If you’re a Pinterest addict like me, I’m sure you’ve seen those amazing wooden bead garlands popping up all over your feed. They’re huge trend right now and they’re really easy to make too. I thought I’d up the stakes a little and see if I could make an oversized version. There is just something about big wall art that always stops me in my tracks. It’s so dramatic, plus it fills up wall space so you don’t have to buy a whole bunch of things to make an impact and add that “wow” factor. But oversized wall art can be insanely expensive. Our extra large bead garland, on the other hand didn’t even cost $10 to make 🙂
Pretty cool right? Here’s how you can make your own extra large bead garland.
What You need to Make an Extra Large Bead Garland
- 4 small polystyrene or Styrofoam balls
- 10 Medium polystyrene or Styrofoam balls
- 8 large polystyrene or Styrofoam balls
- burlap and some ribbons
You’ll also need twine or leather cord and acrylic paint in your choice of color. Have you ever tried painting polystyrene and it ended up looking like the surface of the moon that had been bombarded with meteors? Spray paint and other solvent based paints will do that so it’s best to use water based paints, like acrylics. To make it easier to paint the balls a box that’s been lined with a piece of scrap polystyrene and some toothpicks will help alot. We did the something similar when we made our dreamy garden swing.
Insert a toothpick into your balls and then push the other end into the scrap piece of polystyrene. That way you won’t have to chase balls all over the place while you paint them.
Painting Polystyrene Balls
The biggest problem with painting polystyrene is getting a nice even coverage. The balls we bought weren’t very smooth and I definitely didn’t want the extra large bead garland to look like it had been made from polystyrene 😉 The best way to cover up those “imperfections” was to use a stenciling brush. The short bristles really helped to get the paint into all those dings and dangs in the balls.
Once the first coat dries, about 5 minutes, you can apply the next coat with a normal brush. Those darn balls took four coats before they were completely covered and it’s a messy business. My hands got as many coats of paint as those balls 😀 I had this whole production line going. By the time the balls in the one box had been painted the ones in the other box were dry and ready for their next coat.
And then wouldn’t you know it…… When all those balls got their final coat, I decided I didn’t really like the color. They were too “blegh” brown. You know that Boring Look that’s Eeew, Gross, Horrible. So they got a few more coats in a new color.
Three coats of paint later and the balls were ready to be strung.
Making the Extra Large Bead Garland
Okay now for the fun bits. Grab a large pointy stick or skewer and make a hole all the way through the
painted balls beads.
Cut a piece of twine or leather cord that’s at least 30 cm (12″) longer than your bead garland. To figure out how long the garland will be just place all the beads next to each and measure. Push the cord through the holes you made earlier starting with two small beads, then three medium, then four large, four medium, four large, three medium and finally two small beads. To finish the extra large bead garland off, make two oversized burlap and ribbon tassels.
How to Make Rustic Oversized Burlap and Ribbon Tassels
Measure and cut a piece of burlap that’s 17 cm wide by 30.5 cm long (6.5″ x 12″). Cut a few roughly spaced slits along the width of the burlap. About 3/4 of the way up as shown below. Separate some of the end strands to make it look more rustic.
Cut a few strips of ribbon and place them on top of the burlap. Add a piece of leather cord that’s been knotted in the middle and roll the burlap and ribbons up tightly as shown below.
Finish the tassels off by wrapping the top with a pretty piece of lace and secure with a some twine. Easy peasy 😉
Attach the burlap and ribbon tassels to the small beads on either end and your extra large beaded garland is done.
Tie on a few hearts and stars just for fun.
I hung ours above a lovely wooden mandala and placed a crate with some candles underneath and put two beautiful cypress trees on either side. It makes a big impact on a small budget.
What do you think? Does it work for you? If you like the idea don’t forget to pin for later
Oh before I forget, if you’d like to make something similar or prefer to buy rather than DIY, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more crafty ideas to share with you
And as always wishing you a beautiful, love filled and crafty week.