Updated on October 5th, 2014
Making these with children or on your own, they are beautiful.
- Assortment of crystal clear plastic beads: all crystal in color, E Beads, 6mm Rondelle Beads, 6mm Faceted Beads, 11mm Tri-Beads, 18mm Sunburst Beads.
- pipe cleaners
- small sorting tray of some sort, I use a muffin tin
- needle nose pliers/wire cutters
Plus, a tree to hang them on.
These are all the items it will take to make these wonderful Christmas tree ornaments. You can use any type or color pipe cleaner you like. I personally prefer the gold or silver tinsel ones. They seem to catch the light and make these sparkle more on the tree. I have them separated out above so you can see what each one looks like along with their names. I usually separate them into a muffin pan. I allow the children in my care to make these. Even children as young as 18 months can do it with a little bit of help. This project works with and supports their academics (math/counting, small motor skills, sorting, size graduation/smallest,big, bigger, biggest.) Not to mention hand-eye coordination and listening skills.
Cut your pipe cleaner in half with your wire cutters. Each pipe cleaner will make 2 icicles.
Then you need to add the first E bead onto the bottom end of the pipe cleaner. The older children can often do this part. For those that are struggling to get this bead on, I will do it for them. After the bead is on, I turn the bead with a bit of wire sticking through sideways and pinch it with the needle nose pliers. This blocks all the other beads so they can not pull all the way off as the icicle is being strung.I then have the children string the beads onto the pipe cleaner smallest to largest. Making sure they use all of one size before they go to the next size up. Once all of the beads are on the pipe cleaner, they bend the pipe cleaner around their finger to make the hook which will hang nicely on the tree branch.
We have been making these in the past when my Boy teenage children have come home from school and asked if they could make some. They did and gave them to their Grandmothers as Christmas gifts. Most children will want to make more than one. I personally have dozens of these that I have collected over the years that cover my own Christmas Tree. These make wonderful gift ideas for children to give to Grand parents, Aunts, and Teachers.
I hope you will take the time to really enjoy this project, it is one of my favorites.
Above all, Have FUN!