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December 16, 2015

Christmas Bead Projects

Beaded Ornaments, Garlands and Wreaths

I always try to make a bead design for the holidays. That applies to most holidays - but definitely for Christmas.

Last year, I made bead and wire tree ornaments.This year, when I pulled out my handmade ornaments and put them on the tree, I loved them even more than when I made them. This one really surprised me when I saw it. Probably because I totally forgot about making it.

The picture doesn't do it justice. It's prettier with light coming through it.

But, that isn't what today's post is about.  It's about this year's Christmas project - a pretty beaded garland bracelet and a beaded wreath (that I'm still working on).

Beaded Wreath with St. Petersburg Chain

 I started to learn single St. Petersburg stitch a few months ago, and what I loved most is the way it resembled a garland. I knew right away it was perfect for making something for Christmas.

Single St. Petersburg stitch creates a flexible strand of beadwork and it can have a natural curve to it. That made this wreath design a natural. Unfortunately, it's a little too flexible and won't maintain the shape in the long run. It will eventually, curl fold and flop. (Makes you want to run out and make one -right?) On the positive side, my kitten loves playing with it.

I've been working on some solutions, including different sized beads and a fringier design. You can alter St. Petersburg stitch pretty easily, changing the number of beads in the connecting group and adding beads before and after to make it have more fringe.

Beaded Garland Bracelet

But, my wreath wasn't coming together as quickly as I wanted.  So I decided why not use similar beads - but in a bracelet design.  A wreath for your wrist!

This is a picture of the bracelet before I added the clasp and extender chain.  I'm very happy with the bead colors.  To me, they are just right for Christmas. I used Czech 11/0 beads.

And here it is all finished. I just published the free tutorial for the beaded Christmas garland bracelet this morning.

Beaded Wreath (Around a Link)

I didn't give up on the wreath design though.  I tried to add some stability to the beadwork by adding a metal link to the center - similar to the way circular brick stitch is done around a frame.

It works - but I'm not thrilled with the colors. I should have stuck to the Christmas-y colors. I will probably try this one more time. I think they would make cute wreath earrings. Hanging on a gold chain through the center - or maybe a ribbon?

Happy Holidays and Thanks!!

I just wanted to pause and thank all of you who follow my jewelry making and beadwork.  I appreciate you stopping by, sharing my work and the occasional questions and compliments. I love making jewelry and it is fun sharing it with you. I have met some amazingly talented and interesting people all over the world through this site, which was not something I expected.  Very cool!

I think I'll have time to squeeze in a few more posts before Christmas - but I always think that! In case I don't, I hope you find some time to do all the things you enjoy this holiday. Maybe spend time with family and friends, cook, shop, meditate, hike, make jewelry or whatever makes your heart sing. Look for the wonderful little things.

And I apologize in advance for this cheesy transition... I have issues expressing myself seriously without undercutting it somehow.

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  1. Love the wreath, i hope you can make it work! Happy christmas to you too

  2. Merry Christmas to you Lisa! Thank you for all the lovely projects you share. Thank you for sharing the good and bad of working on certain projects. I just got a pair of brass-lined parallel pliers on eBay to try to help me not mangle wirework so badly. Unfortunately they're not quite parallel so will have to go back. LOL

  3. Merry Christmas, Lisa! Love all of your new projects!

  4. If your making ornament use floor wax and it will hols it's shape. I the first wreath best. Could you do a tutorial one how to make that one, please!

    1. The point of this blog was supposed to be so I could make things I liked again - but I'm not sure I remember how I did that! I'll add it to my list and try. I really like the St Petersburg stitch. It's so pretty.