Create Stunning Holiday Jewelry with Expert Advice from Margie Deeb!

From Jennifer: I can hardly believe that it's already time for me to start thinking about holiday jewelry-making! Even if you don't have a lot of time to make new beaded jewelry for the holidays, you can still make a statement by using certain colors, finishes and types of beads for your holiday jewelry. Bead artist and color expert Margie Deeb has shared one of her past Margie's Muse columns with us today that tells you how to get maximum impact from the beads you use to add a little bit of glitz and glamor to your beaded jewelry this holiday season! You can always read more about Margie and see her other Margie's Muse columns by checking out her website,

You can make stunning holiday jewelry by carefully choosing your beads based on color and texture.

As we steer our way toward the holidays, sparkling lights and flickering candle flames beckon. When attending holiday celebra­tions, we want to dazzle at least as much as the room decor (hopefully more!) so let's delve into surface finishes best suited to the glamour, glitz, and glitter of the holiday season.

True metallic finishes like hematite, copper, and bronze add richness and depth. Muted in color, their non-distracting reflec­tivity lends an air of traditional elegance.I have a stash of 24kt gold-plated glass seed beads to last a lifetime. They are among the most gorgeous of all beads, and the gold plating doesn't tarnish or rub off. Expen­sive and worth it, these beads make stunning accents. Or, when used exclusively in weaving, they achieve a look of intricate, gold filigree. (I used these gold beads as the foundation for my Collar of Glass & Light.)

Margie's Collar of Glass and Light uses 24kt gold beads to provide a sparkling base for colorful glass daggers.

Silver-lined beads are highly reflec­tive flashes of light and color that make scintillating accents. They demand the viewer's attention, so use accordingly. Think of them as light first, and then color. Because the silver lining eventually wears away, they are not recommended for jewelry that touches skin.

Velvet fabric is a holiday favorite, and because its color is as flat as you get – reflects back almost no light – it's the perfect background on which metallics shine. Achieve the look of velvet by using matte beads, which also reflect back little light. Matte beads cause your metallic and silver-lined beads to dazzle all the more.

Elegant Holiday Texture. Holiday jewelry calls for two kinds of texture that, when combined, create sumptuous elegance.

1. Facets. Faceted beads toss flashes of light all around. Faceted beads have a visual crispness full of edges, points, and lines of light.

2. Pearls. Smooth, and silky, pearls seem to glow softly from within. Theirs is a quiet radiance. When juxtaposed against the linear sharpness of facets, pearls create a textural contrast. Contrast is always a point of interest. Combine these two opposing textures for luxurious elegance that is beguil­ing.

As for color, here's a holiday palette limited in hue and rich in texture (see photo). Gold, white, and red is a 3-member classic. Its the textures that make this simple palette gorgeous. Notice how your eye delights in the intrigue created by the various surfaces as they play against each other. For more textural interest, how about some gold chain?Lavish your holiday jewelry with contrasting texture and metallic opulence. Focus on your surface finishes, and you'll create extraor­dinary dazzle.

If you love reading Margie's expert advice for using color and texture in your beaded jewelry, you definitely want to check out the new special issue Best of Step by Step Beads. You'll find a fantastic collection of Margie's Colorworks columns, as well as forty-one easy and fun beading projects that include beaded beads, beadweaving, felted beads and metal clay. Pre-order your copy of the Best of Step by Step Beads today and get all the best of Step by Step Beads magazine in a single issue!

Do you make any special jewelry for the holiday season every year? Is your holiday jewelry for yourself or for gifts? Share your thoughts and leave a comment on the blog!

Bead Happy,


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