Make your own wood bead garland with this easy DIY tutorial. You'll need 20-30 chunky wooden beads and air dry clay to complete this simple home decor project. This bead garland looks great on a coffee table, tiered tray, or fireplace mantel any time of year.
Create an armature for the clay cross using tin foil. Simply shape and press two pieces of foil together to form a cross in your desired size. You can also choose to make a heart, star, or any other shape instead.
Create a hole in the top of your shape where you will thread the garland later.
Roll and shape the air-dry clay into a flat sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Then, shape the clay around the armature and smooth out any rough spots with your fingertips. Be sure to add a hole in the clay to match the foil underneath.
Let the clay cross dry for 1-2 days, flipping it over as needed. You can also set the clay on a baking rack to provide more airflow.
Paint 1-2 coats on the wooden beads, alternating gold or white paint for each bead. Wait 1 hour in between coats.
Add texture to the beads using a damp sponge dipped in the opposite color of paint. Remove as much excess paint as possible on a paper towel for a "dry brush" effect as you gently dab the beads. Reserve one gold bead without texture for later.
Once the clay is dry, paint the surface with 1-2 coats of gold paint or any other color you desire. Let the paint dry completely in between coats.
After all of the pieces are dry, begin stringing the beads onto jute twine, leaving the gold bead for last.
Cut the jute twine, leaving about 8-10 inches on both ends. Place both ends of the jute cord through the last gold bead. Then attach the cross and tie a knot. Cut off any excess string.
Do not attempt to dry the clay with a heat gun or hair dryer. This can lead to cracking. You can also lay a damp paper towel over the clay if it begins to crack as it dries.