Thursday, March 21, 2013

TUTORIAL Vintage Ornament Wreath

  • 8mm, 6mm and 4mm round colored pearl beads (plus a few very tiny ones)
  • textured ‘foil’ like beads, same sizes (Hobby Lobby brand “In Bloom")
  • gold beads oval shaped about the size of a grain of rice (I cut these off an old necklace but they are sold in craft stores)
  • 34 gauge brass wire and tiny gold seed beads for ornament caps and rings
  • ULTRAFINE glitter, gold, silver and various colors to match the beads and cover the bead holes
  • Crafter’s Pick ‘Ultimate’ glue (my favorite) put in a bottle with a tiny dispensing hole

I think it looks best when you use a variety of sizes and shapes (oval ‘rice’ beads, fluted beads). I didn’t start with finished ornaments – I made the basic wreath of plain beads then added the bead caps and rings to some of the beads after the wreath was done. This way I only put them in a few places and didn’t waste the work of making the wreath from all finished ornaments.

Draw a 1-1/4 inch circle on index card and place it under a sheet of wax paper

Select 12-14 beads (8mm) and see if they fit on the circle. Fill the holes with glitter to match the bead color.

Place beads around to get colors where you want them.

Glue them down. This is your first layer.

Select some smaller beads for the 2nd (right) and 3rd (left) layers.

Use a few very tiny pearls to fill in some of the bigger spaces when you're done (you'll see what I mean)

Note: some of the silver beads in pic above were metal spacers that I added glitter to. Bead spacers come in many shapes and sizes and even ridged or fluted styles that look very vintage! I also added glue & glitter to both ends of the rice shaped beads and sort of squished them to a point when they got a little dryer (to make an ornament that looks pointed on both ends).

Glue the second layer to the wax paper just inside the first layer.

Final (3rd) layer goes on top, arranging them so they look best for color, shape, etc.

Before all the glue is dry, make a few ornament rings from the wire and beads (see my Shiny Brite Tutorial, Sept. 2012). Fill in some of the bead holes with these rings.

Here is a photo of some other ornament wreaths I made in other color combinations:

Have fun making wreaths! Great way to use up your bead stash.