Right, so now we've cut our strips, get your glue, cocktail sticks and one of those Costa coffee stirrers you've been hoarding. Roll the bead strip a little around the cocktail stick and put a blob of glue as close the base as possible (make sure you don't end up just gluing it to the stick), then roll it up a bit between your thumb and forefinger or middle finger, whichever you're comfortable with.

* I hold the bead in between my thumb and middle finger and twist the stick with my other hand.

The taper should be in the middle, keep adding bits of glue as you roll right up to the top. You don't need to smother it with the glue as it will bleed out round the edges, just enough for it to hold it's shape. Once you get to the end, tap the edge with your coffee stick (not the bit with the glue on) just to flatten it down and get a better stick. Then once you're happy it's glued properly, stab it into the polystyrene to dry off. 

* If you're not happy with the shape, remember you can still unwind and adjust at this point, just add a bit more glue as the first coat will have already soaked in.

Warning, bad nail varnish pic below!! 

What you will need

  • A pair of old jeans
  • Scissors
  • Cocktail sticks (or similar)
  • Coffee stirrers (or something to handle your glue)
  • Liquid glue, PVA, Mod Podge etc.
  • Polystyrene (or something to hold your sticks)  

You may not know it yet but I'm a master bead maker!

I started off with paper beads and once I had got the technique down I tried my hand at using other materials. I soon turned to my old clothes and any other fabrics I could get my hands on (including my Mum's old settee cover). I also found that all that Diet Coke I drink wasn't so bad after all, I even turned all my soda cans into beads too!

I usually just cut one length at a time and make however many beads I need from that, but if you're a tad more organised than me, you may want to cut all four lengths (front and back of each leg).

Coolio, so now we're ready to cut and roll.

​I found that a 20cm strip seems to work best when rolling denim, if you've rolled beads before you'll know just what I mean here. If not, well the width and length of your bead strips will play a big part in the final shape of your bead. I prefer the traditional sort of bicone look, but you can experiment with different widths and lengths and see which you like best, sometimes a project calls for a good mix of shapes. I adore making cone beads, but as I've already cut, rolled and shot all this, we're doing bicone this time.

*Note to self, think ahead in future.

Ok, so 20cm'ish by 2cm'ish is the sweet spot. I recommend cutting a rough 20cm square at a time, maybe a bit longer but if you try and do the whole leg in one it gets tricky to hold and you end up losing accuracy with your scissors. Now, don't be getting all obsessive with your rulers here, unless you've got some serious time to kill, you'll soon be cutting those bad boys like you've been doing it all your life. If they're not exact it doesn't matter. 


I'd leave the beads to dry for a good few hours. I usually give them a day or so but just see how you go.

Again, apologies for my nail varnish there. I usually redo my nails on a Sunday night and today is Friday!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and I hope you've enjoyed this denim bead 'Let's Try'.

Ok, so to start off we need to cut the jeans, this is both scary and exciting the first time you do it, you may feel a bit bad about it!

**Hey, we don't need the bum bits of the jeans so if you fancy it you could make yourself a pair of shorts. Just measure where you want them to end before you start slice and dicing.

What we're looking to get is as close to the seam as possible, all the way up the leg. Cut horizontally across the top of the leg (be careful if you're making those shorts you big hussy). Don't worry too much about getting a super smooth and straight cut at this point, what we're aiming for is to cut out the seams.