Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Pearl Christmas Ornaments!

My version of a pearl Christmas ornament!

I was going through old beads, and found a stash of glass pearls.  In trying to find something Christmasy to do with them, as well as destash some supplies to make room for NEW beads, I came across this blog idea by RoomMom27:

I liked the idea of filling ornaments with pearls for several reasons:

1) no glue!
2) no mess!  (see above)
3) no lost beads over time (b/c glue gave out)
4) my 3 year old could help me!

So I went to Michaels to collect the rest of the supplies.  Since I already had beads, I spent less than $2 per ornament.  If you need to buy beads, you might spend closer to $5 per ornament - the total price will depend on what pearls you chose to use and how good a sale you find!

 - pearls - chose 1 size or various sizes - quantity will depend on pearl size, strand length, etc.
 - ornament - 80 mm disc (flat) ornament in shatterproof plastic (smallest size I could find)
 - grape clusters

I needed between 1-2 pearl strands per ornament, and 1 grape cluster.  I chose to use grape clusters to fill in gaps, make the ornaments lighter (glass pearls are heavy!), and have a distinct variety in sizes.  Plus I was trying to get rid of glass pearls, not purchase more! 

The shatterproof ornament was a good idea in my household with two girls under 4 years of age.  Plus, you can be heavier handed with them (ahem, pushing those grapes in can be snug!) and not break them.  The disc shape (flattened rounded coin) helped reduce the amount of pearls needed to fill the gaps and resulted in ornaments where most of the material inside was visible from outside, instead of hidden in the middle of a ball.

FIRST - Remove all tags, strip the leaves from the grape clusters (I hate waste so I kept these to add to my ornaments at the end!), and cut off the grapes.  A sturdy pair of scissors should work, but the grapes are held on by wire, so you could use wire cutters if you have them.

SECOND - Remove pearls from strands, if you have strands.  A bowl or container is useful to keep materials from rolling off the table.  Then, pull off the ornament caps and start adding grapes and pearls! Layer them - some pearls, some grapes, some pearls, some more grapes, etc.  I found I got the best results by filling the ornament 1/2 full of grapes, then adding pearls, shaking gently to distribute them, and then adding more grapes and pearls.  I added a grape last, to fill in the neck of the ornament.

THIRD - Add the cap back on, and twist 2 leaves together by the leaves.  Wind the remaining wire around the neck of the ornament and twist the end together.  Bend the remaining wire back towards the ornament so it doesn't stick out and poke anyone!

FOURTH - Stand back and admire your work!  Hang on trees, presents, garlands, etc.!

Here are some other pearl Christmas ornament tuts that I found that you might enjoy:

Craftberry Bush:  Pearl Strands
DIY Network:  Pearl Styrofoam Balls
DIY Divas:  Pearl Ornament

Happy Creating and Merry Christmas!