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Editorial blog

Sparkle and Shine at Christmastime

14 Sep 2018

Laura Ells, of Creative Beadcraft, gives her advice on making the most of the festive season.

The winter/festive season, is a great opportunity to make a splash with your brightest and most sparkling beads and show off ideas for jewellery making.

Rich, jewel-like colours are always popular in this season so make sure these are on display, whether you’re selling online or in a shop. Opulent colours such as scarlet, emerald, royal blue and topaz add a luxurious look to jewellery while prismatic or back-lit colours in beads such as diamonduos and nib-bits give a brilliant gleam of varying hues.

Sparkling beads are also popular and what could sparkle more than Swarovski crystal! Swarovski jewellery also gives that touch of luxury in the festive season. Swarovski produce some great jewel colours including their two newest colours, scarlet and majestic blue as well as lovely shimmer effect beads, pendants and stones

Check out their latest collection for winter and festive ideas. The “Light and Shadows” Innovations which included the stunning growing crystal pendants were extremely popular last Christmas – just add a necklet chain to make a beautiful present that won’t break the bank. The recent “Wanderlust” collection included the sparkling classic cut pendants which make fabulous elegant earrings when attached to a length of fine chain. If you have a shop it’s well worth making up a few jewellery samples – they’re easy to make and will really catch the eye. Swarovski flatbacks are great for blinging up and adding a personal touch to clothing like jeans and accessories such as shoes, bags and belts, especially at this time of year.

The ever-popular Czech glass beads now come in lots of gorgeous finishes and effects and will match or tone with many other beads. The facetted firepolished beads are great value and the rainbow, nebula and Picasso effects add a rich touch to jewellery. The smooth surface of the round Czech glass beads shows off the Picasso, nebula and lustre colours particularly well and are an alternative to semi-precious beads.

More ornamental designs are also popular as customers minds are focussed on making jewellery for parties and presents. Elaborate and/or tasselled earrings are still very much on-trend while Czech glass multi-hole beads are great for creating interesting and glamorous jewellery and there are plenty of free patterns available on websites to show you how to use them. The CzechMates range has lots of inspirational patterns available, including winter-themed designs such as snowflakes and stars which would make beautiful decorations as well as jewellery. Les Perles par Puca multi-hole beads are also good creating for easy but beautiful jewellery. The new large Preciosa 3.5x13.5mm Bow beads are ideal for making quick but striking pieces.

As well as the opportunities offered by these fancier beads, don’t forget that seed beads can also be very versatile. The on-going trend for carrier beads gives plenty of creative options for Miyuki delica lovers. These 2-hole 17x9mm carrier beads are great value and make striking bracelets or necklaces when covered in peyote strips with geometric designs and linked together – or try embellishing some peyote strips with small beads and pearls for a more ornate look. There are also some good free patterns widely available for make Christmasthemed seed bead jewellery.

Christmas charms are always popular as are easy ideas for small gifts and decorations. Angel decorations for Christmas trees are very easy to make with lucite flowers while a few sparkling Swarovski beads make lovely little angel, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and snowman earrings.

Snowflake wire forms in sizes from 3.75” to 6” are some of our best sellers and make great decorations. They’re easy to make up using sparkling facetted glass beads in different shapes such as fire-polished beads, bicones and crystal puffy rondelles. Beaded baubles also make a wonderful display. These can also be packaged on line or in a shop as Christmas kits so that customers have everything they need on a plate.

This season also gives plenty of promotional opportunities whether on-line or in shops. Festive offers help draw attention to suitable products. It’s also worth providing free instructions for small easy to make Christmas decorations. Kits for decorations like snowflakes, angels and festive earrings can work well.

If you have a shop, themed-workshops are good promotional aids, as are displays of beautiful jewellery. If you have a website, large jewellery images will really help by inspiring customers and showing them how they can use different beads, as will highlighting free patterns and design ideas.

It’s also worth setting up a Festive Shop section on your website where you can show off a good selection of beads, pendants and charms and promote gift ideas such as gift vouchers and pliers sets. Newsletters and social media such as Facebook and Instagram also provide some good promotional opportunities at this busy time of year.

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