How to Make Dreadlock Beads

You can beautify your dreadlocks using beads. In case commercially available beads seem a bit too expensive or unnecessary, you may always make your beads on your own! You can add your personal touch and make beads which are to your liking. Some people prefer simpler beads, which ironically are usually never available in stores and the ones you can find are too over the top. This article suggests some ideas on how to make dreadlock beads at home, using simple materials.

Instructions to Make Dreadlock Beads

#1 - Polymer Clay Beads
You can make dreadlock beads using polymer clay. This clay is sold in most art and craft stores. This polymer clay needs to be cooked at 300º Fahrenheit, which is easily possible using the kitchen oven. Here are the instructions:
  • Use a pen or stick with a larger diameter, which according to you matches the radius of your individual dreadlocks. It is always better to let the beads be slightly bigger so, that they can accommodate the hair and not feel too tight.
  • Now use a very flexible wire (aluminum wire or florist wire), and wind it loosely around the pen. The pen must be loose enough to rotate under the wire. Let there be a slight distance between each coil of wire.
  • If you wish to add danglers to the bead, you will need to leave a loop at the tip of the wire.
  • Now wrap the polymer clay on the wire, and while you cover the wire, try to keep rotating the pen gradually. This rotating movement will prevent the clay from sticking to the pen.
  • Gradually detach the wire from the pen and place this bead in the oven. Set the temperature at 149º Celsius or 300º Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
  • As a suggestion, you could use pre-colored clay, so that you need not have to apply the base paint for each bead. Therefore, if you wish to have a black bead, use black polymer clay.
  • Once the bead has been baked, let it cool down and do not touch it for at least 2 hours, after which you can use polymer clay paint, and decorate the bead anyway you prefer.
#2 - Wire Beads
You can make dreadlock beads using attractive wires and simply wind them into spring shaped beads. Apply the procedure mentioned above and wind the wire over a fat pen. You can thereafter use a cutting-plier to make shapes and designs at the tips of each bead, by making tribal swirls at each end of the bead. All you need to do is to bend the wire inwards. Or you could make rather eccentric designs such as swans and snakes, by bending the wire. Make sure the bead is made first and thereafter the design is made over the bead. If you prefer you may add small glass beads through the metal wire, and make it a part of the dreadlock bead itself. Explore your options wisely, as you can make so many thrilling designs using just plain wire!

#3 - Paper Beads
You may make long colorful paper beads using attractive magazine scraps. All you need to do is to to cut a few pieces of magazine into 8 inch by 4 inch triangles. Make a collection of all the colors you require for your dreadlocks. After which you must tightly wind each triangular piece of paper to a fat pen or stick. When you make the first coil, stick the paper to the inner surface of the sheet using glue. Do not let the paper get stuck to the pen, which is why you must keep rotating the pen. Make sure you wind it in such a way that, it remains loose enough for the the pen to be removed. Now stick the ends of the paper and let it dry, after which, you may slide the pen out. Your paper bead is ready! You can also make round paper beads by simply winding triangular paper sheets over and over again on the same spot of the pen. And keep sticking the sheet onto the new triangular piece of paper, every time you wind.

#4 - Fabric Beads
Making fabric beads follows the same procedure as paper beads. There is no difference except that you will need to use fabric glue and fabric paint in case you wish to decorate your dreadlock beads further. This is a very simple craft idea, which can be completed in minutes!

#5 - Wooden Beads
You may make wooden beads for your dreadlocks as well. For this you may buy a few small cubes of wood and some rectangular ones. These cubes must be big enough to fit your hair, once they are made into beads. Here are the instructions:
  • Measure the diameter of your hair and accordingly make a circular mark, which is half an inch bigger, on the wood.
  • Now you may chisel the edges off and smoothen the sides using sandpaper. This will take some time before an actual oval shaped bead is formed.
  • In case you wish to make a cubical shaped bead, simple cut the extra sides off using a pocket-knife, while ensuring that the cubical shape is still retained.
  • Now drill a hole into the demarcated area, using a drilling size which matches the marking. Be very gently, as excess force may break the bead in two or cause a big ugly crack! Making the hole manually will take too much of your time and it will not be perfect.
  • Now you could make designs on the cube using a fine thin tipped chisel or you could paint it!
Hopefully now your knowledge on how to make dreadlock beads has increased substantially. With practice, you will begin to come up with your own ideas of making the beads look more attractive and long lasting.
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