Now that December is almost here, it's time that all beaders turned to their gift projects and Christmas decorations. I try to make something for many of my friends and family, and most of my beading time is spent designing pieces that will make great gifts. I prefer to give jewelry that is wearable year-round, but sometimes it's nice to have a beautiful and festive Christmas accessory or two.
Last year I designed a multi-strand bracelet with leaf fringe and different sizes of beads in natural colors. The effect was nice, but I wanted to try something new this year. Since it's the holiday season, I decided to create a Christmas tree bracelet, complete with white and blue lights.
I wanted continuity with the beads, so I chose to use lined varieties for the foliage as well as the lights, rather than a combination of matte and clear. The palette for my bracelet includes: copper lined green, foil lined blue mix, foil lined clear, and foil lined brown mix. Black will also be used as the base for the 'lights'. Overall, I think that the feel of a crisp and classic Christmas tree can be seen.
Without any ado, here is the completed bracelet. It can be worn flat or twisted, and the ten strands of thick leaf fringe certainly evoke a feeling of pine needles and flashing lights. Because so many embellishments were added this time around, I've had to adjust the length from my previous design. The finished bracelet measures a tiny 6 1/2 inches, and is a nice snug fit. It would work just as well as a slinky 8 inch bangle as well, with the strands free to move about and sparkle.The clasps are attached to small panels of even-count peyote stitch, which is the most complex part of the design. Although manipulating the strands of beads between clasps can be akward at times - especially when the thread is at it's maximum length - the bracelet is very easy to make. It's a great beginner friendly project that I would recommend for any new beader. And the results are beautiful, too!
Complete instructions for this project are available on Variety Beading: Christmas Projects. Try out a new Christmas design, or create on of your own, and post your Christmas beading story on the Beading Challenge Forum.