Each year for Christmas, I make my boys' teachers an ornament. It's just a little something to help make their season brighter and show them how much I appreciate everything they do. I've made stars, wreaths, caged glass ornaments, you name it. But last year's ornament is, by far, my favorite, and even more exciting, it was my own design!
At the urging of many friends, I've put it together in a brand new pattern that I've creatively named Beaded Christmas Tree Ornament (really had to stretch myself on that one...haha!).
When I choose an ornament pattern, I have one big requirement. It cannot be a pattern that's too complex or take too long to make. I need to make at least 20 for the various teachers my kids have between their classroom teachers and other staff at the school like the librarian, the secretary and the principal. I've made as many as 50 ornaments in one year giving them out to friends as well. Actually, it's normally my goal to make that many but some years, I can't swing it.
This pattern fills this requirement! With only 3 rounds and 3 rows to complete, you'll have this ornament finished in no time.
For this ornament, I use Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Thread Size 3 in Sage, a size D crochet hook (I'm partial to the Clover Amour crochet hooks for this project), and size 6/0 "E" colored round seed beads (like these but I bought mine at Michael's). The yellow bead on the top is square and I think it's a Swarovski crystal bead that I also purchased from Michael's some time ago, but I don't remember. I tried to find a similar bead and struck out. But I'll keep searching and if I find something close to that, I'll update this post.
Now...a bit about beads...
I never fancied myself a person who would create designs with beads but here I am with yet another beaded design! The first was my Crisscross Applesauce scarf with a little bling on the ends. My tiny Christmas tree wouldn't be complete without ornaments so to the bead aisle I went. I chose all red beads with the exception of the top bead for the star, but you could choose two colors or all different colors. Decorate your trees as you wish!
My favorite method for adding beads to my crocheting and knitting is by using Super Floss dental floss. Yep... said dental floss. You knot the long end of the floss and use the stiffer end to slip the beads onto your thread. Also, the soft, thicker part of the floss can hold the beads in place depending on their size so you have them ready to use when needed. This is perfect as well if you plan to teach beading as part of a class. You can pre-string the beads and include them in kits.
My favorite example of how to slip beads onto your yarn is Laura Nelkin's video. Even though her example uses knitting, it's the same concept when slipping the bead onto the loop you have on your hook.
To finish off the ornament, pin it out and lightly block it with either water or spray starch. Then, you can thread a small piece of thread either through the center of the top bead or the top loop for hanging from your tree.
The finished size is about 2.5" wide x 3" high, the perfect size for slipping into a greeting card.
The instructions are both written and charted for those who find one or the other most helpful (or, in my case, both). The beads are optional so there are two charts: one with beads and one without. There's nothing extra special about adding the beads. If you want to make yours without, just omit the beads.
I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do! It takes me around 20-30 minutes to make the one ornament, but that sometimes depends on how intense the movie or TV show I'm watching is :)