I blooming love Christmas! It always gives me the perfect excuse to rummage through my craft cupboard and whip up a Christmas thing or two. Every December, I always start out with the best intentions of sitting in front of a much loved Christmas movie, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows on whilst I make my Christmas cards. Christmas bliss right?
However and I don’t quite know how, but 2012 seems to have run away with me and before I knew it December was upon me and I hadn’t even unpacked my Christmas decorations, let alone even begun to think about how I was going to make this years Christmas cards.
Therefore, I needed something that I could make quickly as I did have around 45 cards to make, but also looked seasonal, fun and put a smile on people’s faces. The answer came in the form of picture beads. After looking for some inspiration online, I found some great images on a beautiful blog called craftandcreativity.com. Using this as inspiration I set about buying the materials needed to create my Christmas cards.
I already had some seasonal red and green card and envelope sets left over from last year, so all I needed to purchase were the picture beads and Hama boards themselves. After speaking with the staff at hobbycraft they told me that the best board to make snowflakes (my chosen Christmas shape) was a circle. A circular board in hand, plus a star shaped one (just because I love stars…), some red and white beads and some ironing paper I was ready to start making some picture bead shapes.
Always starting from the center of the board, build your snowflake outwards. Remember to make it symetrical by counting the beads as you build each stem outwards. The fun part about these beads are that you can really experiment with these shapes and be as creative as possible. Mix your colours if you like or keep it simple like I did. I needed the shape to fit easily onto the front of the card so I kept my snowflake quite small.
After you have made your shape and are happy with it, you need to cover the board and the beads with the ironing paper. Then heat your iron on the hottest setting. Once ready to go, gently iron over the shape, slowly melting and fusing the beads together. Be careful not to press too hard and keep the iron even, as I learnt quite quickly when I ended up ironing the board as well as the beads. Lets just say I bought a couple more boards the next day, just in case.
Once the beads are fused together, leave them for a couple of minutes to cool down. I placed them in between two books to keep the shapes quite flat.
I then placed the cooled snowflake onto the front of my card and sewed it on with a contrasting coloured thread. It added an extra hand crafted dimension to the card that I really liked. I actually enjoyed the ease of this process so much that I got a bit carried away and made several decorations, some gift tags and a star for the top of my tree! Easy peasy and quite effective.