Holiday Beading Ideas from Readers

Dec 4, 2007

Holiday Gift Ideas from Beading Daily Readers 

Beaded holiday pin by reader
Karen Nicholson

"YES!!!!"

"Are you serious?!?"

"Are there any other kind?"

That how 95% of you answered the question: "Will you be making beaded gifts this year?" That's not surprising. What is surprising is the number of gifts. More than half of the more than 800 respondents claimed that they would be making a minimum (a minimum!) of six handmade gifts each.

Let's do the math. (Or rather, let me do the math--you probably should sit back and string a few more beads on that bracelet if you really expect to finish it on time!) That's more than 2,400 gifts--and that's not including all the folks who admitted to making somewhere between one and five gifts this year. Add those and we're talking at least 3,500 beautiful beaded gifts from just those who answered the poll. Whew!

So, what kinds of gifts are you making this year?

Earrings, bracelets, and ornaments were at the top of your gift-giving list. (Check out the holiday gallery to see some of the gifts that Beading Daily readers are giving this year.) Other items mentioned: wine charms, dolls, stitch markers, rings, necklaces, angel pins, beaded dragon, purses, eyeglass holders, beaded egg box, cell phone fobs, Christmas cards, needle cases, bookmarks . . .

"Right now, I'm in the process of beading a Tabasco cover for my uncle, who eats every meal with the stuff. Since he carries a bottle of it in the restaurant with him, I thought that I would give him an attractive cover for it. It's always so hard to give men beaded gifts that you know they will use." 

A few readers mentioned the netted snowflake ornament featured on Beading Daily awhile ago. I made my own version and admit that this easy netting project has its charms--and according to one reader, at least one special power:

"The inspiration fairy has been ABSENT!! Thank you so much for the snowflake ornament--a netted snowflake brought her right back!"

Some of the lucky gift recipients include: daughters, sisters, mothers, nieces, aunts, friends, office workers, neighbors, hairdressers, and teachers.

"For my sister who has (and can get) everything . . . except a priceless beaded necklace from her less fortunate, albeit more talented, sister."

My version of the snowflake ornament

Of course, not everyone is easy to bead for. Men were often mentioned in this "difficult" category, but they weren't alone:

"If I'm able, I'll make gift sets for my four nieces. I know what I like, but I think females between 13 and 25 prefer something simpler. If anyone has ideas that have won praises, I'd love to hear about it or see an example."

But what about other beaders?

"I've decided that even making bead gifts for my beady friends is OK... after all, I have a different design sense than they do... and it's nice to have things that are not all your design."

Be warned, those of you who are making beaded gifts for the first time this year--this may easily become a tradition!

"My nieces, sister-in-laws, and friends all look forward to jewelry gifts. One year I gave something else, thinking they might be tired of always getting jewelry, and they all asked what happened to their jewelry gifts!"

"It's expected of me... Now that I 'Bead Daily'!"

"If I don't bestow beaded creations for the holiday, the relatives will hunt me down and string me up on the Christmas tree!!"

"I figure I'll make an ornament with a different beaded pattern every year, so they'll end up with quite a collection!"

"I've created a monster with giving jewelry gifts. Now my friends and family can't wait to see what they will get this year and they started hinting back in October."

Above: A Christmas necklace by reader Capitola Girl

What stops us from giving beaded gifts? A couple of people mentioned ungrateful recipients and lack of funds, but by far, time seems to be the universal enemy:

"I would love to make all beaded gifts but I have to earn a living. Horrible when real life gets in the way of beading!"

"I always plan to make handmade gifts, but never seem the have the time. Even though I'm making several gifts this year it's not as many as I had originally intended. Oh well, maybe next year!"

Of course, maybe it depends upon what other crafts you enjoy:

"I usually knit for people, but beading is so much faster!" 

The sensible among us know to simplify when time runs short:

"When planning to give a number of gifts, I tend to think lots about the style and color preferences of the person I give to but due to the time it takes to do off loom beadweaving, I also tend to be less creative and make simpler bracelets instead of more time consuming necklaces."

"Mostly quick earrings. Life's too busy for more complex, but even these are amazingly satisfying."

But not the overachievers . . .

"I am making bracelets to go with scarves I have knit."

"I am making netted snowflakes for co-workers--roughly 45. I always make a few extra because you just never know who's going to be dropping by unexpectedly."

Simple Christmas Tree Earrings

"A nephew and his wife have a goal for me -- to cover their 10 foot tall Christmas tree with my beaded ornaments. I'm about 10% there. How wonderful to be so appreciated!"

