June 15, 2024

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Use Your Leftovers: Make Wire and Bead Ornaments

Use Your Leftovers: Make Wire and Bead Ornaments

Love them or hate them, leftovers make the holidays last a little longer. Sometimes they even spark a little extra inspiration. (I’m looking at you, turkey casserole!) You can think about beading and jewelry projects the same way. The leftover bits and bobs just might spur new designs. Ornaments are a great way to use leftover beads and wire!

Above (left to right): Holly Leaf Ornaments by Linda Jones and Waste Not, Want Not by Kerry Bogert

Here are a few ideas for using extra beads and wire to create holiday sparkle.

Bottle Cap Ornaments
Waste Not, Want Not Pendants by Kerry Bogers

Recycle in Style

Bottle cap pendants are a colorful way to use scraps from other projects, and they make great ornaments! Save bottle caps from holiday gatherings and get ready to have fun with resin. Use leftover beads, wire coils and spirals, even crushed glass to make eye-catching ornaments. Substitute wire hooks or spiral ornament hangers for the silk ribbons shown above.

Wire Holly Leaf Ornament
Holly Leaf Ornaments by Linda Jones

Make a Holly Leaf

This wire and bead Holly Leaf ornament is very versatile. You can create it as a napkin ring, to decorate your special table settings for holiday meals. It can be used to enhance a table centerpiece, wired around a candle, or positioned in a pot of real holly leaves. Alternatively, connect it to the top bow of a wrapped present as a gift tag. Stitch it to the front of a card, suspend it from the Christmas tree, or hang it in the window so that the light reflects and sparkles on the beads!

Related: Tips for Better Bead & Wire Pairings

Wire Candle Ornament
Holiday Candle Ornament by Rae Ann Wilson

Light a Candle

The potential contained within a coil of wire is exciting—it is essentially a line in space, making wire not only a versatile medium with which to create jewelry, but art as well. This Holiday Candle Ornament requires little in the way of tools and materials. It contains simple bends and loops, and makes a delightful and festive decoration.

Wire Star Ornament
Free Beaded Wire Ornament by Tammy Honaman

Shining Star

This ornament is inspired by a simple star cookie cutter shape. Use a jig to create the star frame, then use scraps of any color to bundle wire and beads around the frame. Make it as neat or as messy as you want to. Include scraps of ribbon, strands of beads, or other colorful leftovers from your beading or jewelry making stash. Use other simple shape outlines such as Christmas trees, candles, or candy canes.

Related: 5+ Wire Jewelry Tips and New Wire Tools

Soldered Wire Bead Snowflake
Silver and Crystal Abstract by Travis Ogden from Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist December 2008

More Ornament Ideas for Jewelers

Read 10+ Jewelry Designs to Hang from Your Tree to find more jewelry ornament ideas. Almost any pendant has ornament potential, and almost any jewelry design can be made as a pendant, from earrings to necklaces, and more. While snowflakes and stars are naturals for holiday decorations, any motif or abstract design can glimmer and shimmer, too.

Connect With Us

Are you making a leftover bead casserole or a wire salad this holiday season? If you’re creating ornaments from leftovers, we want to hear all about it! Tell us what you’re making in the comments and share pictures on Facebook @BeadingDailyonFB or @JewelryMakingDaily.


Wire + Beads = Festive Cheer