Today’s project is one that beaders and jewelry makers will love, but it isn’t actually jewelry. I had this idea about beading a Christmas ornament, and I just love how it turned out! I made my own base from shrink plastic (yes, I’m a shrink plastic addict right now) and then beaded the with some basic wire techniques. Let me show you how!
What you will need:
For the base – clear shrink plastic, scissors, and a standard hole punch.
For the tree – coordinating beads, 18 or 20 gauge wire, round nosed pliers and wire cutters. You may also want to add a special bead for the top of your tree (like this little star!) and/or a bead for the tree trunk at the bottom.
First – the shrink plastic base. I made mine 8.5 inches (the width of the sheet) x 1 inch, and just punched a bunch of holes. It only takes a few minutes to bake it to have your hard plastic base. I made up a few in several sizes – I have other projects I’m working on this week that this technique worked perfectly for.
Then, bust out the beads! You will need to cut varying lengths of wire. If you are adding a charm at the top and/or bottom, you’ll use your round-nosed pliers to make a closed loop, thread the bead on, and make another closed loop attached to the plastic base. If you’re not adding a star/charm at the top, you can attach the wire ornament hanger directly to the top hole instead.
If you haven’t made a closed loop before, you just wrap your wire around your round pliers, and then wrap the short end around the long end under the loop you created. You’ll do this on both sides of the bead. You can either add the plastic base right onto the bottom loop, or attach the two pieces with a jump ring.
Next, bead your tree! Just make a simple loop on the end of a short length of wire, add a bead, thread it through the hole in the plastic base, add another bead, and make another simple loop to close it off on the other side. You’ll continue doing this on each row, adding one more bead each row to fatten up your tree.
At the bottom, you can make an additional charm (like you made at the top) with a bead to represent your tree trunk. Then, all that’s left to do is add a wire ornament hanger!
Are you making decor or ornaments with your favorite craft techniques this year? What’s your favorite piece you’ve made?