How to make cat wall art with wooden beads

There are plenty of projects to make pretty, low-cost wall art out there, but this one has got to be one of the cutest. This cat wall art project requires simple materials that are easy to access at craft stores or online as well as beginner beading skills, but the result is a modern take on the old-fashioned, graphically sophisticated cameos that captured the simple profiles of subjects’ faces long ago.
These pieces of feline-inspired art look wonderful hanging on walls, propped on a mantel or as part of a bookshelf visual vignette. The beads add textural style to any space, and once guests notice what the shape is, they’ll be even more charmed, confirmed cat fans or not!
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Materials
- Several packages of small, bead-sized unfinished wooden balls
- Unfinished wooden dowel
- Two small bowls for holding beads (one to hold about a dozen, the other about 40 to 60)
- Small plastic paint palette
- Bottle of metallic acrylic paint in gold, copper or silver
- Small fine art paintbrush
- Sheet of construction paper in light color
- Pencil
- Black Sharpie marker
- Spool of medium gage gold wire long enough to cover the outline
- Small pair of wire cutters
- Needle-nosed pliers
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Instructions
1. Thread about a dozen beads onto the dowel.
2. Squirt metallic acrylic paint onto the palette.
3. Paint each bead with metallic paint and place the dowel on top of a bowl so the painted beads can dry.
4. Draw a cat’s head template in pencil on the sheet of construction paper.
5. Go over the outline with the black Sharpie marker.
6. Take the wire and estimate length, judging from circumference of the circular head shape (leaving enough to overlap slightly) and cut from the spool with wire cutters.
7. Placing the wire on the paper, shape it to the template to form the head of the cat, with wire ends placed on the bottom.
8. Using mostly unfinished beads, start threading them through the wire, but at random intervals, incorporate a gold bead.
9. Leave about an a half-inch of wire without beads at either end at the bottom.
10. Wrap one end of wire around the other end with the needle-nose pliers so no raw wire ends are exposed.
11. Cut excess wire with wire cutters.
12. Refine bead spacing by sliding beads as needed to ensure that they entirely cover the entire piece of wire.
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