Make Bead Necklaces

ribbon necklace 3 wm

I am so excited about this latest project…how to make bead necklaces!  Ever since I saw those adorable gumball necklaces over at One Charming Party (whose site I LOVE)…I have been wanting to make them for my girls…and if I am being completely honest…MYSELF!!  So cute right?  Well, I have kept my eye out for gumballs and just never came across any colors that I loved without having to order them online.  Well, one day while perusing the craft store (which happens more often than I would like to admit) I spied some wooden beads!  BINGO!  I had my “gumballs” and I could make them exactly the colors I wanted.

DIY ribbon and bead necklace 1wm  DIY ribbon necklace wm

And they are so EASY!  I simply took the wooden beads and painted them with acrylic paint.

DIY ribbon and bead necklace 8wm

I put each bead onto the end of some skewers that we had left over from some summer BBQ’s so that I could paint them easily.  Then I carefully pushed them off the skewer and onto a paper and left them to dry completely.  Then I painted them with a high gloss finish.  I just used a bottle that can be found right next to all the acrylic paints.  I forgot to take a picture of it…but any glossy varnish will work.  I wanted them to have a glossy finish much like the gumballs do.

DIY ribbon and bead necklace 7 wm

I painted several in some fun and bright colors and added some polka-dots to some since I seem to be loving polka-dots lately!

DIY ribbon and bead necklace 5 wm

After the beads are completely dry, cut about 3.5 – 4 feet of ribbon (depending on the finished length you would like the necklaces to be).  I used 3.5 feet and that seemed to be a great size so that all three of my girls could share and wear these necklaces. 

DIY ribbon and bead necklace 4 wm

Line up your beads to determine the pattern you would like them to be strung on the ribbon.  Take your middle bead and thread it onto the ribbon so that it is in the exact middle.  Tie a knot on each end of the bead to hold it into place.  Then leave about an inch of space (or more depending on your preference) and tie another knot.  Thread your next bead on the ribbon and tie a knot directly on the other side.  Now do the same on the other side of the middle bead.  Continue with the process so that you thread one side and then the other.  This will ensure that you have the same amount of ribbon at the end of each end bead on the necklace.  I put seven beads on each necklace and feel that an odd number looked better than an even number of beads.

ribbon necklace 2 wm

The possibilities are endless!  You can also find other great beads at your local craft store if you don’t feel like painting them yourself!

I love that these are so fun and cute and so INEXPENSIVE!!  I also think these would be a great classy gift for a little girl for her birthday from a friend.  Or a fun activity to do for a little girl’s birthday party so the guests could each take one home.  Or Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers…Or make them to give to a mom/grandma for Mother’s Day!

We have been wearing these around town for the past few days and have already had several compliments on them! 

Now I am looking for some classier beads to make one for myself!



  1. says

    You are very creative and resourceful Amy! I am inspired by your lovely bead necklace. Actually I tried doing it yesterday but I used yellow and red colors for my beads. I am very happy about the result and my daughter loved it so much.

  2. Arlene Grimm says

    Thanks for another great idea!! I know my granddaughter and I will enjoy doing this together and using the skewer is just the perfect way to paint those wooden balls!

    • rudy says

      I folded a pipe cleaner in half to hold the wooden bead and then used a clothes pen to clip to the lid of a pop tart box to dry

  3. Juli says

    BRILLIANT! Thank you for sharing! I love the gumball necklaces too, but I was worried about them getting sticky on my little ones (it’s really hot here and my girls are sweaty little things). This is THE PERFECT solution. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. says

    I never would have thought to put the beads on a toothpick to paint it. LOVE that idea. And I think the necklaces turned out to be absolutely darling. My girls and I need to make these VERY soon. Thanks so much for the idea.

  5. Michelle says

    I LOVE this idea & know my two girls would love wearing these in addition to helping me make them. I’ve seen the wooden beads in craft stores in different sizes. Would you mind sharing the size of the beads & the width of the ribbon you used? My daughters are around your daughters ages & the bead size you used looks perfect. Can’t wait to try this!When you get around to making necklaces for yourself, I would love to see them, Amy! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. says

    I adore these sweet little necklaces. I am going to make some for my niece to wear. She is 3 and LOVES jewelry! How fun!! Thanks for sharing such a great idea. I really like your wooden beads that you painted and added polka dots to.

  7. sandy cutshaw says

    i just love these…i have 16 grandaughers and 2 great grandaughters and they would lovge them.

  8. Katey says

    Any threading tricks? I am craft-challenged and having a hard time getting that ribbon through. Did you put tape on the end or put a needle through it?

    • says

      You can use the tape trick. Also using a needle with a very large eye can help. They sell them at your local craft stores.

  9. Meena says

    I love this idea. very cute and beautiful.may i know the size of the wooden bead you have used and where did you get it ?

  10. TG says

    This is so cute and trendy. Looks easy to make. Love them. The girl in the pic is a pretty model. Am sure she enjoys wearing these.


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