How to Make a Wire Ornament Hanger
Many of us beadweavers have been busy stitching beautiful ornaments and other doodads to decorate our homes for the holidays. A flash of crystal and seed beads hanging in the window (or on a Christmas tree, a Hanukkah menorah, a Festivus pole, or a Solstice staff) is often what helps get us through these short winter days. But after you’ve spent hours and hours creating something fabulous, do you really want to hang your ornament with this?
Of course not! So let’s channel our inner Mommy Dearest Joan Crawford selves (“No more (ugly) wire hangers!”), get down to marrying utility and beauty, and make a pretty wire ornament hanger.
For this project you’ll need round-nose pliers, chain-nose pliers, wire cutters, wire straightening pliers (if you’ve got them), and some 20-gauge craft wire. Also helpful will be a lip balm tube and a standard ballpoint pen or pencil.
1) Straighten the end 8″ of wire at the end of the spool. Flush cut a 6″ piece. Note: To flush-cut a piece of wire, trim the wire end so that the flat side of your tool is toward the wire you want to keep.
2) Use the tip of round-nose pliers to bend a small loop at one end of the wire.
3) Grasp the loop with chain-nose pliers so the loop is flat inside its jaws. Use the thumb of your free hand to guide the wire along the loop, readjusting the loop within the jaws of the pliers as you go until the spiral is as large as you like. (I did three rotations around the center loop.)
4) Bend the spiraled end of the wire around the lip balm tube so that the spiral is on the outside of the bend. This is where you’ll hang the ornament on the aforementioned tree/menorah/pole/staff.
5) Form another smaller spiral at the other end of the wire. Be sure that it curls opposite the former spiral. Note: You can do this right after you create the first spiral, too, but I like to do it now instead so that I can gauge how many rotations I’d like to do to make the hanger the proper length.
6) Wrap this second wire end around a pen or pencil. This should be a tight bend–it’s where you’ll place the ornament.
7) If you’d like to harden the hanger, place it on a metal surface and give it a few good smacks with a hammer. Otherwise, that’s pretty much it, unless you’d like to fancy yours up with additional wire, like I did… See? I added a little 26-gauge silver wire coil to the center of mine.
Now there’s a pretty wire ornament hanger! And so easy to make that you’ll be switching out all of the ugly ones for this version.
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Jean Cox, Beading editorial director