Beads of Courage Bags

About the Program

The Beads of Courage Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program members tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that they receive to honor and acknowledge each step of their treatment journey. Beads are given according to a program specific program bead guide. For milestones in their treatment journey, they receive handmade one-of-a-kind glass beads that are donated by members of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB).

The Need

Children's Medical Center of Dallas needs community members to sew Beads of Courage Bags which allows a safe place for patient to store their Beads of Courage.

How to Make Bead Bags

Before starting this project, please email with your name, address, email address, & phone number and the number of bags you would like to make. A child life specialists will contact you to discuss fabric choices & provide ask you how many Beads of Courage Bag labels you will need for your specific project.

Pattern Guidelines

1. Fat Quarters are great for this project. There will be a small scrap left over.
2. Sew on the Beads of Courage Bead Bag label to the fabric that you have chosen for the outside of the bag. You may place it in the middle of the bag or lower right corner.
3. Focus Fabric - Cut two 9" x 12" - With RS together sew a 1/2" seam on both long sides making a tube. Press seams open.
4. Lining Fabric - Cut two 9" x 12" - With RS together sew a 1/2" seam on both long sides making a tube. Press seams open.
5. Turn lining right side out and place inside of focus fabric (RS together).
6. Line up seams and sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the tube.
7. Turn right side out. Press seam towards lining.
8. Tuck the lining back inside and press the top seam flat.
9. Place tube on the open arm of the sewing machine and sew a seam at 2" from top. When you get to the two seams back tack about 1/4" across the seam.
10. Sew another seam 2-3/4" from the top back tacking again at the seams. (This makes the seams stronger for the cording to be pulled through.
11. Using a seam ripper, pop the seam between the two back tacks on focus fabric for cording to be pulled through.
12. Turn project wrong side out and serge all layers together.
13. Turn right side out and press bottom seam. Cut two 26-" pieces of cording .Using a large safety pin fold back about 1/2" of cording and pin through the folded edge.
14. Starting at one seam, thread all the way around the bag. Tie ends of cording together in a knot. Do the same with the other seam.
15. Sew on the provided Beads of Courage label in the middle of the bag or at the bottom corner.

How to Order Beads of Courage Labels

Visit the Beads of Courage website and order labels at no charge by clicking here. Labels can be ordered in quantities of 25, 50, 75 or 100. 

Distribution of Bags 

Due to patient confidentiality and infection control, donated items are distributed by Children's staff. Unfortunately, individuals and groups are not allowed to distribute donated items to patients. Due to infection control all items must be new and unused in their original packaging. You may wash the fabric in hypoallergenic detergent such as Dreft Detergent. For infection control purposes, please store completed items in a plastic bag or sealable bag. The bag should be unscented.

Please Complete a Donation Form

Donors are asked to complete a donation form (pdf) upon delivery of items. The form will ask you to provide a brief description, count of items donated, the number of volunteers and the amount of time spent on the community project.