Wednesday, September 19, 2012

TUTORIAL Shiny Brite Vintage Style Christmas Ornaments

These are some ornaments I made to go into a NAME Day project - a Market Stall.  Here is how I made them:

Start with cheap-o plastic beads from Hobby Lobby.  These look sort of like crinkled foil but when you add glitter they look like glitter ornaments.  Also I used a couple of plain colored pearl beads to look like the "Shiny Brite" brand vintage ornaments.

 Ornament hangers: To make the hanger and bead cap,

Cut a piece of 34 gauge wire about 6 inches long.  With about ¾” tail, hold the tail and wrap the wire twice around the shaft of a 2 inch long T-pin (this type of pin makes a nicely scaled ring).  This will be the tiny ring of the ornament.

Now grasp both the wires with a needlenose plier.  Holding both wires about ½ inch from the pin, begin twisting the pin about 10 times.

Twist tightly right up to the pin making a tiny round circle of wire around the pin.

With wire cutters, cut the twist leaving about ½ inch of twisted wire (or a little shorter is OK – you’ll decide how short future ones need to be after you’ve made a few ornaments).  Make several of these at once to save time.
Bead caps: I made tiny bead caps from flower shaped glitter, these tiny flowers were about 4mm across when flat.  To cup them and put a hole in the center use a corsage pin and piece of thick craft foam (about ¼ inch thick).  Poke the corsage pin through the center of the flower and slide the flower up and down the pin so the hole will be big enough to put the twisted wire from the hanger through.  To paint them gold, set a few of them on a strip of double stick tape on an index card.  Use a gold paint pen to paint them.  When dry, scrape them off the tape. (On some ornaments I didn’t use the bead cap, only the seed bead and circle wire hanger.)

Assembling the Ornaments:

Plain glass with bead cap – use the prettiest beads with a design on them already so all they need is a cap and hanger.  I found some glass beads with a swirled design in gold at Hobby Lobby.  Take a hanger (twisted wire with circle at top) and thread the wire through a gold seed bead then through one of the cupped flower shaped caps.  Put a blob of super or jewelry glue on the bead hole then push the wire through.  Trim any wire extending through the other end of the hole.
ON left are textured beads.  On right are pearl bead ornaments.  Both have glitter added.
Glitter decorated – hold a pearl or other plain bead on the tip of a toothpick.  Push it on so it doesn’t turn.  Place a small amount of glitter in a small cup or tray.  With your fine point glue applicator, make fine dots all around the bead then gently touch the dots into the glitter.  For stripes or lines, similarly draw the glue in a line down from the top of the bead and dust it in the glitter.  Set the toothpicks into a paper cup to let the glitter dry then blow off excess (neat tip is to use a dry paintbrush to brush the excess glitter from the glued area.  Add bead cap and ornament hanger as instructed above.
Cover Bead Holes – use glitter in similar color to the bead to cover over the bead holes that show when ornament is done.  I noticed the textured beads have really big holes.


  1. Those ornaments are just adorable and so much fun to make.I am once again making some mini glass ornaments at this moment for a trade :-)

  2. Son monísimas.
    Feliz Navidad
    Un abrazo

  3. They look just like the real thing!

  4. Personne vous oblige à regarder. Allez voir ailleurs.

  5. What size beads and caps are you using?

  6. Hi Metabea! I guess I didn't put that info in the instructions!! I use beads that are between 6 mm and 8mm in diameter for the ornaments. For the bead cap I use gold seed beads (most of them in the photos are those) but also for a more scaled bead cap I have used gold 'delica' beads. These are the Japanese cylindrical beads and they look more like full scale ornament caps. For the flower shaped cap that fits under the gold bead I used plastic glitter shapes that were probably 3 or 4mm across. Thanks for reading my blog!

  7. Nous pouvons regarder et ne pas apprecier le magasin mentioné. Je peux comprendre pourquoi une personne n apprecie pas hobby lobby. Question religion et tout est fait en Chine.