Learn how to make pretty wood bead ornaments with our easy to follow steps. Stain or paint your ornaments to match your Christmas décor.
Do you love decorating for Christmas?
I sure do!
It’s my absolute favorite time of the year.
There’s nothing quite like the glow from the twinkling lights on a Christmas tree.
Our main tree is a sentimental tree filled with meaningful ornaments that we’ve collected over the years since we were married and started a family.
However, I do have this pretty cashmere pencil tree that I usually decorate with DIY stamped ornaments I made a few years ago.
But this year, I wanted to switch it up and create a little bit of a different look.
Buying all new ornaments can get super expensive…am I right?
And to be honest with you…I’m a little bit cheap.
Well, maybe not so cheap…let’s just say I’m frugal.
Since I had bought some other new pieces this holiday season, I didn’t want to purchase all new ornaments.
Hmmm, what was I going to do?
I challenged myself to come up with another simple DIY ornament that would look great on my skinny tree.
Anne and I got together one afternoon to work on these pretty Christmas tree ornaments.
Not only was it fun to get our craft on with a friend, but she was also able to take pictures and videos of the steps so we could share them with you.
What Supplies Do I Need To Make Wood Bead Ornaments
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Of course, you’ll need beads to make these ornaments.
I used round wood beads in various sizes but you can use whatever style of beads you prefer.
I’ve seen different shapes, sizes and even textures so choose what speaks to you.
If you want to replicate the ornaments I made here is a list of the supplies you’ll need.
- unfinished wood beads (see below for sizes and links)
- jute twine
- white chalk paint
- wood dowel or spoon
- glass or metal bowl
To make these ornaments I used four different-sized round beads.
The largest size on each ornament was a 38mm or 1.5″ natural unfinished wood bead
The other three sizes were 25mm, 20mm, 16mm wood beads and those came in a package together.
S2M tip: use a container like a tray or bowl to keep the beads from rolling off the table surface while working
Before you begin assembling your ornaments you’ll want to decide the aesthetic you want.
You can either leave them natural, paint them or stain the beads.
I decided to make some of the ornaments painted and some stained.
So let’s see how to do each option.
How to Make Painted Wood Bead Ornaments
If you decide to paint your beads you can spray paint them for a quicker project or use a brush to cover the wood beads.
But if you prefer a more distressed finish then you’ll want to follow these steps.
First, mix white chalk paint with water in a large glass bowl.
I used about a 50-50 ratio of water to paint.
Diluting the chalk paint down with water will make the paint thinner and create more of a washed finish.
Stir paint and water with a dowel, paint stick, or spoon until it’s smooth.
Next, gently drop several wood beads into your paint and water mixture.
Using an inexpensive chip brush, make sure each bead is covered completely with the paint.
S2M tip: a wood dowel is super helpful to get the beads out of the bowl of paint
After removing the painted wood beads, I wiped them with a clean paper towel while letting them roll on parchment paper.
I wanted a little bit more of a distressed look and wiping some of the extra paint off gave me exactly what I wanted.
Once the beads are completely dry, lay out the pattern you want to make your ornaments.
I used two small, two medium, two large, and one extra large wood bead for each decoration.
The pattern of the ornament was from smallest to largest in the middle and back down to smallest.
Start by creating a knot at the end of your jute twine.
Then string a small bead followed by a medium, then a large, and the extra large in the middle.
Next, add a large, then a medium followed by a small bead.
After all seven beads are strung in the correct order create a loop at the top of the twine.
The loop can be used as a hanger for your DIY painted wood ornament.
Get creative when making these painted wood bead ornaments.
Use a different color of chalk paint.
Red, green, or even a mix of the two would be really pretty!
Maybe try using silver or gold?
Ohh…now that’s an idea I’ll have to remember for next year!!
Instead of twine, try using ribbon to string your wood beads to create a beautiful and unique ornament.
How to Make Stained Wood Bead Ornaments
After Anne and I made the painted wood ornaments, they were so pretty we wanted to make more.
We thought staining the wood beads could be fabulous!
Anne grabbed a can of stain from her garage they had leftover from a previous project and we started creating a different ornament style.
If you don’t have any stain laying around I really like this color from Minwax.
I followed the same steps as painting the wood beads, except we used a little precaution when staining.
First, be sure to wear disposable gloves when working with stains.
And instead of using a glass bowl, we mixed the stain in a disposable aluminum container.
After covering the wood beads with the stain, I removed them immediately from the aluminum bowl.
Then, I wiped them with a clean rag because I didn’t want the beads to soak up too much of the color.
I wanted the stained DIY wood bead ornament to have a bit of a distressed look like the painted ornaments.
I followed the same pattern of stringing the beads as the painted beads to make these handmade stained ornaments.
String the bed in this order: small – medium – large – extra large – large – medium – small
Using the same pattern and twine with both the painted and stained ornaments created a cohesive look to decorate my cashmere pencil Christmas tree.
I love how easy these ornaments were to make.
Staining and painting a bunch of beads at one time allowed Anne and me enough beads to make several of each style of ornament to decorate both of our trees.
For very little investment, I was able to update the look of my pencil tree this year.
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If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!