I had some "beads" left over from my previous cardboard necklace, so I thought I'd try combining them with one of my most favorite materials, pom-poms. Yes.
First, I trimmed the corners from the triangular beads, just to try a different shape. These look a bit more crystal-like, I think.
Then, I took a look at my bag of pom-poms. (I feel every home should have a ziplock bag of pom-poms, in case of emergencies.) I happen to have several different shades of blue, so I figured I'd paint the cardboard beads in a range of blues, too.
Then, I laid everything out the way I wanted to string it. This helped me figure out which beads in the lineup will be at the center of the necklace.
Because this necklace is made solely of super-light-weight materials, I wanted to weigh it down somehow. I glued two dimes to the backs of the two center beads. I recommend doing this before you string everything together, which as you can see, is not how I did it. (This photo also illustrates why you should always paint first, decoupage second.)
I cut small pieces of regular white copy paper to match the shapes of the two be-coined beads. I coated each paper bit with glue, then smoothed it over the coin and the back of the bead. This will help the dime stay right where it is.
Now it's time to put it together. You do need an actual embroidery needle for this project; a yarn needle isn't sharp enough to go easily through a pom-pom. I threaded mine with embroidery floss, because I have a rainbow of colors on hand. Knot the end of a long-ish piece (about 20 inches), and thread on a pom-pom, then a cardboard bead, then another pom-pom, and so on. Just make sure to both start and end with a pom-pom; the poms stay tightly on the string and they'll keep your beads from sliding around. The finished piece:
But wait, there's more! I had a few of the other decoupaged beads left, so I made a third necklace with the alternating-pom-poms scheme, below.
Something about working with such inexpensive materials really opens me up to trying more off-beat color and pattern combos than I otherwise might. I hope you get a chance to make your own cardboard bead necklace. They are truly fun!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.