Last-Minute Gift-Making Ideas
Many of you reading this know me. You know I’d never attempt to make a turducken. I rarely get organized enough to send out greeting cards. And you know you’d be at the wrong house if there were an inflatable snowman in the front yard. However, these qualities do not confirm Scroogehood! On the contrary–I really love the holidays. I savor the smells of the cinnamon-infused pinecones in my fireplace. I get great joy in hanging the kids’ fading construction-paper holiday art. And having friends and family over for a great meal and a rousing game of Sardines is at the top of my Favorite Things To Do list.
The other thing I delight in around the holidays is the fierce gift-making. At our house we make all kinds of stuff for family and friends, but for me, there’s just nothing like making jewelry for someone else. Keeping the receiver in mind while I place every bead is like spending time with them. Unfortunately for gift-giving jewelry-makers like us, the holidays are right around the corner and our jewelry-making hours are wearing thin. Thankfully there are some beading projects that are so instantly gratifying that there’s still time to squeeze them in. Here’s a few you can easily add to your list:
1. Pearls for Girls
Every girl needs pearls in her jewelry box, whether she’s the country club type or a head-banging rocker. Plus, pearls are perfect for holiday wear. Go traditional by making a knotted necklace of round pearls on a silk cord, or do your own thing by using a variety of pearl shapes and mixing in crystals, charms, and metal beads. There are all kinds of pearl jewelry ideas in my book Beaded Weddings (how’s that for a shameless plug?), but there’s also some other great projects right here on Beading Daily:
2. Chain Chain Chains
With the huge variety of chains available at bead shops today and the continued popularity of the look, just linking together a bunch of different chains with beaded links and calling it a necklace is a fantastic last-minute gift. If you’re not the whip-it-together type, try these stylish projects:
- Lovely Links Necklace by Katie Hacker
- Solstice by the Sea by Andrew Thornton (free)
- Squiddy by Danielle Fox
3. Meditation Strings
With all that’s going on in the world today, a little contemplation ain’t so bad, no matter what your spiritual beliefs. There are as many types of meditation strings/prayer beads as there are religions, so string some up and give them as gifts.
4. Earring Bonanza
Earrings are just a given when it’s time for gift-giving. A dangle on a French ear wire is the standard combo for a quick jewelry gift. Consider using hoops, posts, or ear strings for a different look, or try one of these projects:
- Christmas Tree Earrings by Brenda Tumeo (free)
- Norwegian Filigree Earrings by Jeanne Rhodes-Moen
- Whimsical Whisks by Denise Peck
5. Something Festive
A charm or colorful lampworked bead wireworked to a floral peg is a great androgynous hostess gift—these little picks give houseplants some mid-winter cheer. Really, anything in green, red, gold, silver, or blue works. Be sure to give holiday-themed gifts before the holidays so your giftee won’t have to wait until next year to use them.
6. Thing on a String
Okay, this is just really a no-brainer. Find a string and put on a thing! That means organza + beautiful crystal, leather cord + a handmade pendant, chain + a silver-lined lampworked bead, etc. The possibilities are endless and it will take you only seconds to make.
Are you really out of time? Here’s a GREAT gift idea, sure to give any beader a thrill: Place round-trip airfare or mileage and a Bead Fest gift certificate into a snazzy new storage unit; plop on a big red bow. Done! (No one can call you Scrooge now, Mrs. Fezziwig!)
Do you have some ideas for quick beaded gifts? Share them on the website!
Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks!