Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ornamental Bead Sticks! Part Two: Bead On A Wire, With Dangles

Welcome to the second installment of my thrilling tutorial series, Stuff On Sticks The most useful version of Stuff On Sticks is the classic bead on a wire.

Why useful?  Oh, my.  I could go on and on.  In fact, I will - at the end of this post, you'll find a long, long list of ways to add these to your life.  But first, the DIY!

There are several methods I like for suspending a bead atop a wire.  This is my absolute, utter, personal favorite...

I think the extra dangles make it special.  It's also very easy and doesn't require ANY previous jewelry-making experience, so yay!

Wanna make 'em?  Here's how.

Cut some lengths of wire.

Note: I'm demonstrating with hefty baling wire, but you can use any thickness that's strong enough to support your beads.

Grab the wire with roundnose pliers, about 2 inches from the top.

With your fingers, spin the wire around the pliers until you form a loop.  (You might have to readjust your grip in the process.)

If you wanna get fancy, repeat it a little lower down, for a second loop.

Now grab a cute charm, like this little half moon.  Thread it onto the wire and slip it onto the loop.

If the loop is too tight for the charm to slip on, just spread the gap wider with your fingers or pliers.  Then pinch the loop tight again, and walah!  Your charm is captured.

If you have basic beading skillz, you can use bead dangles instead of charms, as in this example:

Okay, just one tiny step more.

Thread a big bead on so it rests against the loop.  Then grab the top of the wire with the pliers and twirl a curlicue.  Twirl it all the way down until it touches the bead.

And that's it!

Purty, yes?

Note: without the dangles, they are equally pretty and equally useful - and even quicker to whip up.  Just follow all the same steps, but skip adding the dangles to the loops.

Ways To Use Them

*Houseplant jewelry.
*Add pearly ones to wedding centerpieces.
*They make lovely gifts: make a set of sticks in a friend's favorite color or theme.
*Hat pins!!!
*Kid room decor: use animal beads or flower beads in girly colors.
*Nursery decor: drill holes in some little alphabet blocks.
*Add to fresh-cut or dried flower arrangements.
*Group some in a bud vase for stand-alone home decor.

Even more ideas, crowd-sourced from my brilliant readers:

*Display in a glass cheese shaker filled with colored sand or glass gravel. (from Lorraine)

*Do them up in Christmas colors for holiday decor. (from Danni)  Mich adds: great idea for other holidays, too!  I'm imagining pink glass heart beads for Valentines, fall-colored leaf beads for Thanksgiving, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

*Make them into the sticks you put into hair buns.  (from Agy)  Reader Robynne adds: If you bend the bottom end into about a one inch V, they won't slide out of your hairdo

*Halloween idea: add orange & black beads and Halloween charms onto wires.  Stick them into a small hollowed-out pumpkin for cool Halloween centerpiece.  (from Amy)

*Would make good bookmarks for those of us who still read "real" paper books.  (from Handmade Cuties)  Mich adds: I looove this idea!  I suggest leaving out the dangles, just do the wire part with plain loops so it will lay flat inside the book.

And now - tell me what you would do with these!  I will add the best suggestions to the list above, for everyone to take inspiration from your brilliance.

Thanks for visiting, my dears!  Come back next time for Stuff On Sticks, Part 3-D! 

To see the rest of the Stuff On Sticks:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six 

Part Seven 


  1. You have such a wonderful collection of beads to choose from. These are so clever and pretty. I could see putting these in with any houseplant. Or even in a glass cheese shaker filled with colored sand or glass gravel.

  2. Another pretty and inspiring post - Well Done. Very busy lately, so many good and bad things happening around - but...Your post remind me something...which I need to post... Why? Because you inspired me to make pretty things.

  3. These are fun! I liked pt. deux of your thrilling tutorial! I pinned it. I even have the required tools. I'm thinking I might try something Christmas-sy with beads this year. I'm inspired. Now lets see if I can get motivated. They go hand in hand right?

  4. Great imagination going on here. Perhaps you could make them into the sticks you put into hair buns!

  5. I would definitely stick two or three of these into a cute bun or twist! These are much prettier in hair than dumb ol' chopsticks any day. If you bend the bottom end into about a one inch V, they won't slide out of your hairdo :)

  6. I /love/ this idea! I will definitely be making a few of these. :) Thanks for sharing it!

  7. Looking back at part one... they look great sticking out of your colored bottles. Love the series! LOL - it made me chuckle.

  8. Halloween idea: Carve out a small pumpkin Add orange and black beads, and halloween charms onto sticks. Twirl and curl the tops of the sticks, and stick them into the bottom of the pumpkin for cool Halloween centerpiece. Or cut out eyes, nose, and mouth for funky hair look.

  9. Stuff on sticks are waaayyy coool! Thanks for sharing how to make them. I'm thinking stuff on sticks would make good bookmarks for those of us who still read "real" paper books.

  10. I really like the house plant jewelry idea. Totally something I could see myself doing.

  11. Oooh, love these pretties. Hmm, I think I might have to make up some flowers for a little vase. I have a bunch of glass beads that look like leaves and some big colorful beads could be the flowers.

  12. Fun!

    Curious to see what "Stuff on Sticks 3-D" will be!

  13. You are so inventive. I have a lot of the things you have used, but did not the vision. I made polymer skulls, so I can stick them into a vase necklace I made from polymer for the Halloween season. Thanks, Debby

  14. You just HAD to post this series!!! You have now managed to awaken my sleeping predisposition to playing with beads and wire! On my list for 2014!!

  15. I'm glad you like the bookmark idea :)
    I can also see crafters hanging their jewelry pieces on sticks for craft fair exhibits. The loopies make it a great place to display earrings. Of course, someone may want to buy the bead sticks too.