Gracen-Made Gifts: Ombre Beaded Necklaces

Kid Made Ombre Wooden Beaded Necklace | Mama Papa BubbaWith another ‘goodbye play date’ happening this morning, Miss G and I decided that it would be fun to make something special to take along for each of her little playmates.  Grae suggested necklaces, which I thought was a brilliant idea.  We made a quick stop at the store, picked up some unfinished wooden beads and some hemp cord (both available at craft stores and dollar stores) and our project was underway!

IMG 0152First up, was painting the wooden beads… While painting all of the sides of round beads can be quite a challenge for little ones, this is my favourite {and easy} way to help set them up for success.  All you need is a smallish box of some sort (a fruit crate or shoebox works well) and a few bamboo skewers.  Then just make a few slits down both sides of the box, slide the beads onto the skewers, and place the skewers into the slits.  With this handy little contraption, your little one won’t have to worry about holding the beads and they’ll easily be able to spin the beads while painting.

IMG 0164For this project, Grae chose one colour from my acrylic paint stash (the pink one) and in order to create an ombre effect I had in mind, I grabbed the white one.  Besides only needing one paint colour plus white {or black}, the beauty of an ombre project is that you only really need one mixing bowl and one paintbrush.

IMG 0153Starting with our original colour and our largest beads, Grae began painting.  The process was really quick and easy and she enjoyed it a lot.  I did follow behind her with a dry brush just to spread out a few globs of paint here and there, but she was able to get really good coverage all on her own.  We slowly made our way through the medium and small beads, adding a little bit of white to our paint with each batch.

IMG 0161As Grae finished painting each skewer of beads, I removed them from the box and placed them on a {very old and well-used} baking dish to dry.  This was our completed collection of beads, which was more than enough to make 5 necklaces.  

IMG 0170Acrylic paint dries really quickly, so we were able to string our necklaces not too long after painting the beads.  For each necklace, we used about 60 centimetres of white hemp cord, 1 large dark pink bead, 2 medium ones, and 6 smaller ones (2 per shade of pink).

IMG 0175Because we normally use a knotted string when beading, this project was a little different for Miss G.  This time we used the cord without a knot, started with the biggest, darkest bead in the middle, and added the outside beads in pairs, one on each side.  It was a great informal ‘lesson’ on symmetry and Grae picked up the concept right away.

IMG 0177Here’s the order we went with…  The largest, darkest bead in the middle fading to the lightest, smallest beads on the outer edges.

IMG 0180Once Grae was done the beading, I looped the cord in a circle, overlapping the ends about 12 centimetres or so and made a quick, single knot on each side to create an adjustable necklace. I trimmed the excess cord a little bit, and our necklace was complete!

IMG 0184Isn’t it pretty?  

IMG 0187I love this project for so many reasons – it’s quick, easy, inexpensive, and looks beautiful too!  Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

I think it’s safe to say that Grae loves it too… ☺


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9 thoughts on “Gracen-Made Gifts: Ombre Beaded Necklaces

    1. There are quite a few and you can often find some good bargains, but you have to sort through a lot of not so good stuff to find it. I doubt they are anywhere near as good or as cheap as the ones you have over there.

      1. Ah, that’s kind of what I figured…. Ours have gotten to be great places for craft/art supplies over the years. I’ll definitely miss them when we’re gone!

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