Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Decoration Girdle

I generally try and avoid the post-Christmas sale frenzy, but last week I had to go into the city for an appointment. I came across a shop selling Christmas decorations for 75% off, and I picked up some bead garlands for just over $1 each with the intention of making a new girdle.

The bargain decorations that I picked up

I generally prefer gold to silver, so picking up such a bargain seemed like the garb gods wanted me to do something with silver (there were no gold bead garlands in the store.)

I started stringing the beads onto tiger tail beading wire, but I realised that the silver beads looked exactly like what they were - cheap plastic silver beads. They looked tarnished, and the gilt paint was wearing away in places. I knew that I would always look down and see that tatty tarnish and it would bother me. It would not be noticeable to others without a really close look, but I have learned that you always see the flaws in things you have made like they were framed in neon. So I pulled it all apart and started again.

My first attempt 

I am on a very tight budget, and I find that really good bargains are becoming harder and harder to find. So there is always a real dilemma with projects- do I cut that good fabric, or use those expensive beads, knowing that I will likely never be able to get any more? Factor in the error-factor (I always seem to bodge it up!) and it is very tempting to stick to the tatty beads and leave the 'good' ones for another project.

This time I decided to use the good beads. I had some lovely pinky-red glass beads embossed with little opaque dots in my stash, and thought they would be a nice contrast with the clear beads. I used large pearlised seed beads as spacers. I strung the beads at the tail end of the girdle onto two strands of tiger tail finished with crimps and a little hook. When the tail end was long enough, I added a silver triangular spacer bead of the type usually used to end those necklaces that have masses of beads all twisted together. The two strands of tiger tail wire went in the hole at the bottom and then separated out into two holes at the top. Then I kept stringing beads on either side and finished one side with a clip, the other with chain. This makes the girdle adjustable.

I am not sure what this type of bead/finding is called, but it is very handy for girdle making

I found a little filigree ball that I bought very cheaply previously at an outdoor market and clipped it on the end as the 'pomander'. The great advantage of having a hook or clasp on the end of the girdle is that you can change the decoration on the end to suit the occasion.

The end result

I love quick projects and I am really very happy with my bargain basement sparkly girdle!

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