Handmade Gift Ideas

Five HGTV.com users share their crafty ideas and tips for creating holiday-themed handmade gifts.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionBasic jewelry makeing techniques and Swarovski crystals combined to make this festive set.
Created by Tammy Lofgreen
Tucson, Ariz.

These holiday sparklers will really turn heads. Tammy created this set of jewelry using basic jewelry making techniques and Swarovski crystals. She says that creating this set requires patience, but all of the necessary materials can be found at your local jewelry or craft store and the complete set is fairly simple to make.

Materials and Tools:

wire cutters
round nose pliers
chain nose pliers
24 siam (red) 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones (you should have extras left over)
24 emerald (green) 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones (you should have extras left over)
24 sterling silver or silver-plated 6mm round beads (you should have extras left over)
1 loop of stainless steel necklace memory wire
1 loop of stainless steel bracelet memory wire
4 sterling silver or silver-plated memory wire end beads
jeweler's epoxy
2 three-inch sterling silver or silver-plated head pins
2 sterling silver or silver-plated earwires
2 twenty-gauge 4mm sterling silver or silver-plated jump rings

Bracelet and Necklace Steps:

1. Decide how long you would like the necklace or bracelet to be and cut the memory wire accordingly. Be sure to leave a bit of extra wire to work with, you can always trim away any excess later.

2. Glue the first end bead onto the memory wire by inserting a small amount of jewelers epoxy into the hole of the end bead and inserting one end of the wire. Allow the epoxy to thoroughly dry.

3. Add the beads, alternating in this order: silver- red- green- red- silver. For visual interest, switch the sequence so the next set alternates: green- red -green- silver, then back to red- green- red- silver. Essentially you are switching the order of the red and green crystals between each silver bead. The necklace features just three sets of the sequence (add more if you wish) so once you have added this last silver bead, the design is completed. The bracelet, however, features beads covering all of the memory wire. As you continue to add beads, frequently check your bracelet's length so you can plan on finishing the bracelet with a silver bead.

4. Glue the last silver bead in place with the jeweler's epoxy. Lay flat and allow to thoroughly dry before adding clasps.

Steps for creating earrings:

1. Follow the alternating bead pattern as above to complete three sequences. Place beads onto each head pin, ending with at least 1/2-inch of bare wire. If you prefer shorter earrings, do only one or two sequences.

2. If there is more than 1/2-inch of bare wire remaining on your headpins, cut off the excess so that it is only 1/2-inch. Using the round nose pliers, make a loop from the 1/2-inch of wire by curling the end around one side of the pliers. Repeat with the other head pin.

3. Open each 4mm jump ring with your chain nose pliers and use it to attach each headpin to each earwire and then close. Your earrings are finished.

Congratulations. You now have a lovely set of jewelry for holiday parties or worthy of Christmas gift-giving.

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