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Topic: Beaded Christmas Cards  (Read 3974 times)
Tags for this thread: wire , tutorial , christmas , card , beaded  Add new tag
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« on: October 08, 2012 12:42:09 PM »

I've been making my Christmas cards again and can't remember if I have already explained how I do them.  The little bead decorations are made by bending wire around a frame of nails that my son made to my direction.
(The stars and trees are made using a frame but the rings were just bent around a suitable tube.)
The nails, outlining the shape to be made, are hammered into a block of wood and the heads cut off.
I use ordinary copper wire from electrical cables because that is readily available.  I strip off the insulation and cut it into 30 cm lengths for the tree.  

One end is clamped to stop the beads from sliding off and then I thread the beads on.  

I do one section at a time and then bend the wire for the next section.  Most of the beads will not go easily around corners which is why you have to do one section at a time before bending the wire around the next pin.  

The wire is soft and doesn't need pliers to bend it. But I do sometimes have to use another clamp to hold the wire down and stop it from springing off the pins.

I try to mix up shapes and sizes as much as possible.

The only rule is that because of gravity some beads may try and slip around the corners when the finished ornament  is hanging up, so on the upper side of the corner I try to put a long straight bead or a large one or one with a very narrow bore that won't slide round easily.  And I only use little beads or long ones on the long straight side because I think it looks nice.

Once all the beads are on I twist the two ends together lightly to stop the beads slipping off while I take it off the frame.

I then use pliers to twist the ends together evenly
and cut off the short end

and bend it over to get rid of the sharp point.

The long end is then curled around a handy tube and the ornament is ready to be stitched to the card.

I use locally handmade paper  and cut it to size by folding it and using a serrated knife to "saw" through it along the fold.  This gives it a more interesting irregular edge.

To fasten the decoration to the paper I use a double strand of ordinary sewing cotton with a knot at one end and the first stitch goes back through between the threads on the back of the paper to hold the end.

I stitch over the wire all around the loop

and finish off at the back with a couple of knotted stitches over the last stitch.

The handmade paper with the decoration is glued to coloured card.  

I use ordinary white glue but It does have a tendency to make the paper or card ripple if I use too much.

A folded piece of plain white paper is lightly glued into the centre of the card for the message.

This is so that the card can be reused simply  by replacing the paper.  However most of the people who get these cards tell me they prefer to take the decoration off the card and hang it on the Christmas tree.

Because these cards are slightly bulkier and heavier than ordinary Christmas cards I do have to use stronger envelopes.  The ones I find best are sturdy self-sealing pay envelopes and these travel through the post perfectly well - even airmail, but they cost more than ordinary letters or cards because they are a bit heavier.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012 12:45:30 PM by elderflower » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012 12:17:45 AM »

They are lovely cards, I especially love the stars. The handmade paper is a lovely touch too.

Look twice, buy once. Nooooo
Look twice, decide I can make one instead.
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012 04:08:02 AM »

I love these, awesome idea.

But if the time-locks broken, then everything is coming through, not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-Have-Been king with his army of meanwhile and never-weres, the war turning to hell.  ~The Doctor
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012 09:27:09 AM »

What a cool idea. Thanks for giving us a look at the process!

« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012 09:58:24 AM »

Really pretty and great job at streamlining your process.  :-)

Dawn Milburn
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012 01:24:57 PM »

Holy crap, these are awesome! Thanks for the quick tutorial, I love these!!

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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012 09:55:28 AM »

Great idea and love your presentation.  Love the gift within a gift idea Cheesy

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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012 11:16:39 PM »

Thank you for all the encouraging comments. Hope all your Christmas crafting is going well too.
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2013 07:33:18 AM »

~*Congrats! You have been pinned onto Craftster's Christmas Crafting Pinterest Board*~ Grin

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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2013 08:46:16 AM »

Thanks pinkleo. And well done on  trawling through all the back posts to set up the pinterest board.  That is a lot of work but it will be so useful for us all. Many thanks for putting in so much time.
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