seed beads are cheap to buy (usually by weight) and available in a wide
range of colours. Small safety pins should be used, the smallest brass
ones for the hanging, beaded, pins and the next size larger for the pin
from which they are hung and which is used to attach the finished product.
I find it easier to attach the small pins to the larger pin before threading
them with beads : open the larger pin and insert its point through the
loop of the small pin then wind the small pin round the loop of the large
pin onto the BACK shank of the larger pin (clear as mud? Try it, it works!)
Thread the seed beads onto each pin following your chosen design; the
beads are not all the same size so you will have to select beads which
will fit your pins. Close each pin as you fill it and use a pair of pliers
(or your teeth - I do!) to carefully pinch the head of each hanging pin
closed to prevent it accidentally opening and the beads coming off.
For mass-produced small pins and swaps, try attaching just a single pin
to a "hanger" pin (you could use a larger size to get more beads on) and
allow the girls free rein as to their patterns. They are surprisingly
attractive; larger pins can accomodate larger beads - check hole sizes
first - and different shaped glass beads are available to add variety.
For an illustrated explanation
of how to do these, see
Best of GuidingUK (use the search box - just type in "pins")