"Probably close to 15 or 20 [gifts], but at least that beats the 58 ornaments last year!"

Of course, time isn't the only challenge:

"I sure hope that I give them away, and not end up keeping them for myself, and then buying a box of candy to give as a gift instead!!" 

Never underestimate the power of chocolate! 


 

 

Beaded Gift Wrapping Tip

"Mailing out gifts this year? After addressing your package, sprinkle some tiny beads sparingly around the addressee label without obscuring the information, then tape them down with clear packing tape, smoothing the tape securely. Instant festivity!"--Step by Step Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays

 


 

Coming Friday: Polymer clay beads by readers, plus an interview with Carol Blackburn.

Looking for more ornament ideas?  Check out "Ornament Thursday" on Candie Cooper's blog.  Each Thursday, Candie and other beading bloggers will publish photos and instructions for handmade Christmas ornaments.


 

 

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She still has at least two more pairs of earrings to make as gifts.



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Comments

NitzaA wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 11:29 AM
I have to make at least 3 sets of crystal jewelry before December 22... and this is only for the essential family members. The extended family is another story and beads... to come. Also try to find time for make one set for me and my husband before the year ends!!! Happy Holidays to Everyone!!!!
WandaG@5 wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 12:52 PM
Dragon!
Someone is making a beaded Dragon!!!!
Oh My Gods!
Can you tell? I LOVE my dragons! I give a sharp claw & a hooked tooth to see this beaded wonder. I'm not being sarcastic, but very sincere!

Happy Holidays!
Dragondnacer (see the connection? LOL)
DebiM@8 wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 1:20 PM
I have found a safe easy beading gift for girls between 13 & 25 are anklets. They all seem to love a beachie kind of anklet. Shells, bamboo, freshwater pearls etc...
DebiM@8 wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 1:20 PM
I have found a safe easy beading gift for girls between 13 & 25 are anklets. They all seem to love a beachie kind of anklet. Shells, bamboo, freshwater pearls etc...
mcdyer wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 2:59 PM
I usually do about 10 beaded gifts for Christmas between friends and family. This year I am embellishing purchased shirts for most of them. knit shirts for the most part, a couple of v-neck T-shirt types and the rest are scoop neck long sleeved knit shirts, the necks offer some embellishment opportunities. I looked for some knit shirts with collars like the one I did for myself recently, but of course, I couldn't find any/enough. Happy Beading.
SharonB@87 wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 3:02 PM
Look for grandmothers or mothers old beads and put them into a Christmas ornament holder, strung on sterling silver wire or beading wire, so the family can always have them.
on Dec 5, 2007 5:07 PM
Reader Diana shared this advice:

"The lady who wrote and said she needed help knowing what to design and make for teens has the same problem lots of us do. I would suggest to her that she go into a store geared for teens and look at jewelry there. She'll get ideas and then be able to put together her own unique presents."
SandyC@34 wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 7:18 PM
I didn't see any beaded Christmas pins in any of the beaders comments. I am making beaded Fleur Russe pins for all the girls that I work with. The pattern is from Beadwork Magazine December 2006/January 2007. They work up really fast and I can't wait to see their faces when they receive them.
bogate wrote
on Dec 5, 2007 7:19 PM
I love the geometric star ornament that Karen did in the gallery. I would love to know if there is a pattern available anywhere for doing them. Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks.
on Dec 7, 2007 12:45 AM
To the person with 13 yr old girls, try things in the colors from the Harry Potter books/movies. I just finished a set of 4 bracelets in those colors.
Farfella68 wrote
on Dec 14, 2007 3:12 AM
I really enjoyed making the snowflake ornament. It didn't take long to whip up five of them. I had more trouble figuring out what beads I wanted to use!! I even tried using cube beads instead of crystals, and they turned out very beautiful. This is such a wonderful pattern. I try to make Christmas ornaments every year for everyone in my family. These ornaments will be perfect for even decorating the front of a gift. Great idea!!

farfella68
Karol@5 wrote
on Mar 24, 2008 10:05 PM
I would like to learn how to make a decorative fob for my cell phone. Anyone have an idea. Karol
Karol@5 wrote
on Mar 24, 2008 10:07 PM
I would like to learn how to make a decorative fob for my cell phone. Anyone have an idea. Karol
Karol@5 wrote
on Mar 24, 2008 10:19 PM
I would like to learn how to make a decorative fob for my cell phone. Anyone have an idea. Karol