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How-To

Beaded Ornaments: Letters and Stars

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Beaded Letters
A large, sparkling monogram is a great way to personalize a present. Tied here with ribbons, the letters are easily transformed into ornaments.

Tools and Materials
Letters template (omit leaves and berries in letters if desired)
20-gauge wire (18 inches per ornament)
Seed beads
Round-nosed pliars

Beaded Letters How-To
1. Choose a letter template or use another font. Enlarge or reduce template to desired size on a photocopier. 

2. Cut 20-gauge wire to size; 18 inches is generally a good starting length. Make a loop at one end with round-nosed pliers. Transfer seed beads to wire, leaving 3 inches of wire unbeaded (to allow for sharp turns in the shape), and loop the wire at the other end. 

3. Following template, shape the beaded wire. Cut off excess wire at one end, leaving about 1/2 to 3/4 inch exposed wire, and loop it with pliers. For two-piece letters, attach pieces with 30-gauge wire, as shown. Shape 20-gauge wire into a hook.

 

Beaded Star Ornaments
A Christmas tree covered with a few dozen beaded stars will sparkle like the night sky. Vary the size, color, and shape of the beads -- as well as the sizes of the stars themselves -- to add visual interest.

Tools and Materials
Star template
20-gauge wire (18 inches per ornament)
Seed beads
Round-nosed pliars

Beaded Star Ornaments How-To
1. Choose any star template of your liking. Enlarge or reduce template to desired size on a photocopier. 

2. Cut 20-gauge wire to size; 18 inches is generally a good starting length. Make a loop at one end with round-nosed pliers. Transfer seed beads to wire, leaving 3 inches of wire unbeaded (to allow for sharp turns in the shape), and loop the wire at the other end. 

3. Following template, shape the beaded wire. Cut off excess wire at one end, leaving about 1/2 to 3/4 inch exposed wire, and loop it with pliers. Shape 20-gauge wire into a hook.

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Comments

  • CEnders
    22 Dec, 2008

    I have had luck in threading the seed beads by dipping the wire into a bowl of the beads. They seem to thread themselves.

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  • mmeacham
    15 Dec, 2008

    Does anyone have any tips on how to feed the seed beeds onto the wire? I have been having a difficult time, even though the beeds are the right size. It seems very time consuming. Thanks for your feedback...

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  • MissSmiley
    7 Dec, 2008

    Okay... I think I've figured it out. You can thread a size 8 bead or a size 10 bead on a 20 gauge wire. Although, I must warn you, if you buy a bag of size 10 beads, not all of the beads will fit on the wire. I'd say about 60% can fit, so I'm just going to save the ones with the smaller holes for another project. I hope that helps.

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  • MissSmiley
    6 Dec, 2008

    I too am a bit confused about the seed beads. What size seed beads did you use in order to fit on the 20 gauge wire. I've been to the craft stores one too many times and I haven't gotten the right combination. I used a 24 gauge wire, but it seems flimsy, but fits perfect with the 10/0 size seed beads. What size did you all use for the 20 gauge wire?

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  • joleneA
    6 Dec, 2008

    Was anyone able to download the star template?

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  • daltree
    4 Dec, 2008

    What size were the beads you used? I didn't know there were so many options until I went shopping.

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  • chick-a-bee
    30 Nov, 2008

    What am i doing wrong, my seed beads don't fit on the 20 gauge wire?

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  • kaykay387
    27 Nov, 2008

    I have made several of these over the years and many for wedding cake toppers. It is amazing the variety of beads you can find at about any craft store to use in making the letters unique.

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  • LaurieVH
    26 Nov, 2008

    If you photocopy the template after you print it, it's darker and easier to see. I've done on letter so far as a tester and it was much easier than I thought and it looks very nice. The toughest part is getting those tiny beads on the wire!

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  • lakotakat
    26 Nov, 2008

    I agree about the printing! Good heavens, I have pretty good eyesight with my glasses on, and I routinely work with size 15 or smaller beads! Coulnd't make out the printed page I got for BEANS - even when I was able to adjust my printer! HELP, MARTHA!! (BTW - this idea/project is simply exquisite!!)

