How to Make an Extra Large Bead Garland
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 a 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.
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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 a lot. We did 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.
I was having a ball making an extra large bead garland 😉
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, 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 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.
Sharing is caring 😉
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 unique DIY and craft ideas for you 😉
And as always wishing you a beautiful, love-filled and crafty week. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
60 thoughts on “How to Make an Extra Large Bead Garland”
Luv this Michelle, wooden beads are actually expansive to buy when you need a enough to make a chain. Love the gray color!!!!!
? Yeah and extra big ones would be waaaaaaaaay out of our budget. Glad you like the garland Christine, thanks so much
Shut the front door!! I never would have known those beads were not wood. They look amazing and I love how you’ve put it all together on the wall. Excellent job Michelle!
My beautiful friend. How I’ve missed you ?
Come on!!!! It is really amazing! When I first saw this I was pretty sure that is made of wood! What a brilliant idea Michelle. I will make it for sure!! Pin it
? Thanks so much Christina. If I had any idea how to turn blocks of wood into something round I probably wood have tried tha, but I’m afraid my wood working skills only go so far
Using styrofoam is brilliant, I thought these were very large wooden beads and would weigh more than I’d want to hang up. Styrofoam solves that problem and keeps the cost down. Thanks for the tutorial on how to paint them.
Yeah, the Styrofoam balls are so light. They hardly weigh a thing so they were a great alternative ?
Oh Michelle this is so pretty! I love beaded Garland but never thought about making one with large beads. Love it, and your pretty tassels. ?
? You and me both. Bead garlands are just so pretty and I’m real happy with how our extra large one turned out.
Very nice. This is a great idea! I like the stars but I like the fact that it could be anything – hearts, leaves, flowers, etc.
You’re so right Kesha. I can’t wait for Christmas to hang a few ornaments on the garland and maybe even some fairy lights ?
Oh, Michelle. I love bead garlands and have made a few myself. I never thought about making one so large or using styrofoam instead of wood. It’s brilliant! And those tassels are perfection!
Thanks so much Amy, those Styrofoam balls were so perfect for making the extra large garland
When I saw the photos I wondered how in the heck you found such large wooden beads. Then I thought, no way, did she turn those wooden beads herself? Seriously girl, styrofoam? They look so real you’d never guess! Clever…very clever once again 🙂
I’m not sure I’ll ever be skilled enough to turn wooden beads Marie, Styrofoam is sooooo much easier ?
Wow, this is my first time seeing them and I love them! I would have never guessed styrofoam either!
Those Styrofoam balls are so versatile. I love incorporating them into our decor ?
This is a great diy project that actually looks perfect for party decors. I love the style and how creative you got with it!
Thank you Chastity ?
Wow! This looks awesome and so easy to make. I’m a fan of big wall art and this lovely piece fits in perfectly. I’ll have try do it.
That makes my heart happy, thank you Shaily ?
Michelle I never would have expected these to be styrofoam. You really fooled me. Love the color and those cute tassels! They are showstoppers for sure!
Thanks so much Mary ?
Wow Michelle! This is spectacular! Prior to actually reading I thought those were real beads and couldn’t stop wondering where you found those gigantic ones!!! Amazing job! Pinned and shared!
? So glad you like them Maya. I was originally thinking of making large clay beads but I was a little worried that they’d be too heavy hanging on the wall. The polystyrene balls were the perfect alternative
This is so gorgeous. What a really lovely idea. It looks so expensive and would really love this in my home!
Thank you Elizabeth ?
Great DIY tutorial, this be really nice for my yoga area. It never crossed my mind to use styrofoam balls in anything
They would be perfect for a yoga area
These really look like wooden ball. i love it. I am going to try to make it in this weekend.
Awesome, let me know if you have any problems. They are real easy to make. Painting them is just a little tedious ?
I love to craft and this is a perfect at home DIY. It seems so easy to make and I love that you can decorate it, they way you want too.
It is real easy to make and I suspect it’s going to be part of our decor for quite a while too ?
You did such a great job! They look great. I love the stars & heart. The garland really tie that area together.
Thanks so much Sam, I’m glad you like them ?
This is is a great DIY and super cute too. I am sooo into art and craft and I really liked them.
Thanks so much Monidipa, I’m glad you like them
Never would have thought of creating this myself, your instructions are easy to follow, I will be making one for the coming holidays.
Yay, that’s good to know Evelyn. Let me know if you have any problems
You are extremly talented. And art & craft automatically gets my attention!! Love the galrands
Aww Thank you Fiona ?
I can’t believe these are white foam balls! You totally got me with your first picture I thought these were wooden beads! You have an incredible talent Michelle!
Thank you so much Nati, I really appreciate that ?
At first I read that as “Bed” garland and was scratching my head to think what that could be. Haha … I too thought these were wooden balls. Your work is so impeccable.
? oops and I almost thought I’d made a typo ? Thanks so much Tanvi
We’re about to start the Christmas season and tjis is something that I really need. This is so creative and love the wooden beads.
So happy you like them Preet and I think the garland is perfect for Christmas decor
Wow, such a great DIY project. Honestly it looks pretty easy to make and definitely worth it after seeing the finishing products. You are such a clever person thanks for sharing this with us.
Thanks so much Emma for that and your most welcome ?
What a great DIY! I’ve definitely noticed all the wood beads and it’s inspired a lot of new decorating in my house
Thank you Annie and aren’t they just so pretty
Oh this is super cute! I love how you use styrofoam balls of varying sizes to achieve different dimensions. I would like to try something like this for Christmas! Thanks for the ideas!
Glad you like it Jin and it would be perfect for Christmas. Maybe dress it up with some fairy lights
This looks so good! I would never have guessed the balls were Styrofoam.
That’s great, then the paint job worked ?
I’m a garland junkie and I adore this one!! The bigger the better I always say!
As they say in the classics, go big or go home ?
No way, I really thought these were extra large wooden beads! So clever to use styrofoam balls and make them look like wood! It looks lovely as always Michelle!
? Thank you Katrin. I’m pretty impressed with how it turned out. I had some serious doubts when I applied that first layer of paint and it still looked polystyreneish