Another thing I really like, is garland on a tree. No one uses it any more! In my opinion, no self respecting tree should be without it. It’s like leaving the house without any makeup on. You probably look fine, but it’s definitely better if you doll yourself up a bit.
Here’s my tree looking delightfully colourful and home-spun, but a little bit naked.
And here’s how I made some beaded garland to remedy the situation:
Step One - Get some beads in colours you like. Lots of beads. I got the these from Value Village for less than $15. The burgundy ones were already in the form of garland (that’s what gave me the idea to do this actually), found in the holiday section, and the blue, teal, and pearl beads used to be beaded necklaces, found in the jewelry section.
Step Two - Count your beads. This will give you a better idea of what sort of repeating pattern you might be able to make, using the maximum number of beads. I had 568 burgundy, 162 pearl, 79 blue, and 52 teal beads to work with.
Step Three - Divide all your smaller numbers into the largest one. In my case:
568 / 52 teal = 10.9. Round down to 10. (You can’t use 0.9 of a bead :-)) This means that in your pattern, you can use a max of 1 teal bead for every 10 burgundy beads.
568 / 79 blue = 7.1. Round down to 7. Can use 1 blue for every 7 burgundy.
568 / 162 pearl = 3.5. Round down to 3 Can use 1 pearl for very 3 burgundy.
Step Four - Lay out your beads using the numbering you figured out as a rough guide, and decide on the pattern you like.
The pattern I ended up liking the best looked like this:
Step Five - Choose a needle and some strong thread (I used nylon), testing to make sure that, when threaded, the needle passes easily through the smallest hole in your set of beads. (The smallest hole for me was in the pearl beads)
Step Six - Thread your beads! Cut any length of thread that you’re comfortable working with, and tie the end securely around the first bead to hold it in place. When you reach the end of your thread, simply tie it around the last bead, and join a new thread by tying it around the same bead. Continue until all your beads are threaded.
Step Seven - Drape over your tree!
Using this repeating pattern method, you’ll most likely have beads left over. I did. I thought about using them to make matching ornaments, but then decided that was too ‘designer’ for me. Too matchy. But if that’s your thing, then go for it :-)