Gilded Animal Bracelets

After weeks of negotiation, my daughter and I settled on a zoo theme for her birthday. Or I thought we’d settled. By the time the beads to make bracelet favors arrived, the plan had changed. That ended up being great, because I came up with an idea for the supplies that meant new accessories for me!

Supplies needed to make your own gilded animal bracelets:

These beads are sweet and fun in the original colors, but I decided to give them a makeover that would make them part of my wardrobe. Not that my 6 year old won’t still steal them.

I started by threading animal beads onto pipe cleaners. This makes it easy to paint several at a time and to turn them to coat all sides. Each bead got two light coats of yellow. If you’re using silver, you’d use white as an undercoat.

And then two light coats of gold.

Next, I cut a length of hemp twine to about 42″. I doubled it twice, so that I had four even strands.

On the double-looped end, I tied an overhand knot – the easiest knot there is. Then another about an inch and a half down.

Time to thread the animal beads, which feels a bit rude, but you’re brave. I like them facing each other, but you could do one by itself or three walking in a row. Any more than three gets a bit cumbersome because of their scale. Tie another overhand knot on the other side of the bead(s) and a final overhand knot at the end. Here, I’ve pulled down the bits that we’ll trim off to make the connecting simple.

And here’s the finished bracelet!

Now we add a connector. If you’ve positioned your animals to one side or the other, they’ll layer onto one connector. Beads that are centered are best worn as singles. Wear ’em and be wild– and share them with your wild friends. One bag of these beads will go a long way!


  1. Shaunte says

    I love the pipe cleaner tip! And who would have thought that plastic beads could look so chic all painted up like that! Love it.


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