Beads come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest seed beads to large wooden, acrylic or bamboo beads. Glass beads or crystal beads, or even those made from precious or semi-precious stones decorate and brighten the environment. It's even possible to make your own beads from rolled paper strips, use functional objects such as washers or nuts as beads or turn found objects like seashells into beads by drilling a small hole through them.
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Beads for the Home
Glass beads make sparkly candle holders and are quick and easy to make by threading the beads on a thin wire then wrapping around an ordinary jelly or yoghurt jar. Make door and window curtains by threading multiple strands of beads that are long the same length as the opening. Small, shiny crystal or glass beads look good in windows as they catch the light and throw rainbows onto walls and floors, while larger opaque beads made from wood, solid plastic or bamboo are more suited for doorways where screening is important.
Bracelets, necklaces, hair accessories and earrings are just some of the jewellery items made with beads. Multi-strand necklaces and bracelets are made into bead ropes by twisting and braiding individual strands of beads together, and look dramatic when beads of different colours and sizes and mixed together. Dangle earrings made with just one large bead are the simplest of jewellery items, but more complicated designs made with multiple beads, or two or three dangling strands, require little extra effort.
Bookmarks and Key Fobs
Make stylish bookmarks with seed beads threaded onto fishing line and add larger, more decorative beads at each end. Alternatively, weave seed beads on a loom to create flat bookmarks. Stitched bead items using a Brick stitch or Chile stitch make practical but decorative key fobs.
From intricate and delicate designs made from thousands of tiny seed beads adorning wedding dress bodices and veils, to beaded T-shirts and flip-flop sandals, wearing beads on clothes has been popular for generations. Accessories, such as evening clutch bags, are often covered with sparkly glass beads or sometimes made entirely from woven bead fabric. Sew-on appliqué beaded designs are a quick and easy way to dress up a plain outfit -- they can even be glued onto fabric where there is no need for stretch.
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