Better Budgeting: Homemade Christmas Ornaments: Beads and Old Jewelry

Homemade Christmas Ornaments: Beads and Old Jewelry

Submitted by Laura Zupko of California

Star Light Star Bright 1

"Star Light Star Bright"

Beads and Old Jewelry

I came up with this technique when my son was 10 and his school decided to throw its first Holiday Boutique. The other mothers could sew, knit, crochet, scrapbook, decoupage, etc. and I didn’t have anything original to contribute. As the day for dropping off our handmade items got closer, I got desperate. I went into my (then) sparse craft supply drawers and dug up an old flower loom (which they still sell, by the way), some floral wire, some buttons, and some broken jewelry. My first efforts weren’t perfect, but the results were a hit and I sold every one I made. As my craft evolved, I discovered it was a great way to recycle those sentimental (but broken jewelry pieces) I didn’t have the heart to throw out – and it delighted my family to see Grandma’s old brooch shining in the branches of our tree every Christmas.

How to make the ornament...

Supplies:

1 plastic flower loom (e.g. Bloom Loom found at any JoAnn or Michaels craft store)
1 spool of 24g floral or craft wire (24g is the best as anything thinner will not hold the ornament shape well)
New or recycled beads, spacers, other findings. Some round and oval beads as well as 6.0 seed beads are recommended for best results.
Button or small jewelry part (e.g. small pin or earring)

Tools:

Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers

Note: The photo is an example only. Depending on the beads and centerpiece you use, your ornament will look different from the photo. But this technique is the same for any combination of beads and decorative centers you choose to use.

Instructions:

Follow the flower loom instructions for making a single layer flower (with inner and outer petals). Cut the excess wire after completing your flower base and push it off the loom. Your base should look like this...

Star Light Star Bright 2

Use the chain nose pliers to flatten the center (this will make gluing the back easier).

Starting from the inside petals, use the chain nose pliers to crimp the first loop petal together. Slide a bead down the petal and then use the round nose pliers to bend the top of the wire over the bead to hold it in place.

Crimp the next loop petal and use the round nose pliers to bend it towards the center.

Repeat steps 2-3 until you have finished all the inner petals.

Starting the outside petals, use the round nose to crimp the tip of a petal behind one of the beads in the inner petal round. Gently slide a 6.0 seed bead slightly over the crimped part just so you have enough wire showing to bend over the bead. Use the round nose pliers to bend the wire over the bead.

Using the round nose pliers, insert the pliers between the two wires below the seed bead and gently push them apart.

Crimp the next outside petal loop (behind the crimped wire in the inner petal round and slide your beads, spacer, bead cap, etc. down. Tip: I usually use an oval bead for this as round beads (depending on their size) will make the outer petals tight (or may cause them to overlap) when you get to the end of the round.

Repeat steps 6-8 until you have finished all the outer petals. Here's an example of how the inner and outer petals should look...

Star Light Star Bright 3

Add a decorative button or jewelry part (in the example I used a charm after cutting off the loop) by gluing it to the center.

Turn the piece over and glue a button or piece of filigree to cover the back.

Attach a jump ring to one of the outer petals (it should attach easily to one of loops you made over the top bead), tie a ribbon to the ring, and attach to your tree.



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