Even though December is one of the busiest months in our household, I still like to squeeze in a few holiday DIY projects. Busy people get things done, right?
This Christmas I was feeling particularly inspired by natural elements and a simple neutral color palate. I’ve been loving all of the wood bead garlands I’ve seen at various retailers and figured this would be an easy DIY project that could potentially save me a few dollars.
I’m happy to report that it was incredibly simple to make my own garland, and actually kind of relaxing. The smooth wood beads easily thread on the leather cord and each string comes together in less than 20 minutes. This project is kid-friendly (hello pattern practice & hand-eye coordination!) and perfect for the holidays.
I purchased the beads and the leather cord from Amazon since they had a HUGE selection. You can find all sizes and quantities, but I went with the following:
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I looked at lots of pictures of wood garland, examined the patterns, and played around with the beads to figure out exactly which look I liked the best. There are so many options! In the end, I decided I liked the look of a gradual increase/decrease and figured it would make the best use of the many 16mm beads that came in the mixed bag.
Here’s the pattern I followed:
6 – 16mm
3 – 20mm
1 – 30mm
3 – 20mm
6 – 16mm
Repeat 8 times per strand.
On the ends, you will have 6 – 16mm, but when the pattern repeats in the middle you will end up with 6 x 2 = 12 16mm beads in a row)
I was able to make 2 strings of the above pattern using 16 30mm beads, 96 20mm beads, and 192 16mm.
I also had a bag of 20mm beads leftover from a previous purchase and decided to make a strand of just 20mm beads. I used approximately 100 beads for my strand. That gave me 3 strands for my 7 foot Christmas tree.
STRINGING THE BEADS
All the beads came pre-drilled with nice large holes. The leather cord was easy to slip through all of the beads (except I did find a few 16mm beads with holes that were a bit tight). I strung my desired pattern and then tied each end leaving a simple loop to attach around a Christmas tree branch.
The finish of the beads is very raw, with a slight whitish/greyish undertone. On one of my strands, I rubbed orange oil into the wood to see if I liked the warmer finish it gave it. It definitely gave the beads a bit of sheen and a warmer glow!
Half of this strand has orange oil and the other half is natural so you can see the difference. Both finishes are charming in their own way.
HOW TO USE THE WOOD BEAD GARLAND
The completed garland feels so nice in your hand. It’s heavy, but not too heavy. Smooth and flexible. It drapes beautifully on a shelf or in a bowl and looks amazing on a Christmas tree.
We simply put the end loop around a sturdy branch tip and wound it around the tree in a scalloped pattern. Quick and easy!
It’s also incredibly child friendly. The beads are not breakable and aren’t a choking hazard when they are strung together like this. With a two-year-old in the house, it’s been essential to have decorations that can be touched, rearranged, and played with.
This really is an incredibly easy DIY. Let me know if you decide to give it a try!