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  • crafty-girl
    25 Nov, 2008

    What a cool idea! :) I'll try it out, eventually... once I finish with the other mounds of crafts I've decided to do, of course.

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  • nanagramms3
    25 Nov, 2008

    I printed your letter template and it was so light you could barely see it. There is no way to darken it yourself. Could you provide something a little darker so it is easily seen by those of us who do not see so well. I use glasses and still can barely see the letters on the sheet. Thanks

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  • craftupuncturist
    25 Nov, 2008

    scottandbrenda- When it says "transfer seed beads" the directions are telling you to thread the breads onto the wire- not glue them on. I think that is where you are confused. You will not need an adhesive.

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  • pleonard
    25 Nov, 2008

    I haven't tried this, but I was thinking about using a star shaped cookie cutter to form the shapes. I think this might be easier for my Brownies then using a flat template.

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  • Chelles
    24 Nov, 2008

    Because stars are so common and vary in shapes, they apparenly mean for you just to use one you already have - or find on the internet. Plus you could play with the idea and use any open shape you want. Think outside the box (or in this case star).

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  • deezblock
    24 Nov, 2008

    There is a template for the letters. Right click letters template under tools and materials. The instructions suggest, though not very clearly, that you find your own star template. As for transfering seeds to wire, the wire is firm enough for you to pick them up as if it were a needle. I'm not sure why you would need adhesive since you are looping the ends.

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  • palomaa1
    24 Nov, 2008

    No, she means there is no link to the star template as there is to the letters template.

    Can someone fix the link please? Thanks

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  • scottandbrenda
    24 Nov, 2008

    What is the best way to "transfer seed beads" to the wire? Is there a particular adhesive that works better than others? Why not shape the letter first, then "transfer seed beads"?

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  • mouse0921
    24 Nov, 2008

    where do I find the star template

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  • jaroo1
    24 Nov, 2008

    It says in the script "Choose any template of you liking". Read and comprehend, you pick your own.

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  • janicejlo
    24 Nov, 2008

    May we please have the Star template? thank you -

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  • mauigleaux
    24 Nov, 2008

    Aloha All, As others have mentioned these were first published at least 12 years ago...I loved this project as a special way to personalize gifts and add something for years to come. I simply found a font that I preferred and enlarged to a workable size and went for it!!To make them hang better, depending on the letter, you can attach an additional larger/decorative bead at the end loop. Just enjoy...it is an expression of your thoughtfulness, not a test of ability. Have a blessed holiday!!

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  • magster517
    24 Nov, 2008

    The star template does not have a link

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  • ticjlo
    22 Nov, 2008

    This was in a MSL magazine many years ago with the template letters they show on the presents. The template on the print icon is not the same. It's close but not as fancy. Try looking up caligraphy letters and use them as a template as well.

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  • ticjlo
    22 Nov, 2008

    If you click on the printer icon, the letter template is there. It prints very light but you can take it to a copy store, blow them up for larger letters and darken the print. Any font will work but this one is very nice and easier to bend the wire (very fluid).

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  • monetgardening
    5 Nov, 2008

    Hi Tleegg,

    The instructions suggest using any template of star that you like. Perhaps Martha may have a template that you might fall in love with. Hope this helps.

    monetgardening

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  • Tleegg
    30 Oct, 2008

    Is it just me or is there no template? I searched this article high and low and found no template. How did you get the template?

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  • Gillian53
    17 Oct, 2008

    I'm wondering what font was used in the photo? It looks wonderful.

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  • oanya
    15 Oct, 2008

    I'm loving the letter ornaments! I usually make more complicated ornaments with beads and wire (Christmas trees, angels, snowflakes, etc) but I've been having fun making these.

    These would add a great personalized touch to your gift wrapping and the recipient can stick them on their tree! Or you can help your kids make these to give to their friends as an inexpensive holiday gift -- kids love personalized things!

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