Kids love to design their own jewelry and making beads with salt dough is easy, fun, and safe.  We give you some ideas for making beads, but there are dozens of beautiful beads you could make.   Make a big batch of salt dough, dye it bright colors, and let the fun begin!  You can also use polymer clay for finer work.

Note:  Adults, when you dye the dough, keep in mind that the colors will get lighter when they dry.  You can air dry the beads by letting them sit out for several days.  You can speed up the drying process by putting them in an oven.  Heat the oven to 200 degrees and let them beads dry for several hours.  The exact amount of time can differ a lot, as thin bead will dry quickly and thick beads will take a longer time.

You will need:

1.  Salt dough, dyed in your favorite colors.   (Salt dough recipe)

2.  A toothpick

3.  A cookie tray or wax paper

4.  A needle and strong thread
     or beading wire .

Various brightly colored beads
 

Green, yellow, blue and white marbles beads

Marbled Beads

A yellow and a blue rope made from salt dough 1.  Choose two colors.  Roll out a thin rope of each color.
A yellow and blue rope twisted 2.  Twist the ropes together.  Break off a piece of the twisted rope.
A yellow and blue marbled bead 3.  Roll it into a ball.  The marbling will appear.
 A toothpick is pushed through the dough to make a bead 4.  Gently push the toothpick through the bead.  Give it a twist and then gently pull it out.  Set the bead aside on wax paper or a cookie sheet to dry.
 

Brightly colored beads made with twisted colors

Twist Beads

 A red, yellow, blue and green rope bunched together 1.  Roll out four long, thin ropes.
 The ropes are twisted 2.  Bunch them together.  Gently twist them.  Don't twist too much or the ropes will begin to break.
 A toothpick is used to make a hole in the center of the bead

3.  Gently slice the beads.   You can make them long or short.  You can leave the ends stright or round them off.  You can even gently roll a short piece into a round bead.

4.  Push a toothpick through the bead.  Give it a twist and then gently remove it.  Set the bead aside to dry.

 

Finished color burst beads

Color Burst Beads

Six rolls of dough and a large, flat disc 1.  You need three colors.   Roll out one rope of your first color.  Roll our five ropes of the second color.  Make a large, flat disc with the third color. 
The ropes are bunched.  The disc is wrapped around this bunch 2.  Bunch the ropes together and wrap the disc around them. 
Cutting the roll in thick slices make a pretty design 3.  Slice through the roll to form the bead. 
The hole in made in the bead with a toothpick 4.  Gently flatten each bead, then make a hole through it with a toothpick.  Set the beads aside to dry.
  When your beads are dry:
A colorful necklace made with salt dough beads

Cut a piece of strong string that is long enough to go over your head and around your neck.  Make sure you add two or three extra inches so you can tie a knot.  

Thread the beads on in any pattern you like.  You will probably be able to slip the string through the beads, but if it is hard to get the string all the way though, you can thread your string through a needle.  When you are happy with your necklace, knot the ends together tightly.

 

 Other salt dough ideas
More salt dough crafts

 

Use a strong string and string your beads together in any pattern you like.  When you have all your beads in place, make sure your necklace or bracelet is long enough to go over your neck or wrist.  Knot the ends of the string togother tighyly. 

Cut Rice Krispy Treats into blocks and build a castle for a fun summer time treat.

Making a cookie into a "lollipop" is an easy way to add fun and pizzazz to cookie baking.

Easy, but realistic, even 7 and 8 year olds can make these roses.