I know, I know. It's not even October yet. But really, getting ahead with some gift making will make December less frenzied. So Prima Bead's assignment for September is a timely reminder to get cracking. A huge collection from their new Tis the Season line of beads was sent to each of the Prima Team Bloggers. Our brief was to create "unique, out of the box projects". Got that.

I took them literally at their words.  Why not?  Many of the Tis the Season items were almost ready to go.  Somebody else has already come up with groups of coordinated beads - acrylic, glass and metal - so that speeds up the designing and creating processes right there.  Here are some of my ideas to whittle down a long gift list in next to no time.  I am posting the jewelry ones tomorrow otherwise this post will be too long.

Acrylic Beads
The cheerful acrylic beads are an economical way to make many beaded wreath ornaments, large or small. You can make these up watching tv!  I used bracelet memory wire and worked in some pretty ribbon using a popular necklace and bracelet technique.  Add a pretty charm from the vast charm collection for a final touch.

The tutorial for easy beaded wreaths will be posted on Saturday.

Other quick out of the box gift ideas include knitting and crochet charms for friends and family who do yarn work. These are so easy to accomplish - just attach them to split rings or clasps. Make sure you pick charms that are smooth like these ceramic stars, crystal metal discs and glass mitten and boot charms to minimize yarn snags.

Save your nails and use split ring pliers to open them up easily before sliding on a charm. I use this handy tool for keyrings too. 

The split rings work really well for slipping onto knitting needles.  Wish I had knitting charms when I was learning how to knit as a teenager.  My then annoying younger brother would deliberately count out loud differently from my own chants just to throw me off! Worked too.

People who crochet need just a charm on a clasp. As you can see from this hard to see black cap I am crocheting for my daughter, the charm can be clipped on easily to mark the beginning of the round.  I used a mitten glass charm but a boot charm would be perfect when I am making some baby booties as gifts!

I really liked the pre- packaged bead clusters for fast designing.  These are all color coordinated and ready to go!

Easy bookmarks can be made with just ribbon, D rings from the fabric store and any of the bead clusters.  I looped each end a strip of ribbon over D rings, folded under the edge neatly and used a sewing machine to keep it down.  I only added the beaded loops to the "top" D ring.

Some of the metal charm packages had warnings which implied there may be lead in them. I'd like to point out lead poisoning is largely due to inhalation (dust from old leaded paint etc) and ingestion.  So the risk from handling and touching is small. But these are definitely not for children who are likely to put things in their mouths and possibly eat them. Actually our beads and other small components are also not suitable as they are choking hazards.

Keep your Swarovski crystals away from small children for the same reason.  Swarvoski crystals have a hefty lead content (~30%) to get that extra sparkle.  They are fine to wear but shouldn't be eaten on a regular basis - think about what stomach acids do.  Same with lead crystal drinking glasses where the lead can leach out into alcoholic or citrus beverages. Okay to drink from them once in a while but don't store beverages in such vessels for extended lengths of time.

Check out the Prima Beads Team Page on Pinterest for all of our ongoing designs.

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips