With seven hardworking miners in the picture, Snow White is bound to have her fair share of diamonds. But the Thanksgiving holiday calls for donning different colored gems -- like this string of ruby red cranberry felt beads. All you need are bits of wool yarn or roving and a little soap and water to make them.
* For felting beads, you need a merino or virgin wool that hasn't been treated -- superwash and machine washable wools will not work.
Cut four 4-inch lengths from the yarn. Or, if you're using roving, start with a 1.5- to 2-inch ball. Note: This should make a bead that's about a half inch in diameter. You can experiment with different amounts of roving or yarn to create beads in other sizes.
Tease out the yarn strands or roving so that the wool is very loose and fluffy, as shown.
Place the teased wool in the plastic jar, and add 2 or 3 drops of dishwashing liquid. Then fill the jar halfway with warm water and screw the lid on.
Working over a sink or plastic tub, have your child shake the jar for 10 to 15 seconds to saturate the wool in the sudsy water.
Remove the wool from the jar and rinse it in cold water. Then pinch the wool into a loose ball, squeezing out most of the water.
Now it's time to shape the bead by rolling the wool between the palms of your hands. Before long, you will feel the wool compact into a firm round bead. Continue making beads until you have enough for a necklace.
Place the beads on a paper towel to dry (this may take a few hours).
String the beads together with a large sewing needle threaded with maroon or crimson embroidery floss. Leave room at each end to tie on a magnetic necklace clasp. Once the clasp is attached, use the needle to thread the floss ends back through a couple of the nearest beads. Then trim the floss ends short.