Use a variety of dried bean seeds to create decorative crafts for yourself or to give as gifts. Dried beans are inexpensive, available in different sizes, colors and shapes at the supermarket and are easy to handle. Children and adults can spend an hour or two making art projects that will be admired.
Dried Bean Bottle
Recycle clear bottles with pretty or interesting shapes. Pour a 1-inch layer of dried cannellini or Great Northern beans into the bottles. Add a layer of Montezuma red or purple kidney beans. Continue adding contrasting layers of different dried bean seeds, such as Swedish brown, trout, cranberry or calypso black with white beans in between the layers until the bottle is filled. Tap the bottle as you fill with beans to make the beans settle. Place a cork into the bottle to seal it. Tie the neck with a French wire ribbon and add a decorative tassel. The thickness of the bean seed layers can vary depending on the size of the bottle. Display the bottle as an art piece on the kitchen counter or give as a gift.
Give children an unfinished wood frame with a flat front. Also give them an assortment of dried bean seeds, colorful plastic beads, craft glue, and a brush. Let them decorate the wood frame with a combination of dried beans and beads with craft glue. When the frame is completely covered, spray it with a clear sealant. Insert a hand-painted picture made by the child or a photograph of himself into the frame to give as a gift.
Child's Bean Picture
Use spray adhesive on the back of a coloring book page and secure it to a same-size piece of mat board. Give children dishes of different dried beans along with a bottle of craft glue and a paint brush. Let them work in small areas filling in the outlines gluing the beans on. The children can decide which beans to use to make an interesting picture. Apply a layer of matte or glossy finish decoupage medium, such as Mod Podge, over the completed picture.
Painted Dried Bean Plant Stand
Give children a small canvas board, along with dried beans, craft glue and a brush. Have them cover the board completely with beans. They can paint the beans with acrylic paints in a decorative design or theme such as garden flowers or a snowman. Spray the dried bean plant stand with a clear polyurethane finish. Attach felt on the bottom with white glue and trim any excess. Place it on a table to hold a potted plant.
For over 25 years, Natasha Lawrence has written for publications from "Alaska Business Monthly" to "Savannah Magazine" and provided destination content as Florida city editor for Wcities. Her expertise in arts and crafts includes calligraphy, painting, mosaics, jewelry making, paper crafts and home decor, often offering workshops in museums and art centers.