Making simple beads at home with the kids can be as easy as pulling the flour out of the pantry, adding water and being creative with the paints!
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
Food coloring (optional)
Mix the flour and salt.
Add water and mix well.
Knead the “dough” that you’ve created for 10 – 15 minutes. If it feels flexible when you bend it and does not fall to pieces, it is ready for shaping.
Shape the beads. Take small pieces and work them into ovals, circles, squares, or whatever shape takes your fancy.
Make a hole in the bead. If you are using your beads to turn into a necklace or bracelet, make a hole in the center with a skewer or other thin long object. If you are using the beads for other projects, you may not want to have holes in them.
Bake the beads in an oven at 250ºF/120ºC for 2 – 3 hours. Check regularly to see how the beads are. They are done when there is no moisture left and they feel hard to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack.
Paint your beads. Decide which colors you’d like to make your beads and paint them. Include spots, stripes, shapes and other designs on them. Even little people or animal figures can be effective if you have detailed painting skills. Allow paint to dry thoroughly.
Completely finished beads can be lacquered for a beautifully shiny finish.