- Step 1: Project Preparation
Read through the project, then gather the materials needed for making the
straw bead necklaces. To make the craft go faster, pre-cut the paper
strips and glue the strips on the straws to cover them. Another
option is to break the craft up into two sessions by covering the
straws with paper in the first session and making the necklaces in
- Step 2: Select and Cut Paper
Think about your necklace and the color of the beads. Look
through your scrap papers and find colors that go together. You can
use just about any decorative or solid-colored paper—even tissue
Tip: If your straws are any color other than white, check to see if
the color of the straw will show through the paper.
Cut strips from your selected papers. Strips should be 1¼"
(32 mm) wide and a bit
longer than the straw. You need one strip for each straw and three
or four straws for each necklace.
- Step 3: Wrap Straws in Paper
Spread wax paper on the table and pour a puddle of glue into the
plastic lid. Place the paper strip face-down on the wax paper.
Use the foam brush to coat the paper with a thin layer of glue. Lay
the straw on the strip.
the paper around the straw. Try to keep the paper smooth and
Tip: Be sure that the edge of the paper is firmly glued.
Use the brush or a toothpick to apply more glue, if needed.
the covered straws in a paper cup or a glass while the glue dries.
Depending upon the humidity, the thickness of the paper and the
amount of glue used, it will take 15 minutes to an hour for the glue
- Step 4: Select and Cut Ribbon
While you wait for the glue to dry, select and cut ribbon for
your necklace. Grosgrain ribbon works best, but you can also use
satin ribbon, yarn, elastic bead cord and shoelaces. The ¼"
(6 mm) ribbon will easily pass through the beads, while a ½"
(10 mm) ribbon holds the beads in place and works well when you want
the color of the ribbon to show between the beads.
Cut a length of ribbon 36" to 48" (90 to 120 cm) long; if you
want to tie the ribbon in a bow, add another 12" to 16" (30 to 40
cm). Cut each end of the ribbon on an angle to aid in stringing the
- Step 5: Cut Beads
Use a pencil and ruler to lightly mark the cuts for ¾" (2
sharp craft shears to cut the straw on the pencil marks. The beads
will jump when they are cut from the straw, so hold the straw down
into a paper cup or another container as you cut. Or let them go
flying and have a fun game of pick-them-up! (Good luck finding
- Step 6: String Beads
Think about how you want to arrange the beads. If you like, lay
the beads out in the order you want them on the necklace. Find the
center of the ribbon and start stringing the beads from both ends.
If you are using ½" ribbon, you can leave space between beads
where the ribbon shows; otherwise, leave no space between the beads.
Tip: Use elastic bead cord if you want to mix
commercial beads with the straw beads.
Tip: When using anything other than grosgrain
ribbon, the beads may scoot right off the ribbon's other end. For young
children, tie a knot in the end of the yarn or shoelace with a
square of cardboard right before the knot. Have the children string
the beads from the other end. You can remove the knot and cardboard
when they are done.
- Step 7: Finish Necklace
Once you have all the beads on the ribbon, check that the beads
are arranged how you want. If you find any mistakes, restring the
beads to correct them.
When you are satisfied with how the beads are strung, check the
length of the necklace and adjust as needed. Tie the two ends of the
ribbon together in a bow or a knot and cut away any excess ribbon.
Trim the ends of the ribbon if they are rough-looking.
To keep the beads from moving, tie a knot after the last bead on
using elastic bead cord and commercial beads mixed with straw
beads, end the necklace
with small commercial beads. Tie off the elastic cord with two
square knots, trim the ends to 1" and hide the ends in the bead
That's it! Your straw bead
necklace is ready to wear!