Netted Snowflake, Myrrh Beads, and Other Holiday Beading Ideas

Nov 18, 2007

Holiday Beading Projects

Are you making any beaded gifts this year? Over the weekend, I made my first beaded holiday gift--a quick necklace for my stylish new office mate. (I'll share a photo next week.) I also have two pairs of chain maille earrings on my gift-giving list this year, plus the snowflake below, which I'll probably use to decorate a good friend's Christmas gift. (I also have a long list of "if I have time" projects.) After Thanksgiving, I will share a few holiday projects by readers.

Here are four projects to kick off your gift-making this year:


Snowflake Ornament
by Robin Cowart


Mistletoe
by Amy Boehm


Beaded Pinecones
by Arlene Baker


Christmas Tree Earrings
by Brenda Tumeo

View all holiday or special occasion projects 


Not Your Ordinary Bead . . . Myrrh Beads

Beading Daily reader Dorothy asked me about myrrh beads for holiday necklaces. (Myrrh was one of the gifts of the three wise men.) I did a little research and found that the scented beads are made from the hardened sap of the Myrrh tree. Look for them at places that carry African trade beads.

Jeanne A. E. DeVoto used myrrh beads in a turquoise, polymer clay, and silver necklace. You can see a larger photo on her website. She had this advice to share about working with myrrh:

"Myrrh beads are fragile and they can blacken over time when worn, particularly if your skin is acidic. If you work with myrrh, be prepared to restring the piece every so often. I personally think it's well worth it for the scent, but someone who doesn't care about the scent and just wants the look might want to lacquer the myrrh."

An update to this story appears in the "comments" section.  A good reminder of "buyer beware" when it comes to any type of purchase!


Buy Handmade

Interweave Press is one of the sponsors of the "Buy Handmade" campaign that encourages people to shop for handmade gifts and support independent artists like yourself! You can read more about this effort and sign the online pledge.

I've already talked to one person who was upset by the "Buy Handmade" message--she thought we should be promoting making handmade gifts, not buying them. But "Buy Handmade" doesn't have to mean only purchasing a finished gift--it could include buying components like handmade beads or handspun yarn, or even buying brownies from a local bake sale that you munch on while you're creating! It's all about thinking outside the box (a.k.a. "the big box stores") for some of your holiday shopping.


 Coming This Week: On Wednesday, we'll have a new poll. We'll be having a short week because of the Thanksgiving holiday--no Beading Daily email on Thursday or Friday.

Thanks to everyone who posted such warm and encouraging advice for new designers on Friday ("4 Jewelry Business Tips"). Becca really appreciated it--and so did I!


Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She had fun researching myrrh beads. If you are curious about any unusual beads, let her know!



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Comments

Janet@211 wrote
on Nov 24, 2007 10:59 PM
Hi! I've started making some holiday gifts. A few years ago I started my brother-in-law on a fish-themed collection. He didn't have any collections, so I volunteered this one for him. I decided he needed a fish theme. Since then, the entire family has joined in. He's up to about a fifty fish-shaped items, from the TV remote to picture frames and slippers.

This year, I'm beading him a fish-shaped trivet for his kitchen. I'm using wire and ceramic beads to it won't melt. Next year? I'm going to bead him a colander with a fish pattern in the sides if I can figure out how to make it food-safe and easy to clean.

I also believe in multi-use gifts. If you attach a bow to the trivet, it makes a great ornament!
on Nov 30, 2007 11:54 AM
A Beading Daily reader pointed out that myrrh beads are really "myrrh" beads, meaning that they are not made out of real myrrh. There's a great description of "myrrh" beads in the book Botanical Beads of the World by Ruth J. Smith.
africanbeads wrote
on Oct 10, 2010 11:51 AM

Handmade beads are the best! It is so tragic that mass-produced beads are becoming so acceptable in the beading community.

We sell some <a href="www.thebeadchest.com/.../myrrh-201.htm" title="Mrryh beads">African Myrrh beads</a> that are also very unique, in case anyone is interested :)