. Add a quarter cup of table salt and stir until evenly distribute. Slowly pour in one-and-a-quarter cups of water while stirring. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and develops a clay-like consistency. If the clay mixture feels too stiff, add a small amount of water.
Make clay beads: Make your clay beads
Let the kids roll the clay into round bead-like shapes. You can also encourage them to make beads in elongated shapes or long snake-like shapes. As long as you can pierce a hole in it, the sky’s the limit. Once the beads are shaped, use a wooden kebob stick to make a hole in the handmade bead so it can be strung at a later time. Pierce the clay from both sides when making the holes and make sure the holes are large enough since some contraction can occur during baking.
Make clay beads: Bake the beads.
Once the clay beads are shaped and the holes are pierced, place them on your prepared baking sheet and allow them to cook at 350-degrees for forty-five minutes. Check them at that time. If they’ve started to develop a slight brown coloration, it’s time to remove them. Otherwise, let them bake for another ten minutes while watching them closely. Once the beads are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
Make clay beads: Decorate!
Now comes the fun part. Give the kids acrylic paints and a paint brush and let them paint the beads with the colors and designs of their choice. Once the paint is dry, use a spray-on acrylic sealer in a well ventilated area to protect the painted finish. The beads can be strung on elastic cord to make colorful bracelets at a later time.
This clay bead project will keep your kids entertained for hours. You’ll even be tempted to join in the fun!