Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Giving Beads and Bead Gifts

All Doors Are Open to Bead Creativity

I know, it probably seems too early to start talking about the holidays in August, but if you are like me and make many of your gifts every year, it's already time to think about the end of the year and get started on some projects.

And handcrafted beads can express your creativity and celebrate occasions throughout the year on various gift-giving occasions.

I've been thinking lately about all the ways to use beads other than jewelry. If you look around at home decor there are lots of ways to use beads. Curtains with sash tassels, drawer pulls that use art beads, pillows with bead embroidery.

I've seen shadowboxes with collages and assemblage art using beads as part of the project, hanging on the wall as room decor.

Here's a great example of a beautiful glass bead by Cindy Gimbrone used as an ornament or suncatcher windchime to hang up and enjoy year-round. Aren't the colors glorious!

I can imagine making some as great hostess or housewarming gifts! And she has a tutorial on her website on how to use the beautiful spiral beads to make holiday ornaments. Great ideas on using beads for gifts that express your creativity and personality!

Here's a beautiful disk bead by Humblebeads used as a zipper pull. Combined with a zip up sweater, it would make a great gift for that person who has everything.

If you substitute an ornament hanger at the top wouldn't these be great as holiday decorations? Used on the gift wrap for decoration with the ribbon and bow they would be that little extra gift for someone special.

Or use as a fan pull in a room to dress up that functional chain on a ceiling fan.

Hung on a purse strap or a cellphone as a charm, one of these would be a great gift for a teen, or on the belt loop of a pair of jeans for added bling.

Do you know someone who collects and enjoys wine, and you need a birthday or anniversary gift?

Or maybe you have family or friends who have a brand new home and you need to make a special housewarming gift? It's sometimes hard to think of a unique gift to create.

Combine an art bead or two with this wine stopper, put a nice bottle of red or white in a gift bag and you're ready for the party.

You could use any kind of art bead, including lampwork, ceramic or polymer clay, the beads can easily be removed when cleaning the stopper after finishing that bottle of wine.

Here's an idea, what about including several beads with a theme as part of the gift - summer colors, fall and holiday beads. This wine stopper allows you to change out the bead, so it's the gift that keeps giving!

Parties are year-round, and it's nice to bring a hostess gift. It's great to bring something different and unique. How about an appetizer fork and spreader decorated with beautiful art beads? Great for that cheese and wine party any time of the year.

There are so many home decorating, kitchen accessory and personal use items like key chains and writing pens that can be given as gifts when jewelry might not be the right choice, you can still give and enjoy beads anytime.

I hope these ideas inspire you to start thinking about alternative ways to use great art beads and give you a jump start on your gift making projects. And don't forget to gift-give to yourself, too! I could use one of those wine bottle stoppers myself, couldn't you?

For more gift ideas visit the Art Bead Scene's free project index.

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