Tri-Bead Heart

by Amanda Formero

Tri-Bead Heart

Perfect adornments for backpacks, key chains and more

For your Valentine, backpack or a necklace, these cute little hearts are so easy to do, you may not be able to stop the kids from making them! Supplies are inexpensive and this project will keep the kids busy with minimal mess.

Age 3 and up (This project is rated VERY EASY to do. However, parental supervision is recommended with the wire cutters.)

What you need

This will make one heart:

  • 12-inch red or white chenille stems
  • Colorful translucent tri-beads (non-translucent beads may be used)
  • Wire cutters (a good pair of scissors will work as well)
  • Keychain (optional)
  • Craft lace (optional)

What you do

1. Cut the chenille stem in half. (Note: Save the other half for another project)

2. Bend one end of the chenille stem into an "L" (about one-and-a-half inch). (Note: This keeps the beads from falling off when the child puts them on the chenille stem.)

3. Thread beads onto chenille stem until there is about about one-and-a-half inch of the stem left showing.

4. Bend the other end of the chenille stem into an "L" shape.

5. Twist the two "L" shapes together. Clip off any extra wire. Be sure to bend in any sharp edges.

6. Bend into a heart shape.

7. Add to a ribbon for a necklace, a key ring for a backpack or attach to a Valentine.


You can skip the step of cutting the chenille stem in half and use the full stem to make larger hearts as well.

For key chains, thread craft lace through one of the beads on a completed heart as well as through the keychain itself. Tie off with a secure knot.Use pony beads in addition to or instead of tri-beads for a different look!

Helpful Hints

Get ready. Tri-beads and chenille stems are readily accessible at any discount department store that carries craft supplies. Precut the chenille stems before starting the project.

Be creative. You can use any color chenille stems and all sorts of beads. Experiment with different shades; let the children use their imaginations to create pretty designs. Pony beads work just as well as tri-beads, though tri-beads make it easier to bend into shape.

Keep it organized. To avoid beads all over the table and floor, put beads into a large shallow dish within reach of all children. If this is a group project, sort different colors into individual containers. Empty egg cartons make wonderful bead storage containers.