Glass and Beaded Christmas Ornaments

Glass and Beaded Christmas Ornaments

Christmas glass and beaded ornaments come in all shapes, colors and patterns. You can buy mass-produced ornaments as well as specially handcrafted ones. Read on...
Decorating a Christmas tree is undoubtedly one of the most important and interesting activities during the Christmas season. Christmas ornaments are being used for this purpose, for a very long time. Nowadays, there is no dearth of Christmas ornaments that are available in numerous types. But, earlier, people used colored popcorn garlands and homemade Christmas ornaments for this purpose. This article deals with some information about glass and beaded Christmas ornaments.

History of Christmas Ornaments

The practice of decorating Christmas evolved over the centuries and it is believed that the tradition of using Christmas tree ornaments began in the 16th Century in Lauscha in Germany. It is said that a glassblower called Hans Griener couldn't afford to buy the then-fashionable tree ornaments (like apples, candies, and nuts) to decorate his Christmas tree. So he made small glass baubles, shaped like fruits and nuts. The idea caught on with his customers and soon his glass ornaments were in great demand. He began making them in all sorts of shapes, including spherical, which proved to be the most popular. Given the profit he made, it's not surprising that his example was followed by other glassblowers in the town and soon Lauscha became renowned as the center for producing glass baubles in Germany. The fame of this town spread to other parts of the world too. Queen Victoria had a Christmas tree decorated with Lauscha glass ornaments. The famous American businessman F. W. Woolworth did well for himself importing the baubles to the U.S.A. Later on, mass production replaced the hand-blown glass making, and other people around the world decided to have a go at making the baubles too.

Beaded and Glass Ornaments for Christmas

Christmas glass ornaments now come in all shapes and colors, that too in different types of glass. The most favorite glass Christmas ornaments in modern times seem to be the Christmas ball (the round bauble or ball, as it is known in the USA), the Christmas pickle (shaped like an actual pickle and hidden in the Christmas tree. The person who finds it gets an extra present for the effort), the glass snowflakes and the Christmas star (which nobody has to search for; it has the envied position on top of the Christmas tree).

You can buy mass-produced ornaments or specially handcrafted ones. There are many glass artists selling their creations on the Internet. You may also get them in craft shops and at craft fairs. For some unique ornaments, be sure to check those out. Apart from glass ornaments, beaded ornaments are also popular and are widely used for decorating Christmas trees. You can drape beaded garlands around the Christmas tree. You may also string up some beaded birds or flowers or fruits. Just about any shape you want, you can find in the market.

If you're not buying Christmas ornaments at Christmas time, it could be due to following reasons:
  • You are not into the whole shebang of Christmas.
  • You have Christmas ornaments bequeathed to you by your ancestors.
  • You have Christmas ornaments well-preserved from previous years.
  • You hate the whole commercialization of Christmas and the corporate aspects of mass production.
  • You are a do-it-yourself type and not in the mind to hang up last year's debacles.
Making Christmas Ornaments

Whatever be your political or religious views, why not have a go at making some glass and beaded Christmas ornaments of your own? A creative activity is always fulfilling and, given that Christmas is a social time, you can have the added satisfaction of having your friends and family admire your creations glittering on the Christmas tree. If you don't have a tree, well, you may get one or you can gift your beautiful baubles (they will surely be among the much-appreciated gifts).

To start out, recycle material you have around the house or visit a crafts shop and buy the following.
  • Glass Christmas ornaments (get a pack in the size you want)
  • Glass beads (round, oval, hexagonal, elongated, or incised, and in any or all the colors you want)
  • Plastic beads (round, oval, hexagonal, elongated, or incised, and in any or all the colors you want)
  • Tinsel, glitter and lace
  • Craft paint and white or colored feathers
  • Erasers shaped like candies, fruit and nuts
  • Silver pipe cleaner, iridescent pipe cleaner
  • Soft brass wire and wire cutter
  • Wire jig and needle-nose pliers
  • Round-nose pliers
Fill different glass balls to the brim with materials like beads, tinsel, glitter, tinsel and glitter, erasers, erasers and glitter, lace, lace and tinsel, lace and glitter, lace and beads, silver pipe cleaner, silver pipe cleaner and glitter, iridescent pipe cleaner, iridescent pipe cleaner and glitter, feathers, feathers and glitter, etc. You may try any of the combinations you like and your glass and beaded Christmas ornaments are ready for use.

You can also color the glass balls by dripping regular or glitter paint or both inside. Make sure you're happy with the results and then cap the balls. For beaded ornaments, make a wire pattern you want using the wire jig. Place the jig pins in the desired shape and loop the wire about them. Make a bottom loop, string on the beads in the pattern or sequence you want, and then make a closing loop. Make a wire hook for dangling your ornament. You may either buy them or make some at home. In fact, you can come up with some beautiful and unique, homemade glass and beaded ornaments. All you have to do is to collect the required materials and splurge some creativity (and time).