HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Make-'em-Yourself



If you're the bud who's always bejeweled, impress your friends with some handcrafted gems for the holidays. Nothing says lovin' like some bling!

For a couple bucks at the craft store, pick up some wire and a bucket of beads. Or be the queen of recycling, and dig through your jewelry box for cheap costume pieces you never wear anymore (that earring you can't find the match to, the plastic elastic necklace from third grade). Unstring, and have a bowl to catch the beads. Hit your family's basement workshop for wire pieces and, while you're down there, borrow a pair of needle-nosed pliers and wire cutters. No cutters? Toenail clippers can snip most jewelry-gauge wires.


Totally Wired

Use 24-gauge wire to make classic necklace and bracelet sets. Just string the beads onto the wire and, when done stringing, attach clasps (purchased from the craft store or swiped from your jewelry box). Here's a quickie clasp-attaching lesson: String the clasp onto the wire, form the wire into a small loop with the pliers, then wrap wire around the base of the loop until secure.


All Tied Up

Take jewelry or nylon thread and measure out the length of your necklace. Once you decide on a length, measure out two more strings to equal that length. Take your first piece of string and tie a knot in the center. Add a bead, and tie another knot on the other side of the bead. This will keep the bead in place. Tie another knot about an inch away from the first bead and repeat the previous step. Repeat this process for the other two strings. Once you've secured all the beads, make one huge knot with all three strings at each end. Braid the remaining strings till you run out of string. Tie both ends together and voila!

Bonus! Bangin' Bangles

Twist 14-gauge wire into spiral formations to bang out copper (or whatever metal) bangle bracelets assembly-line style. These babies are so easy, you'll be able to produce them in quantities for the whole posse. Try to give each one a unique edge to match your pal's persona. Over-the-top swirly red for your flashy friend. Simple gold with tiny pink beads for the girly girl. Got it?

12/15/2007 4:00:18 PM