How to Make a Wood Bead Garland

Farmhouse Wood Bead Garland

You've probably seen those really cute wooden bead garlands at your local craft store, haven't you? I saw one that I really loved, but I didn't like the number on the price tag! It was (personally) too much money for something that was to be “decorative” & didn't really serve a purpose, other than to be pretty.

So, I did what all good crafters do, right? I set out to find out how I could make my own! My goal was to spend LESS on the supplies to make it so that I felt good about my project. I didn't want to be like that funny saying where you spend $93 on craft supplies to make a $15 craft item.

My first task was a trip to Pinterest. Yes, for some it's torture, for others, it's a rabbit hole. I could spend hours finding cute craft ideas, so I pin them and move on. I found a couple of good tutorials, but nothing really stood out from all the posts. So, I decided to gather some supplies and show you some unique ways to have a cool wooden bead garland.

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Wood Bead Garland Supplies

You can buy your beads from a local craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. This page has a TON of different wooden beads to choose from. I love their selection and their fair prices.

You'll need some wooden beads in various sizes, some twine, scissors, scotch tape.

I chose 2 different size beads – 16mm and 25mm. I purchased 50 of the smaller beads and 10 of the larger ones. You may want to get one size of beads or 3 sizes of beads. If you want your garland to have all one size, the 20mm bead tends to be the most popular size I noticed.

For a longer garland like I want, I used the length of the one I found in the store that I liked and counted the beads on it to get a ballpark figure of how many beads I would need.

wood bead garland diy made with wooden beads and chalk chip from chalk couture
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Painted Beads or Naked Beads

So, this would be the point you would need to decide if you wanted your beads a certain color to match a holiday, theme, or season. Or if you want to keep them natural and not paint them.

If you want to paint them, first think about which color to choose. Do you want to match your decor or make a bold statement? Keep it rustic or chic? Bold bright colors or softer pastel colors?

Do you want a color that could be used as an accent piece for several different seasons and holidays? Red bead garlands could be used for Christmas, Valentine's, and Independence Day. Blue could be used for summer, July 4th, and winter. Perhaps create an ombre effect using a dominant or accent color?

How to paint wooden beads for a farmhouse garland

If you want to paint your beads, here are a couple of hacks to try:

  • Get some wooden skewers from the dollar store to put your beads on while you paint them. You can then place them over a tray to dry.
  • Try using an acrylic paint that's been thinned with water if you want a “washed” look. If you want a more opaque color, then don't add water.
  • You can even use chalk paste to color your beads! I love the colors of the Chalk Couture Chalkology paste. Put some paste in a small zip-top bag, add some water with the continuous sprayer, and mix. Then put your beads in the bag, shake them around to cover them with paste color, and remove them to dry. You can put them on a paper plate or on a skewer as described above.
  • Don't forget you can use stain as well. There are some lovely stain colors also!
  • I've also seen folks use Rit fabric dye on wooden beads
  • When all else fails just buy the beads already painted!! (it's easier – right Martha?)

Now that you have your bead color choice decided, don't forget you can also add things. I was inspired and love the wood bead garlands with sea glass beads. They would look great in a beach house or a beach-inspired room. Also, look for small-shaped beads like stars or hearts. You can also add small wood charms to the ends, which I'll cover later.

I love decorating with my garland. I'm also addicted to gnomes! If you are too – check out these cute Pinecone Gnomes (after you finish this post of course!)

Wood Bead Garland with Tassel

Lots of styles of wood bead farmhouse garlands have a tassel at the ends, so let's quickly go over how to easily make a tassel.

How to make a tassel

For your tassel you will need the following supplies:

  • String
  • Piece of cardboard (twice as long as your tassel length
  • Scissors

You can use the same string you used to string your beads or you can use a decorative one. Embroidery floss makes an easy, pretty tassel and the thread comes “pre-wrapped”.

So, wrap the string around the cardboard and keep wrapping until it is how you'd like it. Remember your tassel will be twice as full as your wrapping. When you have it how you'd like it, cut the thread. You'll then want to cut a piece of thread about 6 inches long.

make a tassel for a wooden bead garland by wrapping the string around your hand or cardboard.
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Wrap the twine around your hand a few times to make a tassel.

Slide the wrapped thread off of the cardboard and place the 6″ piece in the middle. Wrap it all the way around and tie a knot. Both ends will “fold over” the center where you've tied the knot. Trim the ends

when making a tassel for a wooden bead garland, insert a pen in the loops and then tie it off below it.
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Using a pen in your loops and tieing the tassel below the pen keeps it neat.

Another option is to simply wrap the string around your hand loosely until it's as full as you want it. You'll then tie a piece around the top about a thumbs width down. You can also poke a pen in the loops and then tie it off under the ink pen. You'll then cut the loops that are part of the long ends to make your tassel.

trim the ends of the tassel for your bead garland.
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Cut the loops at the end to form a tassel.

Now, set your tassel aside.

Wood Bead Garland Length

How long you want your wood bead garland will depend on how you will use it. Do you want to drape it over a tiered tray? (Be sure to read about making a tiered tray and how to decorate one as well – coming soon!) Will it be a small accent piece? Do you plan to hang it across a fireplace mantel? This will determine your length!

So, what I did is just start stringing my beads. I used 2 different sizes and arranged them in a pattern. Once I had the length I wanted I cut my string leaving a good 6-8 inches on either end. Also, make sure you have some “give” in your strand. If you tie the beads on too tight, your strand will be stiff and not lay right.

wood bead garland made with wooden beads and string.
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Finishing Your DIY Garland

Now that you have your garland strung, add your tassel or tag to one end and tie it off with a knot. You can then do the same on the other end and your garland is complete!

However, you may want to put a charm or something different on the end like a small wooden “charm” or tag. I found small wood charms at CraftDealz.

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I've used the small chalkable chips, which are 3-inch round chalk surfaces, and add them to one or both ends. I like these because I can use seasonal or inspiring Chalk Couture mini transfers to change out the designs for each season on holiday. These come in black or white. You'll need to punch a hole in them with a craft punch (like a Crop-a-dial).

Once you tie the tag onto the end of your garland, run the tale of the knot up through a bead or 2 to hide it in place.

mini wood bead garland with Chalk Couture chalkable chip in white.
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mini wood bead garland with Chalk Couture chalkable chip

I also made a “mini” garland and have put together a mini garland kit. If you are interested in one please contact me to get your kit.

Wood bead garland diy

If after all this, you've decided this is just too much, then hop on over to Etsy and buy your wood bead garland! Support an artist or hand-crafter. They will appreciate your business more than the Prime guy will!

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Be sure to check out these amazing project kits!

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wood bead garland

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