If you’re a fan of Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen some amazing wooden bead garland that is popping up all over. I’ve seen them for months and almost bought some once, but my cheapness got the best of me. So what do you do when you can’t buy it? You DIY your own for about 8 bucks!
I recently discovered Cheyenne @senseandserendipityblog on Instagram. Scrolling through one day (when I should have been cleaning or adulting or something other than Instagram stalking), I see a beautiful pic of the same garland I’ve been eyeing. She has an amazing tutorial (you can see it here on her blog). Her directions are so clear and helpful so I thought, “yes, I can do this”. Now, I’m not super crafty. I can paint, I can DIY some things, but crafty is not the word I would use to describe myself. Let’s put it this way – I say those words “yes, I can do this” a lot and three hours later, I’m cussing those words in my head.
However, this is not an analysis of my weirdness so on to the tutorial.
- Twine – any color you like or have on hand already. I couldn’t find colored twine at Michaels so I chose a brown/white color.
- Embroidery thread – I went this route for my tassels instead of using the same twine. After looking at mine, I’m kinda wishing I had jumped off the neutral boat for a sec and picked a pretty color.
- Wooden Beads – Mine are from Michaels but I’m sure any craft store sells them. I bought two packs and each had 34 beads (what a random number??).
I bought all my supplies at Michaels and after coupons/sales, it totaled less than $8. You could make a smaller garland if you only buy one pack of beads). This would bring your cost down to about 5 bucks.
Make Your Tassels
Start by taking your embroidery thread and make about 15 loops around your hand like you are rolling up a hose. Leave two ends hanging down on each side. You will end up with what looks like an “O” of thread with two loose ends hanging off. Make your first one and then repeat. You need two if you want tassels on each end. If you don’t want tassels you can skip this step. Set those off to the side and pat yourself on the back. Step 1 – check!
Make your String and First Tassel
Cut off about 7 feet of twine. Or go shorter if you don’t want a long strand. You’re going to fold it over, so don’t fret – you won’t end up with 7 feet of garland. Unless of course, you want 7 feet to drape across your whole house. Carefully take one of your embroidery thread “O’s you made above and put your 7 feet of thread through the “O”. You will have about 3&1/2 feet of twine with your “O” hanging from the middle. Picture holding up a jump rope by both handles with a ball of thread hanging from the middle at the bottom.
Cut some more thread or twine (whatever you like better for this part) – you will be making the loops around the top of your tassel. See below – those messy loops around the top of my embroidery thread are what I mean. I used twine and in hindsight I wish I would’ve used thread because it would look neater. I used about 8 inches of twine, wrapped it several times around the top of my thread and then tied it off in a double knot.
Take your scissors and cut the bottom circle of your thread/twine. This will give you a tassel. You are undoing that loop of thread/twine to make them hang down in single lines instead of a circle.
String the Beads
What you have now is a ‘U” of twine with one tassel hanging from the middle.
First, take the two long ends of the twine (each end of the 3 &1/2 feet) that has one tassel hanging from the middle. Use scotch tape and tape the very ends together. The tape helps you thread the beads. If you don’t tape the two ends together, the twine will unravel as soon as you start threading beads. So now you have a 3 &1/2 foot length of twine, taped off at the ends and one tassel hanging from the bottom middle. Grab your beads – I used both packs of beads for mine (68 total). Start with your taped ends and add beads. Add beads until you have the length you want but make sure you have at least 6 inches of twine leftover with no beads on it.
Add Your Second Tassel
After you have as many beads as you want, take the tape off the two ends. Grab the second “O” from thread or twine that you made earlier. Take one side of your remaining 6 inches of twine that you just removed the tape from and thread it through the top of your second tassel. Tie a knot with the other end of your twine. Now your second tassel is attached to your garland. Repeat the steps above for the tassel. Cut more twine (about 8 inches) and start looping around the top of your embroidery thread “O”. When you have about 10 or so loops around your thread, tie it off in the back to secure it. Snip the loops so they make a tassel.
And wallah – you are done! Thrifty DIY wooden bead garland!
So for about $8 (or less if you only use 1 pack of beads), you have your very own wooden bead garland. This took me about 45 minutes to make. If you are craftier than me (which you likely are!), then you can probably knock this out in less time. And now you can add it to your DIY thrifty decorating skills!
Thanks again to Cheyenne at senseandserendipityblog for inspiring me to DIY! Go check her out if you haven’t already – she’s got so much inspiration on her gorgeous blog!