10 Reasons We Love Making Beaded Gifts

Dec 20, 2007

y Holiday Beading

Above: One of my holiday gifts decorated with a ceramic snowman bead from Studio 59.

I've finished my holiday beading! It helped that my list was short this year--two pairs of earrings, a purple chain maille bracelet, and a few beaded snowflakes. I also stretched the meaning of "beading" gifts: For one of my beading friends--a busy mom--I created a simple earring kit with some handmade ceramic cupcake beads, ear wires, headpins, and round beads for the top of the cupcake. I also promised another friend with a 6-year-old daughter that I would come over one day and make some "Princess jewelry" with large, sparkly plastic beads and elastic cord. (I have a feeling that the experience will be more of an education for me than for the 6-year-old!)

So why do we love to make beaded gifts? Here are 10 reasons from Beading Daily readers:

1. It's personal.

"I think it's a rather nice personal touch to give a handmade gift no matter what it is."

"I really enjoy making jewelry gifts for my friends. I have gotten requests from family members on things they would like and it sure makes Christmas shopping a lot easier. Also, it really makes me feel good to see my friends wear things that I have made for them."

2. It costs less.

"It makes sense financially. (I do not really have much money to spend on gifts, so I'll make them myself.)"

"Everyone loves jewelry and I can make it so much cheaper than purchasing it."

"My husband is in Iraq so it is helping me to pass the time, plus saving money and giving our family and friends something really nice for Christmas."

3. It's safer.

"I always make beaded gifts as well as other types of handmade items for the holidays, but this year seems even more important with all the recalls on products out of China. It's time for America to get back to its roots!"

4. It makes good business sense.

"Just about everyone on my list will be getting beaded jewelry this year, including the guys! I look at it as a gift for them and free advertisement of my work for me!"

5. It beats shopping.

"I HATE to shop, even before I worked retail, I HATED it. This way, I get to be creative in spurts and everyone loves the uniqueness of their gifts."

6. It's a fun way to learn--and show-off--new skills:

"Knotted pearl necklaces all around since I finally mastered knotting."

"I will be making about 20-25 pairs of coin pearl dangle earrings. My wire wrapping skills are getting better already and I'm only halfway through."

7. It's a fabulous recruiting tool.

"My dear sister-in-law brought me a gift of a lovely turquoise peyote bracelet, I loved it and asked her to show me how to make it. Now, at least 10 beaded projects later, I'm seriously hooked!"

8. It's good stress relief.

"Last year I made 20-something beaded animals, pikachus, Glindas, balls, snowmen, etc. for my people as Christmas gifts, but also because I needed a little bit of anti-stress therapy (horrible evil exams)."

"It's less stressful than shopping at the mall and trying to get that person, just the right something. This is from the heart."

9. It's tradition.

"It's tradition that my mom gets a new jewelry set every year for Christmas."

10. It's hard to explain.

"I must be crazy!!"


Beading Daily goes on vacation!There will be no Beading Daily email again until January 2, 2008. Here are a few things to keep you busy in the meantime:

  • New Free Project:Montee Magic Earrings by Katherine Schwartzenberger. These crystal and seed bead earrings are perfect for holiday parties and last-minute gifts. The matching bracelet project is featured on the cover of the February/March 2008 issue of Beadwork magazine on sale January 15, 2008. Katherine describes herself as a new beader, but if these projects are any indication, I think we'll be seeing more of her work!


Bead Spa Jar
by Melinda Barta
Purchase PDF Download

  • New Poll: Do you brick stitch to Beyoncé? Or do you string along to Beethoven? I thought it would be fun to post a play list of songs that everyone enjoys listening to while beading. Take a minute to answer the new poll: Do you listen to music while you bead?

  • New Year's Beading Resolutions: Are there new techniques you want to learn? How about getting that bead stash organized? I'll be writing about beading resolutions when I get back.

  • Shop the Beading Daily Store: There's still time to make a few last-minute gifts, like the brick-stitch spa jar lid pictured at left.

Story Updates: Several readers sent in great tips for Wednesday's snowflake project--be sure to check those out! I've also added a photo of reader Diane Smith's bugle bead necklace, since there was a question about her technique. Finally, if you missed the interview with clay bead artist Melanie Brooks Lukacs, you may want to take a look--and learn how to enter her holiday bead giveaway!

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. And yes, she is going to bead during her vacation! How could she not?

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Zaz wrote
on Dec 21, 2007 12:42 PM
hi michelle,
thank you so much for those montee earrings, i will make those with my sister... lol now i have two of your projects that i mean to make with her, and she's going to be here for just 4 days!!!
they are lovely, and montee in french is when you speak about a cake for a wedding with many tiers.
cheers michelle :x
MaryH@172 wrote
on Dec 21, 2007 1:37 PM
Question - I have terrible trouble making "simple" stretch bracelets. Any tips for tying them? Keeping them tied?
on Dec 23, 2007 6:03 PM
It's great to custom tailor gift to recipient but I wish the projects were published in October! December magazines get here IN December& I can't bead that fast.SO they get LASTyears project Mele Kalikimaka!!!
CindyD@29 wrote
on Jan 1, 2008 8:30 AM
Your right, a lot of the supplies are sold out by then as well.

Is there a blogging site or a continuous thread here for just beading questions not related to any particular project?
on Jan 3, 2008 12:02 PM
Giving the gift of a bead project was perfect for me this year. I tend to be fussy with my projects and very self critical, however I let go this year and made a couple of earrings, a necklace and even a matching watch for a good friend who I know appreciates the effort. I also put together a basket of very pretty and sparkly beads and findings for my mother so that she can make a set of earrings for herself. She is always inventing for me. She would surely make these with what she received.
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