Silicone beads have become quite popular in baby toys. Teething beads are often used to create jewelry such as teething necklaces (Moms and Dads wear these -- NEVER place teething necklaces around a baby's neck!), teething bracelets, clips to secure pacifiers and toys, and in a variety of creative toys. This blog will provide instructions to assemble a pacifier clip. These instructions can be used for a variety of similar items.
Always use small pieces with caution!
When properly assembled, teething beads can be quite a charming and fun addition for baby sensory development. However, as with any item that contains small parts, a baby should ALWAYS be supervised and NEVER left alone with an item containing teething beads. If any wear is shown or the possibility of damage, remove the item IMMEDIATELY and replace it.
Here are the supplies that you will need to create your project:
Ruler (6" or longer)
String for beading
Pacifier clip or wood ring
Needle (thick such as for Crewel Embroidery)
Assembly of pacifier clips is not difficult, but it may seem that way at first. As with anything new, creating new items takes patience and gets easier the more you make. The most important step lies in stringing the beads very tight so the knots cannot work themselves loose.
Once your supplies are gathered, start with your string. Here, I am using silk cording. There are other options available such as heavy duty cotton cord. You want something that is strong and does not stretch.
Using the lighter, singe the ends of the cording. This will serve two purposes: 1) it will keep the cording from fray and 2) it will allow for a harder edge to thread the beads with. Here is what the cord looks like once it is singed.
Next, use your ruler to measure and turn back 6 inches of the cording.
Wrap the cord around to form a knot and tighten at approximately 3" down from the turned edge. This is the end where you can add a toy or pacifier later. DO NOT cut the extra string off. This extra string will be referred to as "the tail."
Start stringing your beads, one at a time. Use the needle, if necessary, to help push the cording through the bead.
Near the knot, you also want to reverse string the "tail" through your beads as a reinforcement for the knot.
When you string your bead, push it up next to the knot and then reverse thread the "tail" back through the bead. Here I am showing what the first bead looks like after it is strung next to the knot,
Continue to string beads, one at a time. Be sure to reverse string the "tail" as far as possible. Here, I am showing how I reverse threaded the "tail" through the second bead.
Once the tail is hidden, continue stringing all of the beads you want. Reminder: e certain they are strung as tight as possible. If you string the pacifier clip loosely, the knots will work out and the clip will eventually fall apart. Here is a photo of my beads strung and read for the next step.
You are now ready to add the pacifier clip. Loop the cording at the end.
Feed the pacifier clip through the loop.
Enlarge the loop and push the clip through the center.
Pull to create a loop knot.
Tighten the knot as close as possible to the string of beads.
Knot the cording three more times, making sure the string is pulled as tight as possible.
Now you need to run the cord's "tail" on this end through the beads, one at a time. You will probably need the needle to help push the cord through each bead.
Be sure to push the "tail" through the beads for at least 1 1/2".
Pulling the cord tight, trim the excess cording with scissors.
If there is any edge left, simply move the beads around and the edge will pull back into the bead string.
Congratulations! Your project is finished!
There are many varieties to making baby pacifier clips. Another fun method is to knot each bead after it is strung. This will give the clip an entirely different look.
TOYS AND MORE
A new, popular trend is to make bead strings for baby activity gyms. These are strung the same way, but beech wood rings are attached on the end instead of the pacifier clip.
Once the string is made, the toy is simply looped at the end and hung from the activity gym. Here is a sample string toy that I made. This toy was made with a 50mm beech wood ring on the end and included 12 mm orange beads, 17 mm hex beads, and 18 mm bee hive beads.:
Silicone beads are easy to clean. Before each use, visually inspect for damage to the string such as the string is loosening, a bead is ripped, cracked or damaged, a wooden item has a rough edge, shows wear, or is cracked. If any damage is present, immediately dispose of the item. It is much better to replace the item and than pose a risk to a baby.
To wash, detach the toy at the end of the clip and clean toy separately. Rinse the toy in hot, soapy water. Do not submerge over long periods of time, especially if wood beads are attached. Once all of the soap is washed off, lay the toy flat to dry. DO NOT wash in a dishwasher. This will cause the item to wear quickly and possibly crack under the heat.
Wooden toys or beads that are rough can be cleaned using a vinegar/water mixture. I have a separate blog on how to care for wood items here: