This time every year the subject of what to give Roo’s class teacher for a Christmas present pops up. We like to give something seasonal, something they are able to use and keep, and something that Roo can make (or at least help with) herself. Last year it was baubles, dressed up in colourful crocheted jackets, and this year we are giving beaded stars to hang on the tree.
These are perfect to make with kids; threading the beads on to the wire is a tricky job, but one Roo really likes. Every morning this week, she’s been threading her beads on the wire ready for me to twist into shape.
Here is how we’ve been doing it:
- Some thin, flexible wire. I went along to Hobbycraft and picked some up from the jewellery making section.
- Seed beads in whatever colours you like. We’ve gone for clear, pearlescent, grey and silver. Do try and get seed beads if you can, they are more fiddly to thread but I’ve made these with tiny seed beads and larger beads, and the finished stars feel a lot sturdier when the beads are smaller.
- Wire cutters or pliers.
- Thin ribbon.
- A template to bend the wire around. We picked up a cheap wooden star-shaped decoration for this.
- Time, and patience. And hopefully, some offspring to help you out.
First, cut a length of wire, and twist off at one end to stop the beads falling off.
Next thread your beads, or have the small, willing child do it. This part is fiddly and takes a while, so set it up, and then nip off to make a hot drink or something. I like it when there is no discernible pattern and the stars are random and charming.
When the length of wire has been fully threaded with the beads, twist off the other end and shape around your template. Be careful not to twist the wire too hard or it might snap.
When you’re happy with the shape, twist the two ends together and bend round into a loop. Use a pair of pliers if you have them to neaten up the ends and tuck in any sharp edges. There is no way those little beads are coming off now, and for that you can be thankful.
Finally, tie on a little ribbon so you can hang your stars (or whatever shape you like) on your Christmas tree, or from hooks, off the side of a mantle piece or shelf.
Marvel at the pretty decoration you just made.