Friday, July 1, 2016

Make A "Build Your Own Rattlesnake" Kit For Kids!

This little box - formerly a grocery store cheese container - holds an awesome homemade gift for a kid!

That's right, people, you can make a super fun, easy, crafty kit for some lucky child.  All you need: a handful of beads, a bit of craft wire, and a Sharpie.  A great project for girls and boys - snakes are cool for everybody.

Check out the quick-as-a-wink DIY.

Begin with a piece of craft wire, between one and three feet long.  (Some kids prefer loooong, crazy mismatched snakes.  Some kids prefer shorter, regularly patterned, beautiful snakes.  It's funny, but rarely do the two overlap.)

Twist a swirly onto one end, like so:

Find a flat bead that you can Sharpie on.  Matte finish glass beads work well.  Or choose plastic or wooden ones.  Draw two eyes and two nostrils, and anything else that says snake.

Another option: make a simple snake head bead from air-dry clay.  (You can add Sharpie details once it's dry.)  I made some extra little disc beads to match.

Next, add your snake head to the wire.

Now gather a bunch of beads and mix 'em up.  You can use random, unmatched beads - a wonderful way to use up those strays!  Or go with a color scheme.  Or even do as I tried to do here: choose some that look kinda snaky.

Include a few small disc-shaped beads if you have 'em - they make a nice rattle at the end of the tail.

Put the bead mix in a cheese box.

Tip: some of these cheese boxes have small holes in the sides.  I seal them up with bits of tape.

Place the snake head wire in the box, on top of the beads.

Print up a nifty snake picture (or draw one), and glue it to the top of the box.  I found this lovely vintage rattlesnake art over at The Graphics Fairy.

That's your finished kit!  Give one to a bored kid and watch the fun begin.

Instructions for making a snake:

String beads on the wire until almost the end.  With the last little bit of wire, use a skinny object like a pencil point to make a small loop or swirl.  Like this:

Bend some curves in your snake and display proudly!

I hope this idea rattles your cage.  See ya next time.


  1. I want to make my own snake! This is so great!
    Maybe I could make a kit for a grown up little boy I know...

    1. Thanks, Centi! I know, they are really not just for kids...I make them with semiprecious beads and scatter them around the house like decor.

  2. Forget the kids, I want one! XD And that clay head is too cute.

  3. love it Mich! Beading for boys yippee! thanks for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

  4. Oh wow.. This is one cute idea & you can move the wire and shape the snake as you want! how cool is this. Thanks dear for this tutorial. :)

    1. Thank you, Kiran!!! I like it because it's something crafty for little boys - a rare thing for this Auntie who usually makes boring jewelry - my nephews just can't seem to get interested in jewelry. Thanks for all the kind comments lately, my friend - I appreciate them!

  5. How cute is this? You had me at cheese box until I saw your cute snake face bead. So darn cleaver!

  6. OH my goodness Mich - you are a genius!! This is so cool, and wouldn't it just make an awesome stocking filler at Christmas!! (yes I know I'm thinking early...).

  7. This is such a cute idea! My girls and I will be scrounging through my beads now. Pinning this!

    1. Thanks, Kileen! Hope you and your girls make some beautiful beady reptiles!

  8. Great idea! And just in time for the summer hols - a rainy day activity!

    1. Why thankee, Pearl! Yes, a rainy day or a kid stuck in bed - a nice quiet project in a box. it's also sort of therapy for me: I run into a lot of live rattlesnakes these days, and this is my way to make it less scary.

  9. Hi there
    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured this on my Round Tuit post this week!
    A Round Tuit 318
    Thanks again for linking up! Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success