Decorative garden ornaments add colour and a fanciful style to your outdoor environment. Make different types of garden ornaments with beads that will hold up well in the elements. Glass, crystal and copper beads are garden favourites, but seashell beads can also stand the test of time and Mother Nature.
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Bead Wind Chimes
Wind chimes made from beads add a touch of whimsy to any garden. Bead selections include glass, crystal, wood, seashell, ceramic and metal. To make bead wind chimes, string your choice of beads onto doubled strands of fishing line. You can add a craft bell or a top-drilled bead to the centre of the line, then combine the strands and thread the remaining beads over both lines. Tie the end of the strand around a metal craft ring or a screw eye hook attached to driftwood or a plain wood board.
Bead and Wire Hanging Ornaments
Another type of bead ornament that can hang in a garden is a bead and wire design. Make a jig in the desired shape of the wire ornament using finishing nails and a sturdy block of wood. Wrap 20-gauge wire around the nails to form the ornament shape; leave the ends open if you plan to thread beads around the wire outline or twist the wire ends together if you're not planning to add beads. Cut strands of thinner wire, 22- or 24-gauge, to fit across sections of the wire ornament outline. Thread beads onto the thinner wire, stretch the beaded wires across the wire outline and wrap the thin wires around the ornament outline.
A beaded candlelier is another garden ornament that you can easily make to hang from a tree limb. Begin with any old chandelier with arms that you find at a thrift store or yard sale. Remove the bulbs and the wiring, then spray paint the body to coordinate with your outdoor decor. Make strands of colourful glass beads to drape between the arms and to dangle from the centre. You can use beading wire or fishing line to string the beads. Stand tapered candles in place of the light bulbs to complete the garden candlelier.
Beaded garden ornaments can also be underfoot. Make stepping stones decorated with flat-backed glass beads to enhance a garden pathway. Purchase a plastic mould at a craft store, a release agent and concrete topping mix to make the stepping stones. You can also use any shallow plastic or cardboard container, such as the bottom of a milk carton or a pizza box, as the mould for the stones. Petroleum jelly and non-stick cooking spray work as release agents. After mixing and pouring the concrete into the mould, let it set for about 15 minutes before you add the beads. Press the beads into the top of the stepping stone, just enough to slightly embed them in the concrete.
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