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Make Beaded Spool Ornaments

Make Beaded Spool Ornaments
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Beaded spool ornaments are whimsical decorations created from a hodgepodge of materials.  The variety of materials in these ornaments is what makes them so charming—you can choose and assemble a mix of charms, beads, buttons, spools, paper images, hardware and ribbon to suit your creative taste.  You can also choose the length of the ornaments—shorter ornaments can be used to hang in windows or on a rearview mirror; they can be used as light pulls; or they can be used to decorate a gift, or given on its own as a gift.  They can also be used for holiday decorations.  Longer ornaments can be used in quantity for a door curtain, as a garland, and for party decorations.

Beaded spool ornaments
Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
Shorter length beaded spool ornaments
Beaded spool ornaments
Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
Longer length beaded spool ornaments

Materials to Make Beaded Spool Ornaments

  • Thin wire
  • Wire cutters
  • A selection of charms
  • A selection of beads
  • Wooden spools (I used smaller sized spools that I bought at the craft store)

Additional Materials to Make Beaded Spool Ornaments

  • Paper: Patterned papers, words, and quotes can be trimmed to fit around the spool.  Simply glue the paper into place on the spool.
  • Ribbon:  I used lace ribbon by gluing it around some of the spools.
  • Hardware: I had a jar of vintage snaps that I used in my ornaments because I liked how they broke up the pattern of beads and added a curious, unexpected feature to the ornaments. I also used a few bolts and other small hardware pieces.
  • Buttons

Directions to Make Beaded Spool Ornaments

  1. Cut a piece of wire to the size of ornament you would like, adding an extra 2-3″ for securing the charm at the bottom of the ornament, and making a loop at the top.
  2. Slip the wire through the charm.

    Slip the wire through the charm
    Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
    Slip the wire through the charm
  3. Twist the wire around to secure the charm. As you can see, it doesn’t need to be fancy—no one is going to see this part.

    Twist the wire
    Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
    Twist the wire
  4. Start adding beads and hardware onto the wire, making sure the first few beads are big enough to slip over the twisted wire.
  5. Add a wooden spool.  The placement of the spool will depend on where you want it to be.  If you are making a shorter  ornament, you may want the spool in a different location than if you are making a longer one.  I experimented with different placements.  On the longer ornaments I added 2-3 spools, placed evenly apart.
  6. When you have reached the desired length, make a loop with the wire and twist it into place.

    Make a loop
    Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
    Make a loop
  7. Trim any excess wire.

Once you get the feel for making these ornaments, it’s a bit addictive (it was for me, at least).  I found it fun to play around with different colors, patterns, themes and pieces to create unique ornaments.  When it gets closer to the holidays, I plan to make some Halloween and Christmas themed ones.


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature

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