Making your own wood beads is not difficult and can be very rewarding. Making your own wood beads also can save you a lot of money as opposed to paying for commercially manufactured beads. The best time for making wood beads is when you or your neighbors are doing fall pruning. Most fruit trees render fragrant twigs, but almost any wood will work for this project.
Things You'll Need
Pick through the pruned twigs and choose from those under one-half inch in diameter. Peel all of the bark from the twigs and use a penknife to scrape away any that stubbornly adhere to them.
Cut the twigs with pruning shears into lengths a little longer than the anticipated size of the finished beads.
Fit your craft drill with the smallest bit in your set. Steady the bead with one hand. Slowly and carefully drill the pulpy core out of the bead. Do this completely by hand. Do not try to use power tools, which will ruin your beads.
Spread the beads out on a cookie sheet and set them out in the sun for about a week to dry thoroughly. Choose a spot with good air circulation.
Use a fingernail file and sandpaper to remove the sharp edges from the ends of the beads. If you wish, use the file to experiment with shaping the beads into circles or ovals.
String a bead on fishing line and dip it into a container of acrylic paint. Use a soft cloth to clean away any excess paint and hang the bead to air dry. Acrylic paint dries quickly, often in minutes. Although you can string a number of beads and dip them all at the same time, they turn out much nicer when dipped individually.
Apply a coat of acrylic sealant over the paint. Allow it to thoroughly dry. Remove the fishing line and create masterpieces with your very own wood beads.