Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Craft Idea: Bead and Pipe Cleaner Ornaments

Ornaments made from pipe cleaners and inexpensive acrylic beads are very attractive and easy to make; they look quite impressive yet are easy for small children to create.  This is one Holiday craft idea you can use over and over.  Older people will also enjoy this craft, and it can be assorted to make a number of sparkling ornaments for your tree.

To make bead and pipe cleaner ornaments, you need pipe cleaners in desired colors (red, green, and white for the Holiday season) and acrylic beads.  Two types of beads are particularly effective when strung on pipe cleaners; one type is sunburst beads, also known as paddlewheel beads, snowflake beads, or starburst beads.  These beads have six faceted paddles spaced equally around the center that contains the hole for stringing.  When several of these beads are strung consecutively, they fit against each other in an interlocking pattern.

The other type of bead that is also effective for this Holiday craft is the tri bead or propeller bead.  It has three rounded bumps arranged around the center hole.  Like the sunburst beads, the tri beads interlock when strung consecutively.  For the most sparkly and attractive ornaments, tri beads and/or sunburst beads in translucent colors of red, green, and clear are preferred.  The tri beads can also be found in metallic gold and silver which can be used in this Holiday craft as well.

Pipe cleaners can be found in silver and gold tinsel as well as chenille of all colors.  For Holiday crafts, the best colors are metallic and Christmas colors.  The beads cover the pipe cleaners, but the ends will need to be twisted together and made into hangers, so they show.

Everyone including small children can string these beads on pipe cleaners.  Bend up the end of the pipe cleaner so the beads don't fall off.  The pipe cleaner works like a needle, making a needle unnecessary.  For best results, alternate colors when stringing, or start a pattern of three colors.  When the beads are strung on the pipe cleaners, they can be bent into different Christmas shapes.  For instance, string red and clear beads alternately, and then bend down one end of the pipe cleaner for a candy cane shape, or alternate red and green beads and form a circle for a wreath.  Use a red pipe cleaner to form a small bow to decorate the wreath.  Form a hanger for the Holiday craft or simply slip the circle over a branch of the tree.

If you experiment with clear beads and silver pipe cleaners, you can make some beautiful snowflake or star ornaments.  Snowflake designs can only be twisted with a silver pipe cleaner, and without the beads for a simple but pretty decoration.

Bead and pipe cleaner ornaments are a Holiday craft you can use each year.  Children and their parents will both appreciate this simple yet creative Holiday craft.

For more Holiday craft ideas, check out this link: Holiday Craft Ideas

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