No Christmas tree is complete without at least a couple of stars sparkling here and there. In this tutorial I will teach you how to make your own stars using some beads and wire. This is a very easy project and it only takes about 30 minutes to complete one star. The technique used here is very similar to netting used in textile industry. It’s based on the idea of creating a net of intersecting threads and, in this case, wire with beads strung onto it. As there is such a simple idea behind it, it’s also very open to various modifications.
You choose how big the gaps in the ‘net’ are and what beads you string onto the wire, you just need to make sure that the wires intersect every now and again to hold the whole thing together. Netting allows you to create a whole variety of shapes so you can utilize the technique to make bracelets, necklaces, earrings and other embellishments. Incidentally, all of the above make great Christmas presents so watch this space for more tutorials on bead netted jewelry!
- Size 9 seed beads of 2 different colors (color A and B)
- Bugle beads – color A
- 1.5m piece of thin (0.3mm) wire
1. String 7 seed beads of color B onto the wire and push them down to 3-4 centimeters from the end.
2. Push the wire up through the first seed bead.
3. Pull the wire to make a loop.
4. Put one bugle bead and one seed bead B onto the wire.
5. Slip the wire back down through the bugle bead.
8. Push the wire up through the closest bugle bead and the seed bead at the tip.
9. String 5 seed beads A and go across to the neighboring seed bead B.
10. Repeat step 9 to close the circle.
11. Add 1 bugle bead, 1 seed bead B and 1 bugle bead.
12. Skip 5 seed beads A underneath and slide the needle through bead B.
13. Keep repeating step 12 to decorate the entire circle.
14. Wrap the end of the wire around the base of the closest bead and push it up through the bugle bead above. Then cut the end of the wire as close to the bead as possible so that it’s not sticking out. Conceal the other end of the wire the same way.
15. Slide a length of fireline through the seed bead at the tip of the star and secure it with a knot to make a loop.
I recommend using size 9 seed and bugle beads so that you don’t have difficulties pushing the wire back and forth through the beads but you can try larger sizes if you want. You could also modify the number of ‘arms’ of the star by reducing the number of seed beads in the centre and consequently, the number of bugle beads. As far as colors are concerned, you can mix two contrasting colors as I did or use the same color for the whole thing. It’s also a good idea to use bright or sparkly beads so that they stand out from the tree and reflect the light well.