Your kids can exercise their holiday creativity by making these easy and festive bead ornaments for the Christmas tree. They also look great attached to wrapped gifts as a little holiday extra.
These ornaments are simple to make, although the candy cane ornament is easier to put together than the star and probably a better project for younger children. All you'll need to make these are pipe cleaners, plastic beads in various colors and shapes, some ribbon, and scissors.
To create the candy canes, take a pipe cleaner and cut it in half. (We used holiday-colored red, white, and green pipe cleaners.) Slip one white bead onto the pipe cleaner and run it to the end. Bend over the last 1/4-inch or so of the pipe cleaner to hold the bead in place.
Continue stringing beads in alternating red and white or green and white colors so it resembles a candy cane. When you get to the end of the pipe cleaner, leave another 1/4 inch or so and fold it over the last bead to lock it in place. Now bend the end of the pipe cleaner into a candy cane shape and go hang it on your tree.
The star is a little more complicated to make, but looks beautiful when it's finished. This ornament looks great using translucent or transparent beads that catch the light from the Christmas tree lights. Faceted beads work great with this project, too. Take two pipe cleaners of the same color and cut them in half to make four sections. Twist them over each other at the center, so you end up with an eight-pointed star. Clip the ends of the pipe cleaners so each arm of the star is the same approximate length.
Now string beads onto each arm of the star. Use different shapes and colors. You can fold the last bit of each pipe cleaner over the final bead on each arm to help lock the beads into place. Tie a length of ribbon onto one arm and them tie it into a loop so you can hang it from the Christmas tree.