Sunday, July 25, 2010

Christmas and Holiday Beading

Oh wow, yesterday's blog was a doozie, wasn't it? Thanks for all the Comment Love (you have no idea what your comments mean to me) and I promise I'll keep my venting to a minimum because this blog is called "Pretty Things" not "My Life is Crap Right Now". That would not be a blog worth reading.

So on to the topic -- Christmas and Holiday Beading. Can you believe I've already started?

My holiday beading usually starts in the summer, so I don't let time sneak up on me and Woah Nelly, I'm frantic to churn things out. I've found that as early as my September shows, people will ask if I have Christmas tree earrings or snowflake jewelry. I even had a customer in July catch me as I was setting up for a show and ask if I'd brought any Christmas stuff with me, and she ended up buying half of what I had. So you never know.

This is what my table looked like last year as I was moving along the winter path. Lots of snowflakes, some adorable handmade snowmen from Moonraker Lampwerks, and penguins that I added scarves to.

One thing to keep in mind when making holiday jewelry is a variety of price points. My Christmas tree earrings in Swarovski crystal are $15 and they fly off the rack. I think I sold 200 pairs of those at shows and galleries last year. With the economy what it is, that price was just right. I did buy the beads in bulk, so this year, I don't have to buy ANY more beads for this style. If you're at all able to, buy as many of a repeatable component as you can -- it works out in the long run. On the other end of the spectrum, I make some over-the-top snowflake charm bracelets that go for around $125. Basically -- know your customer.

Also, remember to make non-denominational jewelry. Snowflakes, snowmen and snowgirls are a great example of this type of holiday jewelry.

I also found out from a Jewish friend that finding Hanukkah jewelry is next to impossible to find at a craft show. So with her help, I made these, using the Star of David in pewter and the colors of the Israeli flag.

(Star of David pewter charms from Quest Beads)

One of the best things about starting early on your holiday jewelry? If you find yourself in a rut, pull out a box that you've set aside with all your holiday jewelry components and just start working. Chances are (especially with earrings) you'll be in production mode, and that can sometimes help clear the mind.

I hope you've enjoyed our little walk down the snowy path! It's nearly 100F here and I'm about to roast, so I think I'll pull out some icy clear Swarovski crystals and see what I can make.

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs, and she also blogs at An Artist's Year Off. She lives in Maryland.


  1. I love the little Christmas trees! You've got my brain burning now! I haven't thought of any holiday designs yet, but I tend to normally avoid them as they're not my style, but this would be a good time to start thinking of the next season.

  2. As someone who owns quite a bit of your past holiday confections, I can attest to how eye-catching it is and how many comments it generates. Plus, I always feel so festive when I wear, say, my snowman necklace to go buy our Christmas tree.

  3. I love the trees! I can't wait to start doing holiday necklaces etc. I thought I was going to quickly when I started making my mom a fall necklace! Haha!

  4. Oh I am so glad I'm not the only one thinking Winter holidays. I started working on a couple of new designs last month. But I am no where near production mode. Love those Christmas tree earings. You are so right about price points. It sure has worked for me to have a fairly broad range, especially at Christmas time.

  5. I'm not so sure that "My Life is Crap Right Now" would not be worth reading, LOL. I'm sure day to day many people would stop by just to feel better about their lives. I'm sorry, but that title made me laugh out loud, I even scared the pups.

    Your Christmas goodies are to die for. You are right, Christmas is just around the corner. Can't be too prepared in the sales area.

    Keep feeling better.

  6. Lori, even in the midst of all the pain you are planning ahead and so amazingly productive! I wish I had an ounce of your organizational skills! Your holiday jewelry is adorable...and I can attest, I've personally witnessed it fly off your show shelves! :-)

  7. I love the star of David earrings. Also the Christmas trees.

  8. I can learn a lot from you about this business thing. Basically my Etsy shop is not live right now, because I am blocked by the terms and conditions I have to put in there....
    While it might seem a bit early for us non-sellers, you are spot on with getting prepared early I think. The trees are really gorgeous.

  9. just gone through your blog and found Christmas and Holiday Beading impressive. It was nice going through your blog.

  10. You are so right about starting to design for Christmas, it will be here before we know it! I don't personally do a lot of themed jewelry, but I do like to alter the colors for the seasons. I am working on Fall now and will turn to more winter very soon! So sorry to hear about the wait for the doctor too, I hope that you can manage through the pain. :(

  11. I. Love. Christmas. I love seeing your earrings! I hope that this week is a much better week. I am sorry to hear that you have been "down" for a while. I am sending you hugs and pain free thoughts!

  12. I guess the holidays are pretty busy for stuff like this so it is best to start early. Your stuff is wonderful!!! I love the Star of David earrings ... though I'm not even Jewish!

  13. They are all so adorable! I have started with the Christmas ornaments, too. I have a long list of things to make.

  14. Thanks for the comment on my Pocket Aces Cufflinks. I do live near, and work at, a casino. But I won't have those to sell because they sold on Etsy within a day of listing. Figures, the one thing you aren't sure you want to part with.

    Excellent tips on holiday crafting. I LOVE those tree earrings and I don't even celebrate Christmas. I do have quite a few pieces for Hanukkah, now if only I could do a craft show to sell them.

    Good luck with seeing the doctor sooner, fingers crossed. I don't know how you manage. I've had one migraine in my life and it was brutal. Runs in my family so I consider myself extremely lucky now.

  15. Christmas seems to SURPRISE me every year! Thanks for the reminder!


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