Monday, November 27, 2017

How to Make Easy Christmas Tree Ornaments

Today I am reviewing an easy way to make beautiful Christmas tree ornaments using tri-beads. This is a great project to make with children. 

The best ornaments I've ever placed on my Christmas tree over the years were these ornaments made by my children made in school and given to me as gifts. The ornaments were special because they were made by my children. They were beautiful then because they were made by children's hands. They are beautiful still today because of the sparkling colors.

Yes, I wrote that they are beautiful still today. These ornaments are durable. I still have those ornaments from years ago. I loved these ornaments so much that I have replicated the project with the students at work. Over the years, I've sent many children home with these ornaments as gifts for their caregivers.

Now I'm sharing the step-by-step instructions how to make these incredibly simple ornaments with the children in your life. Or perhaps you want to make your own ornaments. I have to admit that sometimes I make these ornaments when I'm alone and have used them for decorations when wrapping gifts. There are many ways to enjoy these easy-to-make decorations. 

Finally, remember that the best gift you can give this season is the gift of your time and attention. Especially when you are spending time with a children. 

Materials:
plastic tri-beads 
pipe cleaners (either tinsel or chenille)
1/8" wide ribbons (optional)

Tools:
heavy-duty scissors
pliers 




Instructions:
Gather your beads and pipe cleaners. Ribbon is options (but preferred by the children).

Gather your tools. Heavy-duty scissors or wire cutters are needed to cut the pipe cleaners. And pliers to bend the wire tips are optional but highly recommended.

Be aware: Take care when cutting pipe cleaners. This project is extremely easy, with the exception of trimming the pipe cleaners. The wire is sometimes difficult to cut and the tips of the pipe cleaners are "pokey". Younger children may need to be supervised closely to ensure they don't poke or scratch themselves.


Candy Cane Ornament Instructions:


1. To make the candy cane bead ornament, knot the end of the pipe cleaner and pull the knot tight.

2. Carefully cut the end off; just below the knot. If a sharp end remains, bend it with the pliers or your fingers toward the knot, tucking it into the bulk of the knot (in order to be safe for little fingers)

3. Allow the child to slide beads onto the pipe cleaner; snugging the beads up against the knot. The tri-beads fit together beautifully and create a "round" shape. Some children like the traditional red and white candy cane stripes. Some children prefer psychedelic colors. Have fun with it.



4. Fill the pipe cleaner to the desired length; making sure to leave enough material to make a knot.( make the knot shape loosely then work to snug the knot up toward the last bead in order to hold the design together snugly).


5. Note the knot is snugged up to the last bead. Check the end for any sharp points and bend it up, out of the way, if needed (a point is visible in the photos. It is probably not unsafe to leave it, but I prefer to  bend it out of the way - just to be safe.

Finish the candy cane with a bow if desired. The ornament can be hung in the tree by the hook of the cane. Or traditional ornament hooks can be purchased and added. Occasionally, the children choose to use the ribbon for a loop at the top of the candy cane for hanging. 



Wreath Ornament Instructions:


1. Making a wreath is similar to making the candy cane except, Do Not knot either end. Thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner and gather them in the middle of the pipe cleaner.

2. Leave approximately 2" or more of empty pipe cleaner at each end. Bend the ornament into a round shape and begin to tie a know at the top (as though you are tying the first portion of a shoelace knot).

3. Pull the ends together, twisting lightly to form a single pipe cleaner from the two ends.

4. Bend the end down to form a loop; wrapping the very end around the portion of the pipe cleaner that is holding the bead. If there is a point piece remaining (as shown) use the pliers, or your fingers, to carefully wrap it more tightly around in order to hide the end.

5. Add ribbons as desired.




And with that, you have the finished products. Happy Holidays to you and yours. And remember to give the gift of your time and attention.

Note: This article was previously published elsewhere. The instructions and photographs are by the author.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

7 comments:

  1. What darling Christmas tree ornaments. I love that the kids can help.

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  2. I should send these instructions to my son as my 8-year-old grandson loves to do creative things and these ornaments would be a fun project for their own tree.

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  3. Oh this is a wonderful idea! I thin my three Grands would love this craft and they could handle it too! Simple yet very effective and pretty on the tree when all is said and done. Thanks for a great crafting idea for little and big hands.

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  4. I absolutely love these ornaments. This is truly a fabulous step by step tutorial for making beautiful, yet easy, Christmas ornaments to give as gifts or to decorate your own tree or presents. I have made these ornaments before, but have always used wire. I would much prefer the pipe cleaners you use! The ends have a "tinsel" effect that is awesome! I also agree with you. The handmade ornaments my children made and gave to me when they were little are my favorite ornaments on my tree today.

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  5. Very creative and beautiful ornaments. Always special when the kids make them. I need to show this one to may grandson Bobby. He's always making something new, he's very creative. Thanks Dawn :)

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  6. Love how easy this is to do. Creating décor together with family is a ton of fun. Sure do miss those days.

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