Although they don't grow from seed, glass bead garden sparklers can be one of the most stunning arrangements to appear in your garden. Crafted from colourful beads, glass and wire, these whimsical lawn ornaments bob in the wind and reflect the sun, spotlighting the natural beauty of flowers and shrubs. They can also be used to mask bare spots, add texture and create focal points for your yard. You only need a few items to make your own glass bead garden sparkler. And best of all, you won't have to wait until spring to reap its rewards.
Assemble your glass beads. While craft stores will have many options for purchase, consider repurposing old costume jewellery. Gather your unwanted bracelets and necklaces, clip their wire or nylon strands with wire cutters, and slide the beads off. If the beads are individually knotted, snip between the knots and the beads. Vintage rhinestones, faux pearls and enamel buttons work well, too.
Soak the label from your wine bottle. Dry the bottle, and fill it with dirt. This will help weigh it down. If your bottle is clear, you may want to use coloured sand, seashells or tumbled rocks to further decorate your sparkler. Cork it.
Cut 12 wire strands. Clip varying lengths of floral wire, between 12 inches and 24 inches. If you don't have floral wire, substitute painted or enamelled wire in 16 to 20 gauge.
String your beads onto each wire. Vary their colour and size. Determine which beads will best reflect sunlight and distribute those evenly. Every wire strand should shine. Secure the beads at each end with crimp tubes and crimping pliers. You may knot the end of each wire instead for a more rustic look.
Insert the wires into your cork. Vary the spacing. Bend each wire so the ends gently curve toward the ground like the fronds of a potted plant. Place your glass bead sparkler in your garden.
- "Yard Art and Handmade Places: Extraordinary Expressions of Home"; Jill Nokes, et al.; 2007
- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads: How to Crimp a Crimp Bead/Crimp Tube
- An old vase makes a good substitute for the wine bottle. Instead of a cork, plug it with modelling clay. Also use a terracotta pot packed with dirt.
- If you want to camouflage your wine bottle, paint it with a thin layer of yoghurt. This will encourage moss to grow.