How to Make a Bead Garland Using a Melon Baller

3 Materials
1 Hour

If you love the look of wood beads for home decor but want something a bit different, try this idea.

I had leftover air dry clay and didn't feel like wrapping it up. The clay will harden if you don't wrap it well. So, instead, I make a bunch of clay beads. This is a perfect home decor craft to make with youngsters!

Using a melon baller to make clay beads for home decor.

Dental Floss

Supplies. I purchase air dry clay on Amazon, but you can find it in most craft stores. The clay is white and easy to work with. It hardens as it dries. No baking or firing the clay is necessary. The other supplies I gathered are:

  • Dental floss
  • Needle to string the beads
  • Two buttons to add to the ends {they hold the beads on the floss}
  • Wood skewer
  • Craft paints and small brush
  • Melon baller {this helps make the balls approximately the same size
Melon baller helps make beads the same size

Why the melon baller helps. I started cutting squares from the clay, but found the balls were different sizes. Then I use a melon baller to make the beads about the same size. Easier and faster.

Clay ball

Rolling the beads. Then roll the clay in your hands until smooth. It you add a bit of water to your hands the clay will become smoother.

Poking a hole in the clay bead

Making the hole. I used wood skewers to make the hole in each bead while the clay is still wet. Let the beads dry over night. They will shrink and the hole becomes smaller as the clay dries.

Craft Paint

Painting the beads. I grab two colors of craft paint in my favorite colors. I used a soft peach and soft gray. Tip: Add a small amount of paint in a bowl. Then using the wood skewer, roll the beads in the paint. I painted 9 beads peach and 9 gray leaving 9 white.

Threading garland

Threading the garland. I started with a button and threaded the floss through the button several times. Then made a knot. I added a white, then gray, then peach, then white...continuing until I ran outta beads.

Clay Bead Garland

Can you tell I didn't use water on my hands when rolling the balls. I wanted a rustic "Flintstones" look to my garland. It's heavy and I enjoy draping it around my home decor.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Sharon Johnson
    8 days ago

    I'm curious.

    How much clay was used? Could you give a weight estimate? Also, about how many beads did that amount make? I would like to consider this for a school at project, and am curious how much clay would be needed per student.

    • I use approximately 2/3 of a 16 oz. package of clay. I made 24 clay beads that are almost 3/4 inch. I hope that helps.

      Over the next week, I'm making smaller decor beads with nine 3/4 beads with a tassel or tag on the end. I'll have a loop on the other end to hang from knobs or hooks.

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