Handmade Beaded Wall Art

Introduction: Handmade Beaded Wall Art

About: EXLAB Online brings the makerspace experience to you. Get inspired, create anywhere, and make friends online through our workshops and web series. Search the maker resources to experience making at home.

Being stuck at home is the perfect time to decorate your space. I decided to take advantage of my time at home by making some handmade beaded art for my wall. If you have some time on your hands and a blank wall, read on to see how to make your own with a few simple hand tools and some time.

Supplies

  • ¼” or 5/16” wooden dowels
  • 1/4” x 1” piece of plywood for the top of the piece.
  • Small hand saw, multitool, or power tool that can cut the dowels into 1” sections.
  • Acrylic paint
  • Super glue
  • Wood stain
  • Sanding sponge/sandpaper
  • 20-24 gauge wire
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rag / old cloth
  • Pushpin
  • Measuring tape
  • Twine, string, or small picture hangers.

Step 1: Planning

  • Decide what shape you want your art piece to be. I used a chevron design, but feel free to get creative with some other shape ideas.
  • Next, decide what you want your design to look like and what colors you want to use.
  • I used Adobe illustrator to make the layout for my piece, but it can be done on Excel or even paper instead.

Step 2: Designing

  • Start by creating a grid where each cell is the same dimensions as your dowels. Make the grid so that each cell has a bit of space between them, to simulate the way the dowels will be in the final product. Overlay your desired shape onto the grid and determine how many dowels should be in each strand to get the desired shape.

Step 3: Prepping the Dowels

  • Start by taking the sandpaper or sponge and sanding all the dowels to get rid of any splinters or rough edges.
  • Run the measuring tape down the entire length of the dowels and make a mark every inch.

  • Cut the dowels into 1” pieces using a power tool or a handsaw. Make sure that the dowel is securely on the table and that you are wearing safety gloves.

  • Once all of the dowels are cut, sand off the rough splinters on either end of the segments.

Step 4: Prepping the Wire

  • Cut the wire into 3/4” segments. I used a location on the wire packaging and the built-in wire cutter to ensure each piece of wire was the right length.
  • Bend the wire segments over a sturdy surface to make a curved hook. I used my multitool’s screwdriver attachment, which worked very well in getting uniform pieces.

Step 5: Staining

  • Using the pushpin, poke two holes into the top of the dowels. I wrapped tape around the pushpin to give a better grip and more comfort. Leave the pushpin in one of the holes so it can be used as a handle when staining the dowels.
  • Shake the stain before opening, and stain the dowels using the paintbrush. Make sure to get it on every side. After 10 - 15 minutes the stain can be wiped off using the rag.
  • At this point, you can also cut and stain the top piece of plywood that the dowel strands will attach to.

Step 6: Assembly

  • Poke two more holes on the other end of the dowel so that both ends have 2 holes in them.
  • Put a small amount of superglue onto your work surface, dip the end of the wire hook into the glue, and put the hook into the holes in the end of the dowel. Only put hooks on one end of the pieces for now. Make sure that there is enough glue to hold the wires securely in place.
  • Let the glue dry for at least an hour before continuing. Once dry, start attaching them to each other in pairs.
  • Start by adjusting a hook so that it will fit into one end of a segment. Once the wire is the correct shape, thread it through a hook that is glued to a different segment. Using your fingertips, hold onto the wire hook, dip it into the glue, and put it into the end of the other dowel.
  • Let those dry again and then repeat by making strands of 4 and then 8. Do this until you have the right number of strands according to your design.

Step 7: Making the Final Shape

  • Once you have the right number of strands according to your design, use your template to adjust the number of dowels you need for each strand, and what order they need to be in. I marked each strand with a small number to keep them in order.
  • Take the measuring tape and top piece of plywood, and mark even lines that are around 1/2” apart. This guide represents how far apart each strand will be from one another. Play around with different lengths until you find one you like.
  • Using the pushpin, make a hole on either side of each line -- the width between the holes should correspond to the width of your wire hooks.
  • Glue wire hooks into each set of holes on the plywood. Let dry and then thread a new wire through each loop and attach the correct strand to each spot. Let the whole thing dry overnight before moving on to the next step.
  • Optionally, you can paint a design onto the piece with acrylic paint after it is fully dry.

Step 8: Hanging It Up

  • Depending on your preference,you can either hang this piece using picture hangers screwed into the back of the plywood, or some string/twine attached to either end of the plywood.
  • If using picture hangers, simply secure them into the back of the wood on either end so that the piece hangs straight. Hang it on the wall using nails or screws.
  • If using twine, cut a length and attach it to the sides of the plywood using a small nail. Secure with a picture hanging nail or hook.
  • Bask in the glory of DIY decor!

About the Creator:

Nat is the Student Project Manager at EXLAB and enjoys working with wood and 3D Printing. She has a passion for combining her knowledge of tools and machinery with art and decoration.

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Remote Control Contest

      Remote Control Contest
    • Build a Tool Contest

      Build a Tool Contest
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest

    Comments