Laura Linebarger has proven her craft prowess when it comes to tabletop decor and decorating her daughter’s nursery. Today, she’s showing us her most fashionable (and easy!) DIY to date: her famed painted wood bead necklace.
Here’s the deal. I love a good DIY project, but it’s gotta be easy and something I’ll want to keep. Being a designer in the gift presentations department at Hallmark, I like to add patterns to pretty much anything I can. With this DIY wood bead necklace, I’ll show you how to paint simple patterns onto beads to create a stunning necklace people will not believe you made yourself!
There are no rules for how to paint the beads on this necklace. Any mixture of different patterns will yield results you’ll be happy to wear yourself or give to a friend. Even if you aren’t an avid crafter, this necklace is more than doable!
- 1 yard of leather or suede cording
- 5 wooden beads, measuring 1 inch
- Masking or painter’s tape
- Paint palette of five colors (shown here are gold, light blue, coral, champagne and black)
Start by painting one bead solid in the darkest color of your palette and set aside to dry. (Hint: Drop your bead on the back tip of another brush for easy drying.) Then paint another bead solid in the lightest color of your palette. I chose black for the dark and champagne for the light.
The rest of the beads will be painted using a series of masking techniques. For one bead, I masked it off so that about 2/3 of the bead would be painted. I used coral for this bead.
Then mask off another bead on the diagonal. It doesn’t matter if it’s exactly half; just be sure to get a diagonal line across the bead. I painted this one with the light blue paint.
For the final bead, I painted three stripes around the bead. This is achieved by painting one stripe at a time, letting it dry and then masking off another stripe.
While you wait for the stripes to dry, go back to your dark solid bead. You are going to add some simple dots! I chose gold for the dots because I wanted them to stand out against the black. I found the easiest way to paint dots on these beads is to use the end of the paintbrush without the bristles. Gently dip it into the paint you want and hold it perpendicular to the bead. Touch the brush onto the bead and lift up. Feel free to practice on a paper towel before committing to the bead. Paint random dots onto your dark bead and let dry.
Once all of the beads have dried, it’s time to string them and make a necklace!
Place the beads on the cord in whichever order you want. Tie a knot at the end and your necklace is ready to wear!
Photography by Jane Kortright.