DIY Personalized Keychain

I’m a sucker for craft projects involving wood. Maybe it’s the evocation of nature or the inexpensive price, but whatever the reason may be, I can’t help but wander down the wood aisle any time I’m in an art supply store. I’ve been mulling over ideas on how to utilize unfinished wood beads for awhile and decided to do painted caricatures of friends and family. I’m not a skilled painter by any means, so I wasn’t going for exact likeness. Nonetheless I think the beads look adorable. Using leather cord and the beads, I made key chains, but they would also make great ornaments, necklaces, or bookmarks by varying the length of the cord or ribbon.

Leather cord
Wooden beads
Acrylic paint
Paint brushes

The first step is to paint the beads, beginning with the hair. Dip a brush in paint and starting at what will be the crown of the head, drag the brush downward from one of the holes in the bead. Allow the bristles to splay at the end for straight hair or make scalloped edges for curly or wavy hair. Continue painting until all of the hair is filled in. If desired, layer slightly lighter or darker paint colors on top to create more depth and texture in the hair.

Use a pointed brush to create the eyes, nose and lips. Use a flat brush to create eyebrows. Add additional embellishments as desired such as facial hair or jewelry. Allow the paint to dry fully before moving onto the next step.

Cut a strip of leather cord approximately 12 inches long. Fold the cord in half and insert the loose ends into the hole at the crown of the head. Once the cord is threaded to the other side of the bead, tie a knot. Pull the cord taught. Tie a second knot on the other side of the bead.

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