Beaded Holiday Gifts You Can Make This Weekend
“Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving.” -B.C. Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine
It’s fun to make beaded holiday gifts that your friends can wear every day, and a lovely way to share your favorite hobby with people you love. Your time and passion are two of the finest gifts you can give. When you’re making gifts for friends and family, it’s important to take careful consideration of their tastes and preferences along with what you’ll enjoy making – it’s your time, after all, so you should choose jewelry projects you’ll love to create.
The Gift of a Hobby
In addition to your recipient benefitting from your time and creativity, many a dedicated beader has grown from a thoughtful beaded gift. You never know when your gift of beaded jewelry might inspire your recipient to get started on their own beading journey. Beadwork Designer of the Year Susan Sassoon got hooked on beading when a neighbor gave her a beautiful crystal bracelet. Her neighbor’s gift led Susan to a new path of creativity and friendship.
Beaded holiday gifts are great excuses to practice new stitches or branch out with new color combinations. Of course, there are many ways you can personalize a beaded jewelry gift while learning something new to add to your own repertoire. Read on for beaded jewelry projects that you can make in an evening or a weekend, with tips for customizing your beadwork.
Beaded Holiday Gifts
Inspired by the quatrefoil windows of Gothic architecture, the Chapel Windows bracelet by Shae Wilhite has the same look and feel of bead crochet but it’s easier to do with tubular brick stitch. It also works up fairly quickly with size 8 seed beads that you can stitch in three colors. This type of bracelet is pretty forgiving—it’s 7-1/2” (inside circumference) and fits the average size wrist, so it’s a good one-size-fits-most bangle design.
Es-o Express Cuff
I love the bright colors of this Es-o Express Cuff! Use a herringbone stitch variation with two-hole Es-o Mini beads to create a bracelet of perfectly nestled beads in this intriguing color block design. The beads are fun to play with and the resulting bracelet makes a beautiful, meaningful gift. The subtle chevron pattern can be a reminder to “follow your arrow.” The other side of that coin, of course, is that you’ll be there for your friend as they find their way. This bracelet would also be striking in team colors, if sports are your recipient’s bag.
Fan Flower Earrings
Stitch the Fan Flower Earrings by Penny Dixon. The fan flower is native to northern Australia and also goes by the name of Scaevola or Fairy Fan. Use two-hole daggers and tiles to make the elegant dangles in the colors as shown or substitute your recipient’s favorite colors for an even bigger WOW factor. The earring pattern could also be used to make sweet dangles for a necklace or bracelet, if you want to make a matching set. Experiment with simple netting and picot stitches as you create this special gift.
The fun Knot Me Necklace by Cody Westfall is right on trend, whether you make it in everyday colors or a festive holiday palette. I recently saw a similar design in an upscale department store and loved the way they styled it with a variety of necklines. You’ll use multiple strands of round beads to make the necklace in crystals, gemstone beads, druks (as shown) or any of your favorite beads. It just takes a few easy steps to complete the look, so you’ll be able to make it for beaded holiday gifts in no time at all.
Give your friends the gift of Zen with Janice Berkebile’s Pagoda Earrings. These graceful earrings are inspired by the contours found in traditional Japanese motifs. The wire-wrapped framework provides the roofline, while the beaded droplets resemble petals or raindrops. Lao Tzu said, “If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” I like the double meaning of this quote, which would be fun to include with your gift.
Quick + Easy Earrings
Quick + Easy Earrings are some of my favorite beaded holiday gifts. They’re one-size-fits-all so you don’t have to worry about the fit—and you can easily customize them with the recipient’s favorite colors, birthstones, or meaningful gemstones. I made these earrings in three variations: single beaded drop dangle; jointed beaded dangle; multiple beaded dangle chandelier. If you’re already an earring expert, you can use this project as the framework for introducing a friend to the art of beaded jewelry making.
Beaded Holiday Gifts and Jewelry Ideas
“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – Peg Bracken, author of I Hate to Cook.
These lovely beading ideas are perfect for last minute gifts that your friends and family will wear all year long. For more holiday-inspired projects, be sure to check out 5 Free Holiday Jewelry Projects: Perfect Beaded Gifts to Make for jewelry that makes great holiday gifts. I hope you have a fun time making, wearing, and sharing your handmade gifts this season.
Interim Managing Editor, Beadwork