Learn how to make a beaded letter ornament with my easy step-by step tutorial. Beaded monogram letter ornaments are perfect for Christmas and weddings!
It’s that time of year again when me and some of my favorite DIY bloggers come together for our annual Handmade Christmas Ornament series!
We purposely schedule this for the beginning of October each year, so that you have time to make any of our ornaments for the upcoming holiday season. Remember: start crafting early and avoid any holiday stress!
Last year, I made Christmas ornaments that were sparkling and showy, like these pinecone ornaments. . .
. . . and I also made Farmhouse-style ornaments, like these wood slice dove ornaments . . .
(The dove ornaments will be featured in the upcoming 2018 holiday issue of Farmhouse Style magazine! You’ll also see some of my fellow bloggers from this handmade ornament series featured in the magazine as well, so keep on the lookout — it will be at the grocery checkout aisles on October 16th!)
FTC Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I explain more here.
Beaded Letter Ornament
This year, I decided to make an ornament that is sparkly but at the same time just a bit rustic glam too. Therefore, the best of both worlds!
I hope you like it!
- Wood letter of your choice, 5 inches
- FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint in Wicker White and White Pearl (Plaid Crafts)
- Small paintbrush (I use this brush set by Martha Stewart Crafts)
- Diamond Glaze Dimensional Adhesive (Judi-Kins)
- E6000 Craft Adhesive
- Glass seed bead assortment
- Imitation pearl flat-back beads
- White and silver sequins (just a few of each)
- Bowl for bead mixture
- Plastic bead tray
- Plastic recycled lid to hold paints
- Large craft stick
- Vintage lace trim for hanging
Step One: Start with an unfinished wood letter. You can find these at craft stores and online. (Click the link in the supplies list to see what is available easily from Amazon, for example.)
I found mine at Walmart in their craft aisle. It measures 5″ by 5″ — a good size for a beaded letter ornament.
Sand any rough edges, then wipe with a slightly damp cloth to remove any dust. Let dry.
Step Two: Paint the letter to provide a color base that will match your chosen beads.
Because my beaded monogram letter ornament will be in shades of ivory, cream and white, I painted my letter in one coat of Wicker White craft paint. Once dry, I added another coat of a similar craft paint color that has a metallic pearl sheen to it (called White Pearl) in a dabbing motion with my paintbrush.
Here’s a closer look at the texture I created just by dabbing the paint onto the letter with the flat end of my small brush:
I created this easy texture for three reasons: First, the painted texture provides a better surface for the glue adhesive to grab on the front. Second, it provides a finished look to the back of the ornament. Third, the paint provides a nice reflective sheen to the sides of the ornament.
Step Three: Create your bead mixture, making sure you have enough to completely cover the surface of your letter.
I found this glass seed bead mixture at Walmart, and was instantly drawn to the white, champagne silver, ivory and crystal-colored seed beads.
(I was, however, disappointed that when I opened this up at home, the center four compartments were empty, conveniently covered by the manufacturing label. Just a little pet peeve of mine.)
I mixed all of the seed beads together in a dark-colored bowl to better see the mixture. I ended up adding a few sequins into the mix for added sparkle.
Time to add the beads!
Step Four: Choose some larger beads to serve as your anchor beads, for the smaller seed beads and sequins to surround.
I chose some flat-back imitation pearl beads that already had in my stash. (In my supplies list above, I have several clickable links — including for a handy package of flat-backed pearls in various sizes.)
After playing with the placement of these pearl beads, I began attaching each one using Diamond Glaze adhesive, which is quite often used in jewelry making and beading projects. I love how strong it is, and that it dries to a clear finish.
Step Five: Glue the seed bead mixture to the letter.
This step goes quickly, once you get into a groove.
I use a plastic bead tray, which makes this step super easy, as the beads fall right into the tray, making for easy cleanup — and no worries that beads will fall on the floor and be accidentally eaten by my cats!
First, I applied a bit of Diamond Glaze adhesive, starting at the top of the letter. Then I hand-sprinkled the beads on top of the glaze, working in small sections at a time.
To help the beads adhere, use the flat end of a craft stick (see below) to gently press the beads down.
These craft sticks are also handy for keeping the beads contained onto the top of the letter, and not sneaking over the sides.
Use the craft stick (see below) to gently push any beads back onto the top of the letter. This insures clean edges and a professional look, as well as a guaranteed smile on your face with how helpful this is!
Let everything dry well. I let mine sit overnight.
Once dry, pick up your letter and slowly begin turning it upside down, so that any loose beads can fall off into the bead tray.
Helpful tip: If there are any gaps in the dried beads, add a drop of adhesive and an extra bead or two to fill in.
Isn’t this beaded letter ornament gorgeous? I think so!
Add a hanger!
Step Six: To easily attach a lace hanger to your ornament, apply two drops of E6000 craft adhesive — which is super strong — to the back of the letter, wherever you want each end of the lace to start. Add the lace, gently press it into place with a craft stick, and let dry for several hours. (I used a scrap of vintage lace from my own stash.)
This beaded letter ornament is perfect for our Christmas tree, but this would also make a sweet handmade gift too.
I can also imagine using a beaded letter ornament as a wedding decoration.
12 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments!
As I mentioned earlier, I’m “Day 7” of our 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments series this year!
I look forward to participating in this every year, as it is the perfect way to kick off the holiday crafting season!
Below are all 12 bloggers so you don’t miss any of their special DIY ornaments:
Day 1 – An Extraordinary Day
Day 2 – The How To Home
Day 3 – Celebrating Everyday Life
Day 4 – Atta Girl Says
Day 5 – Hunt and Host
Day 6 – Lovely Etc.
Day 7 – me: Pet Scribbles
Day 8 – Sweet Pea
Day 9 – I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Day 10- Remodelando la Casa
Day 11 – Live Laugh Rowe
Day 12 – The Crafting Nook
Happy holiday crafting!