Bean Art (Me and Martha Series)

To see all posts from my Me and Martha series, click here.

Tuesdays in the Me and Martha series is dedicated to crafts.  I was perusing my Martha Stewart Great American Wreaths book and thought I’d try a super simple bean wreath for fun. (This book is 20 years old but still a favorite of mine! – I linked to amazon but not sure if you can even still get it!) The book is all about different wreaths and there is one for every state.  I’m not a huge fan of the Texas one because it’s yellow roses shaped like a star (Ew) but some of the others are fantastic!  Idaho’s wreath is beans.  Hers is gorgeous:


Martha made hers out of cardboard and then glued the beans on.

pg. 109 of Great American Wreaths

pg. 109 of Great American Wreaths

I wanted something a little more substantial so I headed to the craft store to find a wooden flat wreath that I could use instead…I couldn’t find one… I considered using a wooden letter “O” but they were all oval shaped and really looked like an “O”.  And hanging an O in our house would make no sense.  So I thought maybe instead of an O I will just get an M for our last name?  Which I think is a great idea but I wanted something a little less personal since we already have a set of wooden initial letters in our house.  Then I saw these wooden arrows.  I picked one up for 50% off for a total of $6.


You could leave it this plain color or paint it with craft paint but I decided to use my favorite gel stain and give it a nice dark coat.  Gel stain is so easy to use and it takes just a couple minutes to wipe it down.

I love gel stain, but it stinks so I worked at Matt's workbench and let it dry out there to avoid the smell inside.

I love gel stain, but it stinks so I worked at Matt’s workbench and let it dry out there to avoid the smell inside.


I purchased 3 types of beans at the grocery store for .75 each.  I didn’t even use a quarter of each of the bags so I guess we’ll be having bean soup this month.  I wonder if Martha has a great bean soup recipe.  I’ll check and get back to you on that one!


Choose the type of pattern you want to use.  I did slanted for my pintos and then straight lines for my black beans and garbanzos.  In the book, Martha says use a pattern that will look like a braided rug so I tried to do that.


I only burned my fingers 10 or so times before I got the hang of it.  Get your beans all sorted out before and only do an inch of a row at a time.  Also, a tip that I saw Martha give on her show years ago about using hot glue:  Have a small cup of ice water close by and when you burn your finger put it in there real quick.  It helps and the glue doesn’t continue to burn on your skin.  I’d say this took me an hour or so to complete.  I like these kind of crafts – I find them relaxing.

all done!

all done!

I decided to hang it in our breakfast area above our coffee station.  It might have been fun to use coffee beans for this project since I was hanging it there but I didn’t think of that until after. ha!



Mine didn’t turn out exactly like Martha’s but I had so much fun doing it.  I think she would appreciate putting my spin on one of her classic crafts.

P.S.  I’ll be featuring a few more of her projects from this book – it’s so good!



One thought on “Bean Art (Me and Martha Series)

  1. Pingback: Pecan Garland (Me and Martha Series) | kimberlymungle

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