Simple Straw Bead Necklaces

Simple Straw Bead Necklaces | Mama Papa BubbaAs the chaos continues, so do the super simple, created-on-a-whim activities for Miss G.  Because the days are passing by so quickly and we still have a ridiculous amount of stuff to be done before the big move, I’ve basically been throwing together activities with whatever is nearby at the moment, and hoping that they’ll keep Gracen happily engaged for a good long time so that Brad and I can throw some more stuff into boxes (sad, but true).

IMG 2567Today, as I was sorting through our big catchall closet, I came across the bubble tea straws we used for Grae’s beloved bubble tea shop we did recently.  I knew I had seen yarn on a shelf somewhere, so I created a really basic beading station for the little lady to enjoy.

IMG 2568Using some big scissors, I chopped up the straws to form beads.  They leapt up from my scissors as they were cut and Gracen thought it was quite funny.  Her job was to collect all of the beads and pop them into this bowl.

IMG 2569Because the straws are so large, Brad created a cardboard stopper at the end of a piece of yarn instead of a giant knot.  This can be done as he did it (by feeding the yarn through a small hole and knotting it on the other side), or it can be done by wrapping the yarn through a couple of slits made in the cardboard square.

IMG 2570Though we actually have several large, unsharp sewing needles from Grae’s ‘sewing kit‘, I had seen this creative alternative on Happy Hooligans, and decided to give it a shot.

IMG 2572Grae started beading right away.  The beauty of this activity is that not only is it simple and fun, but it also is great for fine motor skill development and hand-eye coordination.  Plus it lends itself very easily to patterning if your child decides to take it that way (Miss G did not).

IMG 2576Grae worked on this project for a good long time and finally finished off a giant, brightly-coloured  necklace that she was very proud of.  

I realize that not everyone keeps bubble tea straws on hand, but this same activity would work great with regular small straws (just use a dull knitting needle instead of the straw needle, or put a bit of masking tape on the needle end of the yarn), or better yet – if you’re a Slurpee-loving family, wash out those big Slurpee straws and repurpose them for this project.

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10 thoughts on “Simple Straw Bead Necklaces

  1. ElisabethB says:

    Hello! You can use , like a thread instead wool, a plastic thread to do “scoubidou” (in french) …..sorry I dont’ know the right word in English. I am a french children minder and I use this plastic thread with the children. It’s easer because you don’t need a needle 🙂 Have a nice day

    • jkossowan says:

      Interesting, Elisabeth! Apparently the word is exactly the same in English. And I know just what you mean – I used to have a huge collection of scoubidou for friendship bracelet making as a kid. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  2. I LOVE the cardboard square idea! I never thought of that! Also the straw needle is great! I’ve never seen that either. We use pipe cleaners a lot for bracelet “strings”, as it doubles as a needle point all on it’s own, but didn’t have the same kind of good alternative for necklaces, and often did big knots and the tape-needle thing. I love both these ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    • jkossowan says:

      Yay! Finding new ideas is so much fun, isn’t it Stacy?! We do the pipe cleaner thing for bracelets too, but have always had the same problem – they’re too small for a good necklace! 🙂

  3. C. Gresham says:

    Instead of tying a knot on the end of the string, which always seems to slip through whatever it is we are stringing or lacing, I tie a pony bead on the end of the yarn. If we are stringing pasta I tie a piece of the pasta on the end.

  4. Love the simplicity of this pretty, little craft, Jen. And thanks for mentioning our straw sewing needle! Glad you gave it a try

  5. where do you find Bubble Tea Straws and Straw sewing needles???

    • jkossowan says:

      The Bubble Tea Straws are from a Japanese dollar store called Daiso and the straw sewing needles are simply a piece of straw with a slit cut in them. 🙂

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