Learn how to make a bead and ball garland for Valentine’s Day using wood beads, a Dollar Tree scarf and table tennis or foam balls.
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Bead and Ball Garland Project Overview
Create fun Valentine’s Day decor with this quick and simple project using a scarf, balls and wood beads.
I used 25 mm wood craft beads for this garland. You can find these at craft stores or on Amazon.
I made two similar bead and ball garlands for Valentine’s Day. For the first garland, I used 14 table tennis balls from the Dollar Tree. For the second garland, I used 13 1.3″ foam balls from Michaels. Because the second garland had slightly longer tails at each end of the garland, I only needed to use 13 foam balls.
For this project I used a 60″ by 11″ polyester scarf from the Dollar Tree. I cut the scarf cut in half because I only needed a piece 5.5″ wide to wrap the balls. In addition, a narrower piece of fabric was easier to feed through the beads. To minimize fraying, I cut the scarf in half using pinking shears.
Any fabric can be used as long as it can be thread through the holes in the wood beads and wrapped completely around the balls. A thinner fabric is easier to feed though the beads. If you want a longer or shorter garland, just adjust the length of fabric and number of balls and beads used. The 60″ scarf resulted in a 48″ final garland.
At each end of the garland, I strung 4 beads together and knotted the scarf to prevent the beads from falling off.
Instructions for Making a Bead and Ball Garland
Here’s What I Used
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- Scarf (I used a 60″ by 11″ polyester scarf)
- Table tennis balls or 1.3″ foam balls
- Wood beads
- Fray check
- Pinking shears (or rotary cutter or scissors)
Time needed: 1 hour.
Bead and Ball Garland Tutorial
- Fold scarf
To minimize cutting, fold the scarf in half and then in half again. That way you will only need to cut 15″ of fabric instead of 60″.
- Cut scarf in half
Using pinking shears, cut the folded scarf in half down the middle. After the cut you will have 2 pieces, each 60″ long by 5.5″ wide (assuming you started with a 60″ by 11″ piece of fabric). You can make second garland using the other half.
- Obtain a wood skewer that fits through hole in bead
The skewer will be used to push the scarf through the hole in the wood bead. Note that the skewer has a sharp end and a flat end.
- Use flat end of skewer to push scarf through bead
To avoid poking a hole in the fabric, use the flat end of the skewer to push the scarf (close to an end) through the hole in the wood bead.
- Pull end of fabric through bead
After pushing the fabric through the bead, pull a few more inches of fabric through the hole.
- Create garland tail
Thread the scarf through 3 additional beads, creating a tail of 4 beads. Tie a knot in the fabric to prevent the beads from slipping off the fabric.
To prevent fraying, you can put a small amount of Fray Check on the edge of the fabric tail.
- Add another bead and create a pocket
Starting at the other end of the scarf, feed the fabric through the bead. Then push the bead down to the other end of the scarf close to the tail you just created.
Leave a small space between these two beads. Create a small pocket or pouch in the fabric between the two beads.
- Add ball to pocket
Place a ball in the pocket.
- Wrap ball with fabric
Completely cover the ball with the fabric. Also, place the cut edge of the scarf under the factory-finished edge of the scarf. That way if the cut edge frays, it will be on the inside of the pouch.
- Twist fabric after the ball
After wrapping the ball, twist the fabric a few times tightly up next to the ball.
- Push wood bead next to fabric-wrapped ball
Take the outside bead and push it up close to the ball wrapped in the scarf. The twisted fabric from the prior step will be pushed into the hole in the bead.
- Continue alternating with beads and balls
Repeat the prior steps until you reach the end of the scarf, then create a 4-bead tail secured with a final knot.
Specifically, add another bead and push it close to the prior bead. Create a pocket in the fabric between those two beads and insert a ball. Wrap fabric around the ball and twist fabric. Push bead over twisted fabric so that it’s next to the fabric-covered ball.
Alternate beads and balls until you reach the end of the scarf, leaving space for the 4-bead tail. Add the final 4 beads and tie a knot in the fabric. Add Fray Check, if desired, to the exposed end of the scarf at the tail.
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