Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them)

Design Idea F54K Ornament
by Barbara van Look, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

From baking cookies and hanging stockings to putting up house lights and decorating a tree--the holidays are almost nothing but traditions. Why not add to your list of Christmas traditions using your beads and jewelry-making supplies, and have more fun together?

Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them)

One of the traditions in my family is each person gets one brand-new ornament every year. Some have been bought at craft fairs, some have been made by family, some have been inheritances we were finally old enough to handle. Year to year, those ornaments filled the tree, making memories. When I finally had a home of my own (and a tree of my own), those ornaments came with me to start my own holiday traditions. From beaded candy canes to ''Sparkly Christmas Ornaments'', beads and jewelry-making supplies embellish my holidays.

They can embellish yours, too. Here's how:

1. Make Ornaments
As you might expect, this is a favorite of mine! Kids can participate in this, if they've got adult supervision and are using kid-appropriate beads and glues.
  • A length of wire with alternating acrylic red and white glass-based pearls? You've got a candy cane!
  • Use an ornament frame and add beads, glitter, polymer clay, Gilders Paste®, wire and other jewelry-making supplies for sparkle, color and shine!
  • Use a clear glass ornament and fill it with colorful seed beads. Glue the top on so no beads can escape and you've got a great home-made piece of décor.
There are tons of other ornaments you can make using bead embroidery, loomwork and other techniques.

Ornament Frames Glass Ornaments

Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) 2. Embellish Holiday Décor
The seed beaders, fabric embellishers and wireworkers have a home advantage with this category:
  • Seed bead aficionados can use the peyote stitch loops in this bracelet by Tammy Honaman as the basis for a bead lover's version of the paper chain garland. Use silver-lined, metallic-coated or rainbow-finished types for additional shimmer and shine.
  • Embellish table runners or figurines with beads, seed beads, pearls and other jewelry-making supplies for a festive addition!
  • Wire, links and jumprings are ideal for adding Swarovski® crystal beads, drops, monteés and other sparkly delights to candle holders. Flat back crystals glue on fabulously, too, with no need for tools or too much hand-eye coordination. (Still, go light on the eggnog, okay?)
Mixing the three (seed beads, fabric and wirework)? Pure holiday magic!

Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them)

3. Jewelry, Accessory and Other Gifts
Well, of course you could make gifts! There's nothing wrong with making them to spec, with your giftee right in the room, either.

In my family, St. Nicholas' Night (December 5th), was when that right jolly old elf came to our house to pick up our letters to Santa. That meant our stockings had to go up and the banister needed to be decorated. You can do the same--or just exchange some "stocking gifts"--as we did when we got older.
  • Earrings! This holiday- and winter-themed collection uses snowflakes, Santa, Christmas trees, menorahs, snowmen and other holiday-specific ideas for tiny gifts that are easy to assemble.
Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them)

Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them)

Don't forget about making holiday cards, too!

Build your family traditions with a beading or jewelry-making session sometime during the season. Then you can decorate and embellish your holidays with your family, instead of worrying about getting it all done before they arrive!

Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them) Holiday Jewelry-Making Traditions (and How to Start Them)

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