Easy Peasy Bead People

I made some bead people ornaments today and thought maybe you'd like to make some too.

Did you know that if you paint cotton fabric with acrylic craft paint it behaves like really strong paper? It's true. Easily cut with reasonably crappy scissors. No fraying. I paint a lot of fabric for beastie dresses and such, and thus happen to have plenty of scraps around. So I used painted fabric, but felt would work too.

You'll need 2 pipe cleaners (aka chenille stems). 
Bend one in half, and cut one into thirds.

I made a simple little dress template, 
then traced in onto my fabric with a fold at the shoulder line.

Slide that little dress onto the folded pipe cleaner, 
leaving enough space at top for your bead head plus a little loop for hanging.

Insert the shorter piece of pipe cleaner. . .
. . .and glue the dress together and the head on.
I used Tacky Glue to glue the head on, and hot glue for the dress.
Then it's time to pick some beads.
I don't have a lovely organized bead stash, I have bead soup.

 Using tacky glue, glue on beads for hands and legs.

I painted on a simple face, hot-glued a button on her dress, and added an embroidery floss hanger.
All done!
A happy little bead person-

Then I made her some friends!
You could go all out with details. Maybe even make them not-so-bald.
I plan on tying them to gifts, but I suspect they'll end up hanging all over the house.


  1. These are cute. I can see them strung on a pennant. Maybe I will have to make some!

  2. These are really sweet, And I really must investigate painted cloth... I wonder if it would make good doll corsets? Or hats?? Or shoes, instead of fiddling with leather? Oh!

    Thank you for your wonderful blog.

  3. Здорово! Мои дети любят играть в таких деревянных человечков, только у нас они не такие красивые! Спасибо!

  4. I'm also very intrigued by the painted cloth! I really want to try it out sometime.
    I love how generous you are with your ideas! :)

  5. These are so fun. Christmas ornaments! Wouldn't it be fun to have a little tree with little beady people climbing all over it?

  6. Love these, Jo! What a cute idea! :)

    ♥ Carolee

  7. These are precious!! I've been painting on fabric for years and I love the effects too. These little ladies remind me of a summer project I did with my daughter many years ago when she was a child...she's now 33 and a mommy of 4 with #5 on the way...oey, that girl!!

    So if she has a girl, has 4 boys, I'll make sure I make her these little beady beauties...thanks Jo...I love them!!

  8. I LOOOOVE these, Jo! Even I may be able to make some without screwing them up! LOL! I said MAY, mind you! I will say that for my very first dolls' clothing (in 2002, before I had internet or used patterns) I took muslin & gessoed it, then hung it on a retractable clothesline in my hot garage where it dried nice and stiff VERY quickly. THEN I painted it and it made THE BEST replicas of Native American fabrics. So cheap, so easy! It was not too easy to get the needle through it, but I did. LOL! Your tutorial gets a big thank you from me! Looks a lot more hand-friendly than my crazy concoction!

  9. These are so cute. I could see a row of them hanging over a doorway. :) You must be one of the most productive people on the planet! xo Pam

  10. So cute... bravo pour vos idées toutes plus sympathiques les unes que les autres.

  11. Anonymous9/29/2013

    Love your wonderful site, just found it as I looked for craft ideas for disabled clients , sharing you in Australia ...so creative.


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