Holiday Beading Ideas from Readers

Holiday Gift Ideas from Beading Daily Readers 

Beaded holiday pin by reader
Karen Nicholson


"Are you serious?!?"

"Are there any other kind?"

That how 95% of you answered the question: "Will you be making beaded gifts this year?" That's not surprising. What is surprising is the number of gifts. More than half of the more than 800 respondents claimed that they would be making a minimum (a minimum!) of six handmade gifts each.

Let's do the math. (Or rather, let me do the math–you probably should sit back and string a few more beads on that bracelet if you really expect to finish it on time!) That's more than 2,400 gifts–and that's not including all the folks who admitted to making somewhere between one and five gifts this year. Add those and we're talking at least 3,500 beautiful beaded gifts from just those who answered the poll. Whew!

So, what kinds of gifts are you making this year?

Earrings, bracelets, and ornaments were at the top of your gift-giving list. Other items mentioned: wine charms, dolls, stitch markers, rings, necklaces, angel pins, beaded dragon, purses, eyeglass holders, beaded egg box, cell phone fobs, Christmas cards, needle cases, bookmarks . . .

"Right now, I'm in the process of beading a Tabasco cover for my uncle, who eats every meal with the stuff. Since he carries a bottle of it in the restaurant with him, I thought that I would give him an attractive cover for it. It's always so hard to give men beaded gifts that you know they will use." 

A few readers mentioned the netted snowflake ornament featured on Beading Daily awhile ago. I made my own version and admit that this easy netting project has its charms–and according to one reader, at least one special power:

"The inspiration fairy has been ABSENT!! Thank you so much for the snowflake ornament–a netted snowflake brought her right back!"

Some of the lucky gift recipients include: daughters, sisters, mothers, nieces, aunts, friends, office workers, neighbors, hairdressers, and teachers.

"For my sister who has (and can get) everything . . . except a priceless beaded necklace from her less fortunate, albeit more talented, sister."

My version of the snowflake ornament

Of course, not everyone is easy to bead for. Men were often mentioned in this "difficult" category, but they weren't alone:

"If I'm able, I'll make gift sets for my four nieces. I know what I like, but I think females between 13 and 25 prefer something simpler. If anyone has ideas that have won praises, I'd love to hear about it or see an example."

But what about other beaders?

"I've decided that even making bead gifts for my beady friends is OK… after all, I have a different design sense than they do… and it's nice to have things that are not all your design."

Be warned, those of you who are making beaded gifts for the first time this year–this may easily become a tradition!

"My nieces, sister-in-laws, and friends all look forward to jewelry gifts. One year I gave something else, thinking they might be tired of always getting jewelry, and they all asked what happened to their jewelry gifts!"

"It's expected of me… Now that I 'Bead Daily'!"

"If I don't bestow beaded creations for the holiday, the relatives will hunt me down and string me up on the Christmas tree!!"

"I figure I'll make an ornament with a different beaded pattern every year, so they'll end up with quite a collection!"

"I've created a monster with giving jewelry gifts. Now my friends and family can't wait to see what they will get this year and they started hinting back in October."

Above: A Christmas necklace by reader Capitola Girl

What stops us from giving beaded gifts? A couple of people mentioned ungrateful recipients and lack of funds, but by far, time seems to be the universal enemy:

"I would love to make all beaded gifts but I have to earn a living. Horrible when real life gets in the way of beading!"

"I always plan to make handmade gifts, but never seem the have the time. Even though I'm making several gifts this year it's not as many as I had originally intended. Oh well, maybe next year!"

Of course, maybe it depends upon what other crafts you enjoy:

"I usually knit for people, but beading is so much faster!" 

The sensible among us know to simplify when time runs short:

"When planning to give a number of gifts, I tend to think lots about the style and color preferences of the person I give to but due to the time it takes to do off loom beadweaving, I also tend to be less creative and make simpler bracelets instead of more time consuming necklaces."

"Mostly quick earrings. Life's too busy for more complex, but even these are amazingly satisfying."

But not the overachievers . . .

"I am making bracelets to go with scarves I have knit."

"I am making netted snowflakes for co-workers–roughly 45. I always make a few extra because you just never know who's going to be dropping by unexpectedly."

Simple Christmas Tree Earrings

"A nephew and his wife have a goal for me — to cover their 10 foot tall Christmas tree with my beaded ornaments. I'm about 10% there. How wonderful to be so appreciated!"

"Probably close to 15 or 20 [gifts], but at least that beats the 58 ornaments last year!"

Of course, time isn't the only challenge:

"I sure hope that I give them away, and not end up keeping them for myself, and then buying a box of candy to give as a gift instead!!" 

Never underestimate the power of chocolate! 



Beaded Gift Wrapping Tip

"Mailing out gifts this year? After addressing your package, sprinkle some tiny beads sparingly around the addressee label without obscuring the information, then tape them down with clear packing tape, smoothing the tape securely. Instant festivity!"–Step by Step Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays



Coming Friday: Polymer clay beads by readers, plus an interview with Carol Blackburn.

Looking for more ornament ideas?  Check out "Ornament Thursday" on Candie Cooper's blog.  Each Thursday, Candie and other beading bloggers will publish photos and instructions for handmade Christmas ornaments.



Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She still has at least two more pairs of earrings to make as gifts.

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