Homemade Beads

The vividly colored dough yields uncommonly beautiful beads. Plan on making several batches of different colors.

Homemade Beads

What you will need:
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
Tempera paint (fabric dye and food coloring also work well)
3/4 cup cold water
Shoelace or fishing line

How to do it:

  1. Mix the baking soda and cornstarch together with your hands in a medium saucepan. Add the paint to the cold water, stir until dissolved, and pour into the saucepan. With a grown-up’s help, cook the dough over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until the mixture solidifies. Be careful not to overcook, or the dough will be too crumbly.
  2. When the dough cools, knead it until it is smooth and pliable. You are now ready to make beads! You can make the beads into free-form shapes with your hands, or roll snakes from the dough to cut with a knife.
  3. After the dough is shaped into a bead, poke a toothpick down the center to form a hole for stringing. If the holes are big enough, a shoelace is easiest for small hands to work with. Older children can make smaller holes and string the beads with fishing line.

Reprinted with permission from The Mudpies Activity Book: Recipes for Invention © 1994 by Nancy Blakey, Tricycle Press, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, Ca 94707.

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