I wanted some new decorations for our Christmas Tree this year, but really didn't want to pay for any. I had inherited a bunch of miss-match glass beads from a friend and decided it was time to put them to good use. Enter 'free' wire and bead ornaments!
One of the best parts about making these was that my 5 year old could help! Stringing beads on wire is really cool when you're 5. Especially when you can pick any crazy beads you want. I used similar colors for mine (all reds, greens or white...) but David liked to pick the 'cool' beads. He said I was missing out and in the end he may have been right. His looked pretty cool, especially on the tree.
So here's how to make your own...
1.String about 2 1/2 feet of beads onto wire. Don't cut the wire at this time. I used 24 gauge painted floral wire. (I tried 22 gauge too and it worked but not as well.) It helps to have some beads that are a little bit bigger. They keep the wire slipping and uncoiling when it's done.
2. blow-up a balloon and tie off to the size you want. Mine were a bit bigger than your average glass ball ornament. Leave a 3-4 inch tail and start wraping the balloon, moving the beads down the wire and placing them as you go. When you cross the top were your tail is, twist the wire together and continue wraping another direction. (Don't wrap so tight that you squish the balloon, but make sure it's snug.)
3. continue wrapping, moving the beads into place and twisting when you cross the top every so often.
4. When all your beads are on the balloon, cut your wire with about 3 feet extra. Continue wrapping the wire around the balloon, lacing it through some of the larger beads. This helps everything stay in place and not uncoil when you pop the balloon.
5. Finish wrapping and loop the wire up and down a couple times to make a hook at the top. (I like to loop the tail end under the whole mess of wire at the top and twist to hook them together. If it still feels a little flimsy you can cut another few feet of wire and wrap some more.
6. Pop the balloon and you're done!
Now just hang them on your tree and watch them sparkle!