Though I do love buying things (notably makeup, books, bags and shoes) there's also a strong hippie-DIY-make-do vein running through me. I love re-using and recycling things, making things myself, buying second hand and generally trying to get pleasure from things while feeling a little virtuous about it too.
So - when I stumbled across a recipe for making your own beads on the forum on the wonderful Threadbanger site, I couldn't wait to get cracking.
Just in case you want to have a crack at it too, here's what's required. You can of course scale the recipe up or down as you want:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup water
Mix the flour and salt well first, then gradually add the water, bringing the mixture together with a fork. Knead it a little then put it to chill in the fridge for about half an hour.
Then it's just a case of getting stuck in - it's very remeniscent of play-doh! Shape them into whatever shape beads you want. You also need something to make a decent sized hole as it'll close a little during baking. I used a chunky knitting needle. Then you bake them for an hour and a half at 175 C. I think the recipe said 2 hours but mine were clearly done after an hour and a half.
This was I ended up with. Mini bagel anyone?!
They're slightly less than perfect and some have cracks in them (much like you'd get in a loaf of bread) but they're good enough. Then you need some acrylic paints to decorate them - this can be a little bit of a messy job. but it's fun.
Here they are strung up for display, waiting to be turned into "proper" necklaces.
Now - I don't deny they have a slightly 'look what my kid created in his/her art class today' look about them, but I love chunky beads, and I think they have a certain charm to them.
Too chunky for you?