How to make your very own bead bracelet

Cynthia, your virtual art teacher, is an instructor at Pratt Fine Arts Center, a community arts center in Seattle that works with Amazon. She’s also an enrolled citizen of the Comanche Nation, a Native American tribe in Oklahoma. As Cynthia explains, beads are very special to Native Americans, and they use them in a variety of ways: to participate in ceremonies, to make gifts, and to wear as jewelry.

Even though stretchy bracelets, like the one Cynthia shows us how to make, aren’t a traditional Native American craft, they provide a great way for everyone to love and appreciate the beauty of beads.

As detailed in this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll want to start by setting out fun, colorful beads. After measuring the size of your wrist and then tripling that number to estimate the length of cord needed, you can begin stringing your beads; feel free to create a pattern or keep it free-form.

Once you’ve strung your beads, you’ll want to check for fit, and then finish off your bracelet with two special knots, which Cynthia demonstrates. And there you have it—your very own stretchy bead bracelet. That was pretty fun and easy to make, don’t you think?

In some Native American cultures, when you learn a new craft like this, it’s customary that you give away your first creation as a gift to someone else. What do you think about giving your stretchy bracelet to a sibling or a neighborhood friend? Bet they’d love to have such a special gift from you!

What you’ll need:

Must-haves:

  • Beads (any bead will do, just make sure the hole is large enough for the cord you’re using)
  • Stretchy cord (Cynthia uses 1mm in the video, but any size works)
  • Scissors

Nice to have:

  • Bulldog clips
  • Big eye needle (or make your own with thread and a sewing needle)
  • Glue
  • Measuring tape

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.