Saturday, July 20, 2013

Holly and Berries Beaded Christmas Ornaments

It's July ... therefore it's Christmas in July ... so seems like a good opportunity to try to re-embrace the craft blogging.  I've been recently re-energized on the crafting front and am busy beginning focus preparations for my primary passion in crafting - Christmas.

Last night I came up with a new beaded holiday ornament, and I thought I'd have a practice at documenting the steps so I could share.   Let me introduce to you - the beaded holly and berries Christmas Tree dangle.

 I'm quite happy with the results as I had been somewhat wondering what to do with all the green acrylic diamonds that I have on the overstuffed shelves of the craft room.  My big goal on that front is to get all of the craft supplies IN to the craft room versus spread about the entire house as they seem to have become.   So, with any luck, I'll have lots more updates to come.  And, if it's too early for you to begin thinking of Christmas - look away now!

If you fancy making something like this, these are the steps I took.  The Holly and Berries Beaded Dangle uses 10 different beads.  Green acrylic 'diamond' gems, bright red wooden beads, extra large pearls, small pearls, 10/0 seed beads in dark green and gold, 8/0 seed beads in silver lined crystal, and 6/0 seed beads in gold, translucent red and shiny pearl white.  You could, of course, use your own variation of the seed bead combination but I do recommend a variety of sizes - and the tiny ones if you can manage it - just to give the wire the right strength and shaping, as well as adding visual interest.

First, cut a 7" length of wire.  I use a green coated wire for these.   Create a strong loop at the end with two turns.  Thread on an acrylic diamond, one red bead, then two more acrylic diamonds.

Now you're going to thread your end of wire through the loop you made.  You can see why you would want two good strong turns.

Position the beads as flush as you can and then draw the loop tight.  The single red bead will "fall" to one side and this becomes the front.

Add another red bead to cover the loop and you have created your holly and berry cluster.

Now you move on to the focal bead element of your ornament.  I like the look with a little spacing above the holly/berry cluster so that it will dangle down and catch the light from your tree lights.  For this I've begun with one of the crystal 8/0 seed beads, 5 shiny emerald green 10/0 seed beads and another 8/0 crystal seed bead.  For the focal portion I've used two sizes of pearls, and repeated the hit of red for a candy cane effect.  These are separted by the 6/0 gold seed beads.

Finally, continue to the beaded hanger portion of the dangle ornament with a patterning of 6/0 (or 8/0) and 10/0 seed beads.  I've interspersed tiny gold beads with larger red and white to continue the candy cane colour patterning but you could do all of this in any motif you like.   When you are about a centimeter from the end - I like to end with two or three of the tiny beads for a smoother finish - loop the last of your wire tightly and securely and bend the top to hang on the tree.  Looking at the front of your holly/berry, you want the bend to be perpendicular so that the ornament will face out properly.

So there you have it.  Bright, festive, colourful and fun ... these 'diamonds' have been transformed into Holly and Berries Christmas Ornaments.  Whip yourself up a bunch of them!

If you like them, but making them isn't your cup of tea, I have them for sale on my Etsy shop in packages of two.

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