• campbirchwood

Wooden Bead Keychain

Updated: May 14, 2019

This craft is one we did two summers ago and will do again this summer because these keychains are so funky fresh. These can also be made into necklaces so if you get on a roll, go for it! Give as gifts! And as always, set that stinky cell phone aside, take deep breaths, and congratulate yourself for being crafty cool. (It’s a thing – crafty gals unite!!)

Here’s what you need:

Assorted wood beads *unfinished so they are ready for paint

Note: Michaels has a “combo” pack in the jewelry section. Otherwise, at any craft store find the “unfinished wood” section and look for packages of beads

Acrylic paints in your favorite colors

Keychain (you can use one you already have or buy one with a clip, etc)

Leather lace or cord in whatever color you like

Chop stick or straw (or sticks like we used here at camp!!)

Paint brushes

Water, paper towels


Basically, all this involves is painting wood beads to look super adorable. Picking up some sparkly paints (check out Martha Stewart's line – oh yeah baby!) is a great accent – and the hexagon beads are so interesting paired with round ones.

And for those of you who like getting artsy – once your bottom coat is dry – break loose and do some polka dots, or lines, or hearts, or even letters!


  1. Decide how you want your keychain to look.Lay it out your beads in the order you want them to be in on your keychain. Note:Make sure your “bottom” bead does not have a hole that is too big that a knot in your leather/cord won’t keep it on – if it does you need to put a tinier one below it.

  2. Insert the tip of a chop stick or straw in the center hole of the bead you want to paint. (This holds it steady for you – you don’t want to hold the bead with your fingers while you paint as it won’t allow you to spread it all over correctly).

  1. Apply a thin coat of paint and set aside. You will need to paint these 2-3 times over. Note:Avoid applying paint super thick – it won’t dry properly. Be patient, do a nice even coat of paint, and let it dry fully (it won’t take long). Then do it again!

  1. For a smart strategy, rotate through your beads so one is always drying while you are painting another.

TIP: rinse your paintbrush thoroughly and wipe it dry on your paper towel between colors.

  1. Once all your beads are painted the way you want, and they are super-duper dry, cut your leather lace about 12-14 inches long.

  1. Tie the lace on to the key chain first. Make a knot that allows both strings to come through evenly.

  2. String your beads on both of the laces. At the end, tie one big chunky knot.

  1. Voila! Tag us in your masterpiece on Instagram

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