December 10, 2014

DIY Wire and Bead Christmas Ornaments

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


I love this time of the year.  My Christmas tree is up!  And the house is decorated.  

And as I hung each ornament and admired them, I couldn't help but think that I really should make some ornaments.

Easy to make wire and bead ornaments, DIY


And so I did.  And you can too!

Shaping Up


The first step to these ornaments was making the various wire shapes. 

Make wire ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I used 18g brass wire since that was what was handy - but I think aluminum may have been another good choice.  Or copper. Any wire that can easily be shaped by hand.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

My inspiration started with this bell ornament - which unfortunately the stem to hang it by broke.  

I hated to throw it away - so I decided I might as well use the shape as a template for an ornament.  Super simple, I just wrapped the wire around the outer edge and made a loop for hanging.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And then there was this simple egg shape.  I had to be careful shaping around this ornament, but it worked perfectly.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And a drum - but this was done free form with pliers.  Just playing to see what I could do.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

An old fashioned shape that I bent the wire around the outside - my sister owned a ceramics import company that manufactured these, so we painted these many years ago.

In this case, to make the shape even on both sides, I folded the wire in half, shaped it around one side of the ornament and then unfolded the wire at the bottom center.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And an icicle carefully shaped around the ornament and another old fashioned shape.  

The complex curvy shapes had to be done free hand with pliers instead of tracing the shape of the ornament - but as you can tell, I didn't stress to much about making it perfect.


Next, I needed some beads - and I just searched for assorted odds and ends that need to be used up.


And some wire to attach the beads to the frame.  Normally - I would have used floral wire - but mine is missing, so I went for this 26g copper wire.  I think I have enough.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And then a miracle happens!

Well, it does - but I just randomly scooped up beads, looped once or twice around the frame, scooped up some more beads, etc.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

The small barrel one is just a criss cross of beads - and although it doesn't look terribly impressive on the mat - it looks surprisingly pretty and sparkly on the tree.

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And an icicle style with some larger beads.  I really didn't stress about anything on these ornaments - which made them thoroughly enjoyable to make.  

When I ran out of dark green beads, I just transitioned to light green.  It was such fun to play with no stress of trimming wires so they don't poke, matching sizes of beads, worrying about the accidental blue bead that got mixed in, etc.  Total creative freedom!

Make wire and bead Christmas ornaments with this easy DIY - fill in with beads.  From Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And the results are great!  

Whimsical and satisfying - and truth be told, you could make a lot of patterns or add details if that's what you'd like to do.

But for me, playing with no rules feels great and I intend to make more for gifts this year.

Do It Your Way


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3 comments:

  1. Forget the Christmas tree, I have friends/customers who would happily wear them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True - they could certainly be scaled down for earrings or a pendant. But then the tree would be bare!

      Delete
  2. Hi, love your designs. I've been searching for a while now on how to wire shaped wine bottles and wine glass with no results. Can you help please thxs.

    ReplyDelete