We made some seriously cool beads last week. They are really easy to make too. Here’s how you make beads out of salt dough…
Making the dough…
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of table salt
1 cup of water
Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl and gradually add the water, mixing to a soft dough.
Remove the mixture from the bowl, put it on a flat surface and knead it for 10 minutes. (Yes I know your arms gets tired but you need to do this because it helps to create a good smooth textured dough.)
Let the dough stand for about 20 minutes before you start working with it.
While your dough is having a rest (you can have one too) you need to cover some baking trays with grease proof paper or baking paper.
If you don’t use all of the dough at once – you can wrap it in plastic and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Making the beads….
Pinch of small amounts of dough and roll it into a nice round ball in the palm of your hand. Carefully make a hole in the centre of the bead using a toothpick or something similar. Place it on the baking tray.
Make a hole through the centre. You must make the hole in the centre whilst the dough is still soft – it becomes very hard once it has dried completely.
You can, or course, make the beads any shape or size that you want to.
You can leave them to dry naturally in the air. This is environmentally friendly, but it does take around 48 hours for them to dry. Or you can dry them in a very cool oven ~60 degrees Celcius. (Don’t be tempted to make the oven any hotter – the beads just crack and then they are useless.) It takes 3-4 hours for the beads to dry.
Once they are dry you can paint them different colours with craft or spray paint. When the paint has dried, give them a coat of clear varnish or spray paint to make them nice and glossy.
Now you’re ready to thread your beads. We use fishing nylon – but you can use anything – wool, twine, leather – whatever you have. We also cut up slices of cork (from wine bottles) in between the big beads.
Go crazy – have fun.