Pony beads—those thick, cheap, plastic beads you can find at any craft stores or the craft sections of most department stores—are an incredibly versatile, not to mention economical, material for crafters of all ages and skill levels.

They're an ideal material to start with for young jewelry-makers in training, and they can be a fun, budget friendly way for experienced crafters to stretch their imagination anytime, anywhere.

In that vein, today we've got a host of fun things you can craft with just pony beads and one or two other simple materials, such as string, stretchy cord, or pipe cleaners, all relatively cheap as well, and sure to get your creative juices flowing.

 

So without further ado, let's get to it!

 

Bracelets

 

The first, and most common craft one can make out of pony beads is bracelets.

The process here is incredibly straightforward. Simply take a string (we recommend stretch beading string), measure around your wrist or the wrist of the person who the bracelet is for (if they're not there, estimate), add a few extra inches, and cut off that much string. Then, simply slide beads on one at a time until you're satisfied, and carefully tie the ends together.

The order of the beads can be as random or as meticulous as you want; you could make it all one color, you could have an alternating pattern, or you could just toss on whatever feels right at random.

This incredibly simple craft makes a great option for younger crafters who are discovering beads for the first time, or for adults who don't want to mess with anything too complicated, but want a nice simple craft idea to de-stress.

 

Cuffs

 

Cuffs are another kind of bracelet, more involved than the single-strand type mentioned above. Instead, they're nice and thick, multi-layered bracelets that really catch the eye. To make one, simply make a normal bracelet like above, but use five or even ten times as much string so you have a lot left over (or, even better, don't even cut the string until you're done).

Then, make the first row like a normal bracelet, and after you've tied it off, add one bead to the long end of string, and then thread that string through the next bead in the first row. Then, add another new bead, and thread through the next one in the first row again.

Keep doing this until you've gone all the way around, and repeat as many times as you like until your cuff bracelet is thick enough for your liking.

 

Princess Crown

 

Do you have a little princess at home who needs her own crown? Here's a craft idea you can do with her (though don't get me wrong; there's no reason boys can't like it too if they want). Just take some silvery or gold metallic pipe cleaners, tie together as many as needed, and bend them into the rough shape of a crown. Then, add clear beads onto the peaks of the crown.

 

Melted Bead Mosaics

 

Finally, here's a fun craft idea that's a little different from what you might typically expect with beading. If you take a cupcake pan, or a pizza tray, you can arrange pony beads inside (using a cupcake tray for tiny mosaics and a pizza tray for giant ones) and arrange them to make a picture. Make sure you fill up the entire surface area. Then, toss them in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Keep windows open for ventilation when you do this, and be careful of the possibility of toxic fumes. When they're done, leave them outside for at least a few hours to cool before taking them out.