HEY LISTEN! Do you like making jewelry or keychains with beads? Do you like video games or know some one who does?
Then this is the project for you! I am going to tell you just how you can incorporate both.
First off, I will tell you that I am a video game nerd. I dream video games, I eat video games, and I wear them on my clothes.
What's that you say, "Don't you have a life?" Well yes I do! Thanks to video games, I have many lives!
No but seriously, I do have a life.
Video games are just therapeutic for me. I can relieve stress while relieving boredom.
I also spent time with one of my favorite hobbies, making beaded keychains with pony beads. I usually make animals or something with letter beads for friends.
I decided to combine both of my favorite things into one really awesome project!
Sadly, this project did not go as planned. It was not as cool as I had hoped. But let's go through it anyway and I will discuss what didn't work as we go.
Before we get started, we need to get serious. There are some safety precautions we should go over.
First, we will need scissors to cut the string. Be extra careful not to cut yourself.
Second, these little beads can pose a choking hazard, so be sure little kids don't get a hold of them and bigger kids don't put them in their mouths. And as the warning label on the glue states, very small children can choke on that too.
As this is a great project for the whole family, adult supervision with the little ones are a must!!
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Step 1: Pick Out a Pattern
You can usually just Google pony bead patterns and find something fun to make. I usually just Google an 8 bit image of something and make it into a grid. Sometimes you will get lucky and just be able to find an actual beaded pattern for what you want. Just don't expect to always find one. Usually finding an 8 bit image of something will help you figure out how you should bead it.
For this pattern, we are turning it sideways so that the hearts will go down the keychain. The hump of the hearts will face to the right.
In this case, this theory did not work. The only way I could see this working is to make a bigger pattern with hearts in the inside of the pattern. Like the 3rd image shown here.
This was an easy idea, but it was poorly executed on my part. I will need to do some practice with this pattern to find what might work better. Even though this failed, you can still use these steps and advice for other projects.
Step 2: Materials
Here is a list of materials you will need for this project.
- beads (For this project we will need black, red, and white beads)
- Lanyard hooks or key rings
- Scissors (Not pictured)
- School Glue (not pictured)
- Pattern (From previous step)
Step 2 is my all time favorite part! I could spend hours in craft and hobby stores looking for materials and other interests to spark ideas to better my projects. The best places to find these materials are usually places like Hobby Town USA, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or even Walmart. I will have to say though, Walmart in my town doesn't have a very big selection on beads. So I don't shop there too often. As for string, I think Hobby Lobby had some of the best prices for the type I use as well as the beads. I like the thick, bigger, silky cord, but you can use whatever cord you are more comfortable with. I know some people who like to use hemp for their keychains. I have also used smaller, thick string a few times. I think at the most I've spent $15-$20, but that was for extra materials for more than one project. All this stuff is very cheap and usually easy to obtain.
Step 3: Measure Your Sting
Step 3 is probably the easiest part. We need to measure out our string. I usually just measure out 3 feet of string for each keychain. You may never need more than that, but a lot of times you will. But you can usually estimate the length of the string by looking at the amount of beads and how many extra loops you may have to make on each side. For example, if each side has an arm or a weapon in each hand, you will need extra string on that side or sides to make those parts but, we won't have to deal with any of that for this pattern.
I did run out of string towards the end of this pattern so I suggest another 6-12 inches of sting.
Step 4: Loop the String on to Your Key Ring or Lanyard Hook
The easiest way to do this is to fold your sting in half. Then take the folded side of the string and bring it around the side of the keychain ring or lanyard hook. Bring the unfolded side of the string up around the keychain and string it though the folded part of the string and pull tight to make a loop around the ring or hook. Make sure too pull tight to keep the string from sliding off the ring or hook so easily and allowing the length of
the string to be adequate for the beads.
Step 5: Harden the Tips of the String
Taking the ends of the string, smear some glue from the tip up the string about an inch. Allow to dry. You may want to check it within a few minutes to see if you will need to add more glue. The reason for this is to make the ends hard after the glue has dried to make it easier to push the string through the beads. Once the ends are
all dry it will be time to start getting your beads ready. Make sure the ends are crispy before moving on though. You may want to start this 20 minutes of so before trying to start beading as it will take the glue some time to dry.
Step 6: Start Beading!
I suggest putting all the beads in order of how they will be in the design so you can string them easier and faster. I usually only set up one line at a time as to not confuse myself or misplace any of the beads.
We are using the left side of the first heart to be the top. So that's where we are going to start.
So make sure to turn your design so that the top of the hearts are facing right.
Once all the beads are in order, take one string and string it through all the beads.
You will then take the other string and go through that same row of beads the opposite way so that the string that was on the left is now coming out of the beads on the right side.
Be sure to pull each side tight to keep the beads together and it will help you center your beads with the keychain ring.
Step 7: Set Up Next Row of Beads and Repeat Step 6
You will keep repeating step 6 until the pattern is finished.
Depending on the pattern you choose in the future, you may come across parts of the pattern where you have to string all the beads on one side to make an arm or weapon or a special part of a pattern. An example of this might be the legs of a lizard. Each leg is done on one side with one string. When that occurs, you will put all the beads on one string, then with the end of that string you will go back through a specific set of beads to get back to the center for the next line. Luckily for this project we don't have any of those.
Once you get to the fifth row, I noticed that it is kind of difficult to make a heart shape without distorting the pattern. I suggest adding a second black bead on the right side. So that you have (from left to right) one black, five red, and two black beads. That way you still have the indent in the heart so you can tell what it is.
That did not work either. I tried a few different things to try and move the row to the left more but nothing worked very well. You can try a few different things out and see what works better, but I didn't really find anything that made it look like a heart.
As I went on to the other hearts I tried other techniques and still failed at making a heart.
Step 8: Tie a Knot at the End and Harden the Knot
So I ran out of string and it looked nothing like it was supposed to, but I finished it out so you could at least see a finished project.
Tie a knot at the end of the last bead. Make sure to tie it tight. It is best to tie a double knot. Once you think the knot is tight, you will need the glue again. On both sides of the knot, you will want to put a generous amount of glue. Let it dry for a bit and then, you can check it to make sure it's hard on the front and the back. If need be, add more glue.
This ensures the knot stays and you don't lose any beads. Once it is all dry and to your liking, you can now cut the rest of the strings off. Leave a half of an inch to an inch of string so you don't cut it too close to the knot.
Step 9: "It's Dangerous to Go Alone. Take This!"
Now the keychain is ready to gift or use for yourself.
Even though this was a failed attempt, you still got the gist of how to make these type of keychains. I hope you have better luck if you attempt this pattern.
Thank you for checking out my project!