Did you ever make potato beads as a kid? I remember waiting so patiently for the potato beads to dry to make something out of them. Recently I had the urge to see if potato beads could work in adulthood too. I also was in need of a keychain. I have the worst luck with purchased keychains and the one from the dealer was going to break off any day so naturally I decided to make a potato bead keychain!
How to make potato beads
Potato beads are super simple to make (and super inexpensive) but you have to have time. Either peel your potato or just cut the skin off.
Next cut the potato into different shapes. Note that they will shrink quite a bit so don’t start too small. I cut up my potato into cubes hoping they’d keep their shape as they shrunk. They didn’t but that’s okay! Slide them onto wood skewers and let them dry for at least a week. I let them dry for a solid two weeks and I also used two skewers to make a bigger hole. As they shrink, you will want to twist them daily so they do not stick to the skewers.
Once they are as hard as a rock, they are ready to paint! I chose white, copper, and black acrylic paint and used a foam brush to paint. Since the potato beads didn’t stay cubes, I also decided to add some variation and picked up wood beads I painted in the same color.
Assembling the keychain
Once all the beads were painted and dried, I used some suede cording to string them all together. You could easily put this on it’s own keyring but I decided to just add it right to the keyring my keys were already on. I folded the cord in half and looped it around. If I want, I can still take it off the keyring the same way you take off a key, winding it around.
Next, I strung on a potato bead and then did two knots. Remember making friendship bracelets with embroidery floss? Those kind of knots! I knotted one direction then the other to keep the knots flatter. Then on went the next bead.
I ended the keychain with just one friendship bracelet style knot and then did an overhand knot and trimmed the ends a bit.
Honestly, as the potatoes were shrinking I had no idea how this would turn out but I absolutely love it! I didn’t even use half of the potato beads I made from one potato but I do plan on keeping them in case I get an idea for another project. Or someone else wants their own potato bead keychain too. ?