Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Countdown to Christmas

This week I will be buying the largest Christmas tree I can afford and shall begin to deck the Braunbarth halls! This is the third year that I have been able to take it a little easier in December, most of my lovely customers have done their big bead shop for their Christmas makes so December sees smaller top up orders and gives me some time to create, I love it! Proper time to prepare, I may even bake and I am NO baker!

As often as I have been able, at Christmas I make! Whether it be new decorations, Christmas cards, jewellery as a gift or at the very least some creative present wrapping. The more time I have the more I will make it’s a great way to spread the Christmas period out for as long as possible.Here are couple of my Christmassy makes from last year

My fire place Garland
 Hearts and trees that I attached to cards for my Family Christmas cards

I thought I would share with you one of my favourite little makes for Christmas - bead decorations using ribbon wrapped beads. A simple process and all you need is a tapestry needle (blunt ended), ribbon, Fabric Hypo cement glue and large hole beads. 

Ribbon Bead Tutorial 

To make you ribbon wrapped beads thread your ribbon onto a darning needle (blunt ended) and pull once through the bead, then secure the end with a small dab of glue (see dark brown bead in image 1). Keep threading the ribbon through the bead pulling tight after every loop, as you work around the bead slightly overlap the last piece of ribbon and work in a clockwise direction until you have completely covered the bead (red gingham bead image 2). As you work around the bead try to make sure that you pull the ribbon tight so that you don’t block the hole, you will need to get a headpin or wire through the bead later on.

When you get close to finishing you may find it difficult to pull the needle through the bead, it may help to use a pair of pliers to pull the needle through. When you have as many strands as you need, secure the last loop of ribbon with a small dab of glue then trim the ribbon as close to the bead as you can.

After the glue has dried push an eye pin through the bead; make sure you go with the ribbon rather than against it ensuring that you don’t push the ribbon just trimmed back through the hole. With a pair of round nose pliers make a loop on the other side and trim the remaining wire. Bead caps are a nice addition. 

Tip - You will need large hole beads for ribbon wrapping, the wider or thicker the ribbon the large the hole needs to be.
  Step 1.

Step 2.

 Some ribbon wrapped beads
using various different sizes and shapes of beads

One of my favourite finished decorations

We have some gorgeous ribbons on the Smitten website as well as lots of beads suitable for wrapping here are some links to the most appropriate....

Beads for wrapping - Frosted acrylics - Large wooden beads
Ribbons for wrapping - Sari silks - 4mm ribbons - 10mm Gingham - 10mm edged - 7mm velvet
Glass and crystal accent beads - 8x6mm donut opaque red - large crystal donuts
Organza ribbons for hanging your ornament - 4mm organza
Bead caps - All bead caps

Enjoy the festive season everyone!

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