Well, this week it’s time to look at some beaded Christmas ornament ideas. I’ve just published my newest Christmas ornament, a 6″ beaded candy cane. So, Christmas decorations have been on my mind and my beading mat this past week!
Hopefully, you’ve been following along with my Be Prepared campaign. Last week I showed you how to make a simple beaded card. This week, I encourage you to start thinking about decorations. So, let me help with some inspiration.
I decided to enlist the help of some fabulous beading designers. Between us, we’ll be giving you inspiration for your own ornaments, colour schemes and Festive traditions.
Meet The Designers
Let me just briefly introduce you to the wonderful designers.
- Chloe Menage is based here in the UK and sells her tutorials through her PinkHot website.
- Cath Thomas was born in the Netherlands, but now lives in Switzerland. You can find her gorgeous work at Cath Thomas Designs.
- Helena Tang-Lim lives in the Far East and I’m sure you already know her exquisite seed bead designs. If not, check out her website here.
- Erika Sandor now lives in the Netherlands, but originally came from Slovakia. Her lovely work can be found at The Story Telling Jeweller.
So, between them, they will be giving you quite an international insight into Festive traditions! Hopefully this will set you on the right track as you start to think about this year’s beaded Christmas ornament ideas.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
In my house, as I was growing up, one of our biggest traditions was the Christmas stocking.
All of us (that’s my Mum, Dad, brother and me) had a stocking. When we were little, our parents would fill mine and my brother’s stocking, Mum would take care of Dad’s and Dad would do Mum’s (obviously Father Christmas helped too!).
The rule was stockings had to be opened all together. So, no peeking before Mum and Dad were awake! I’m sorry to say, this led to some very, very early mornings on Christmas day for my poor parents. Things grew more civilised as my brother and I grew older and less excited at the prospect of Santa!
Now, my Christmas tradition is to make a new beaded Christmas ornament each year. Now that we all live in separate houses, I try to make something for my Mum and for my brother’s family as well.
I love to have handmade ornaments and decorations, and I always try to give my close friends and family at least one handmade gift; whether it’s jewellery, crochet or edible treats. Sometimes this does make Christmas a little bit of a stressful mad rush – especially as I am never organised enough to start making in September despite best intentions every year!
I tend to make my house or tree a new decoration every year. The year before last it was felt gingerbread bunting, and last year was a new bauble. Christmas is often a good excuse to try a different craft and dare I say it, branch out from the beading!
Usually that’s when I finally slow down! Until 2 years ago I had a bead shop, and November-December used to be crazy.
My beading tradition was to organise a big sale between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to reduce the stock before we did inventory at the beginning of January. Many times our regular customers brought us something to celebrate together – traditional Christmas cookies or a jar of special tea made of real fruits.
The sale used to be an exhausting time, but I really loved those moments when we slowed down a little bit to feel the real spirit of Christmas.
Christmas is family time. I am not religious, however, this is still a very special time of the year for me. I like to remember the Christmas celebrations of my childhood with all their special traditions – decorating the tree, baking cakes, going to church early with my grandpa who was responsible for ringing the bells and after our family dinner the Christmas carols we used to sing all around the village with other children.
Even if I liked the busy life leading a bead shop, it had its disadvantages, too. For example I never had time to put up Christmas decorations in our home.
My Christmas is very different and a lot calmer since the shop has new owners. I have more time to focus on our family, and try to prepare a special decoration every year. I made this wintry cityscape with typical canal houses and snowflakes after we moved to Amsterdam.
Festive Colour Schemes
I ended up with a red and gold scheme. So, I try to make new Christmas tree ornaments and baubles that will fit with that. But I use other colouring around the rest of the house.
So, how about a few ideas to get you thinking…?
Helena’s Colour Schemes
Its different every year for me. Last year we had gold and white. Maybe this year we’ll do red and gold. Yes, always the gold 😊
Chloe’s Colour Schemes
I love to have a completely mix and match tree, but with white/yellow lights.
It’s colourful, but personal as nearly every ornament has a story – whether it was a gift, a memento from my travels or handmade by me.
Cath’s Colour Schemes
I have a special scheme of white, red and silver, with greenery.
Erika’s Colour Schemes
I have a very traditional gold-red-cream colour scheme. Eight years ago, when we moved together with my husband, we were searching for the perfect ornaments for a long time. Nothing seemed to fit our style or our budget. Until we discovered some hand-sewn, cute little figures on Sashe.sk (which is the Slovakian equivalent of Etsy.com) in these colours. Stars, Christmas trees and reindeer. They set the tone of our whole decoration, and if we happen to buy something new, then it always has to fit into this collection.
Beaded Christmas Ornament Ideas
Every year, as I try to come up with new beaded Christmas ornament ideas, I think through the traditional favourites. This is a great place to start for inspiration.
I have a particular fascination with stars and snowflakes. However, I also love making baubles. I like to try and see how I can use special Christmas motifs to decorate baubles in an unusual way. So, I was curious as to whether any of the other designers had particular favourite ornaments.
Chloe: I love the crystal beaded snowflakes. I have several of these, made from a kit by The Bead Shop Nottingham. I also enjoy my own beaded bauble designs; I have two. My leafy bauble and the Coronet Bauble.
Helena: I have a bunch of Swarovski star ornaments. I always bring them out and hang them on their own small tree.
Cath: I love them all, but I like little birds, tiny mushrooms and icicles very much too. And now that there are LED lights, I can have light decorations again, which is just wonderful.
Erika: My favourite Christmas ornament is a bronze bell I got from my grandparents. It wasn’t originally a Christmas decoration though. It used to hang from the neck of the foal when my grandmother was a child. (I moved between 4 different countries since I used it the last time, and now I’m panicking if I still have it. It is very special to me!).
Top Tips for you…
So, hopefully you now have a few beaded Christmas ornament ideas. What should you do next?
Helena’s Top Tip: If you’re planning to make your own beaded ornaments, start in July!!
Cath’s Top Tips: Do what you love! There are no rules except safety – so make sure that what you make is kid and pet safe and safe for yourself too.
Chloe’s Top Tips: Start early! And stick to Christmassy colours or bright colour pops. While a riot of colour can be great it’s generally best NOT to throw the kitchen sink at it.
Erika’s Top Tips: Start well in advance! Time pressure doesn’t favour beading, and neither does finding out last minute that you don’t have enough beads or components! Plan your purchases for the necessary materials with some extra time, too. December is busy, and your package can get delayed.
But most importantly: don’t forget to enjoy it, and don’t stress if something doesn’t work out 100 percent.
Hopefully, these anecdotes have filled you with inspiration for finding some beaded Christmas ornament ideas. If you’re still struggling, then don’t panic!
Next week, I’ll be back to show you how to make this fabulous Christmas wreath. I suggest you start getting prepared now. You will need my beaded holly leaves kit and I only have a few in stock, so grab one here!
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