Things You'll Need
- 20-gauge craft wire
- 30-gauge craft wire
- Silver-lined seed beads
- 10 mm jingle bell
- Spool of 1/4-inch ribbon
- Wire cutters
Making a beaded bell ornament is a great way for you and your family members to create unique decorations for your Christmas tree. Making your own ornaments and decorating your tree with them can be a special Christmas tradition for your family. In addition, beaded Christmas bell ornaments can easily and inexpensively be made.
Cut a 6-inch length of the 20-gauge wire with your wire cutters. This piece of wire will be used to make the outside frame for your bell ornament. Create a small loop in the center of the wire by crossing the wires approximately 1/4 inch on either side of the center of the wire. Grip the resulting loop with your pliers and twist the wires together. Shape the wires on either side of the loop to look like a round-cornered square by bending each side over your thumb. Then, bend the wires outward in a gradual curve to create a bell-shaped flare at the ends of the wires. You should now have a two-dimensional bell shape with a small loop at the top.
Begin adding rows of beads to the bell-shaped armature. Cut a 2-foot length of 30-gauge craft wire. Wind one end of the 30-gauge wire around the twist underneath the wire loop. Thread enough seed beads to make a solid line of beads horizontally from the left side of the armature to the right side. At the end of the row, loop your 30-gauge wire around the wire on the right side of the bell armature to secure the row before starting the next row.
Repeat the process of adding and securing beaded rows back and forth across the bell-shaped armature. Add more beads to each row to follow the bell shape as the width increases. Continue adding horizontal rows until you reach the bottom of the wire bell armature. At the end of the last bead row, thread excess wire back through the bottom row of beads and then clip off the excess wire.
Cut a 2-inch piece of 30-gauge wire and thread it through the loop on the top of the jingle bell. Twist the wire ends around the bottom-row wire of the bell armature, in between the beads, to secure the jingle bell in the center of the row. Cut a 4-inch piece of ribbon and tie a bow around the twisted wire under the top loop. Cut another piece of ribbon approximately 6 inches in length and thread it through the top loop. Knot the ends of the ribbon together to create a ribbon loop for hanging the ornament.
Applying a little white glue to the cut ends of your ribbons can prevent fraying.
Melissa Hopkins began writing for the Southern Illinois University newspaper in 2000, where she won several awards. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Hopkins moved to San Diego, where she worked as a stringer for various publications with the Pomerado Newspaper Group.