How to make a handmade Christmas beaded bauble - step by step tutorial | beadsdirect.co.uk
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How to make a handmade Christmas beaded bauble - step by step tutorial

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How to make a handmade Christmas beaded bauble - step by step tutorial

Designed by: Marta Draganek

Difficulty: Intermediate

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Today we will show you how to make a polystyrene bauble that looks beautiful on the Christmas tree. A ball entwined with TOHO beads is a real hit for every beading enthusiast. Marta shows bead by bead how to use TOHO or other small beads to make a Christmas decoration. All you will need is to find the perfect bauble and we can provide the beads and tutorial to make it.

Each year before Christmas, a set of Christmas baubles is made in my house. They are all made using one technique (a different one each year), in a similar white and purple colour scheme. One bauble is left as a souvenir and on Christmas Eve it will be hung on a Christmas tree, together with decorations from previous years; I give the rest as gifts to my family and friends. Christmas will soon be here, so if you're planning handmade decorations, it's worth getting started now. In today tutorial I will show you how to decorate baubles with small glass beads. Ready? Let's start creating. 

Materials needed:

Christmas bauble - polystyrene, acrylic or glass. The design that I will show you today can be freely modified depending on the size of the ball and the material from which it is made. In this tutorial, I will use a polystyrene ball with a diameter of approx. 5-6 cm. I managed to get baubles with pendants included, but you can buy them separately or replace them with a simple pin with a hook. Durafoam and acrylic baubles can be found in haberdashery, art stores and even in supermarkets in the section with Christmas decorations.
Small glass beads - in two sizes. In my case, these are 
TOHO ™ round 8/0 beads (approx. 3mm) in Transparent Crystal and Galvanized Aluminum colours (5g each), TOHO ™ round 11/0 beads (2.3mm) in the colours Silver-Lined Frosted Crystal (approx. 20g), Silver-Lined Milky Lavender and Opaque-Rainbow Turquoise (1.5g each).
Threads - 
TOHO One-G ™ Of course, we choose the colour to match the shade of the beads.
Needle - long thin flexible needle
Headpin - if your base is a polystyrene bauble, the pin will serve as an attachment point for the beads.
In addition, ribbons, satin bows and wires to attach them can be useful to decorate. The polystyrene balls can be pre-painted with acrylic paint.

Our tutorials are for inspiration and learning purposes. They include links to the relevant categories for you to choose your own colour combinations and we positively encourage you to experiment with different shapes, sizes, finishes, composition and texture. Why not choose your own beads and colours to achieve something in your own style? Let your imagination run wild and make your dream piece of jewellery.

Please note that the colours for the products illustrated in the image above may not match the 'Products List'. 

Step 1

We will start decorating the Christmas bauble by marking lines that will divide our ball into four equal parts. I thread 14 size 8/0 beads on to a metre length of thread. How long should the thread be? Long enough so that you can work well with her. If it turns out to be too short, you can attach a new track to it at any time. 

Thread the needle through all the beads again so that they form a circle. The beads are supposed to braid around the top of the bauble, so if your bauble has a smaller diameter than mine, reduce the number of beads - it's only important that it is an even number. We sew all the beads again to stiffen the circle around the top. 

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On the opposite side of the bauble, stick a pin - it will be an attachment point for our beads. If you are decorating an acrylic or glass ball, in the lower part of the ball, instead of a pin, the same circle of beads should be formed as in the upper part. Thread 8/0 round beads on the thread that comes out of the upper circle. Their number should correspond to the length from the top circle to the pin. In my case, it is 40 beads. We tighten the thread and twist it around the pin. We thread another 40 beads. Fasten the thread to the circle so as to divide the ball into two equal parts.

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In the next steps, we will divide the bauble into quarters. We take out the needle after the third bead in turn (it is exactly halfway between the previously marked lines). We thread 40 Toho 8/0 beads again on the thread. We twist the thread around the pin. We thread another 40 beads and attach them to the circle at the top of the bauble. We pass the needle through the center bead of the circle and go back down the bauble to strengthen the weave. We thread the needle through all the beads to get to the top of the bauble again. We will now add four new lines that will divide the bauble into eight equal parts. To do this, pull out the needle in the middle of the first quarter.

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We thread 40 Toho Round 8/0 beads on the thread. As before, twist the thread around the pin and thread another 40 beads. Repeat the same pattern for each quarter until you get the effect as shown in the pictures below.

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Let's add a little colour to our bauble! Each of the eight threads will be worked on with a peyote stitch. Silver threads will be decorated with turquoise beads in size 11/0, colourless beads will complement the lavender ones.

Pull the needle out after the first bead from the silver thread. We thread a turquoise bead and thread the needle through the third silver bead. We thread the turquoise bead again and thread the needle through the fifth silver bead. We add small beads in the same way on both sides of the threads made of Toho 8/0. This is what the Christmas bauble should look like after these steps. 

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At this stage, in principle, the work could be finished. Just add a decorative bow and the bauble looks impressive. These types of decorations look beautiful on acrylic and glass baubles.

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In the version for more advanced fans of beading, we can finish the bauble by filling the spaces between the decorative threads, entirely with 11/0 size beads.

We will fill each of the eight parts with a peyote stitch around, going from the Toho 8/0 bead threads to the inside of the figure eight.
As you can see in the photo below, I added a Toho 11/0 in Silver-Lined Frosted Crystal between the lavender beads.
In the photo below, the thread emerges from the top 8/0 crystal Toho bead. There is no more room to add a 11/0 bead, so we thread the needle through the adjacent Toho 11/0 turquoise bead. Then, as usual, we can add more 11/0  beads, up to the end of the row and narrowing at the top of the bauble. The space between the two 8/0 threads will decrease with each row.

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Until it finally closes like a zipper. It took me 2-3 hours to weave ornaments from 8/0 beads. Filling the space between them practically all day, so it's a good idea to spread your work over several days so that it will be a pleasure, not a chore.

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Here is a finished bauble: I also prepared a second, a little larger one, 8cm in diameter. First, I painted the polystyrene ball with white acrylic paint, then decorated it with Silver-Lined Tanzanite and Galvanized Aluminum beads. Best regards and I wish you many Christmas inspirations! Such handmade Christmas decorations have their own unique purpose, it is worth trying to make them yourself :)!

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