You can never have too much bling on a Christmas tree and that is one of the reasons I love making decorations at this time of year. The icicle decoration is one of my favourites because it is quick and fun to make and also because the more you have the better they look!
The design has quite a history. It was first offered as a workshop at Spoilt Rotten Beads back in 2018 and it was very well received by the students, as well as being great fun for me. The following year I wrote a detailed tutorial for the design. The whole point of this icicle is that it can be made to look different according to the materials you have available. This allows each one to look a bit different, just as they would in nature. It is also very practical because it can be difficult to find all the beads you might want in crystal and even if you can they are probably sold by different suppliers, adding lots of individual shipping costs to the cost of your icicles. In the tutorial I show how the icicle can be made in two different ways and I show lots of examples of how different beads can be used. The construction works very well in different colours as well, so it can be used for all sorts of different occasions.
In 2019 I also offered kits for the icicle. Each kit contained enough materials to make 2 icicles of slightly different designs. They sold out immediately so I made up more kits using slightly different beads, to offer variety for people who bought both kits. All those samples found their way to my Christmas tree to great effect!
You would think I had lots of time to make up new kits in 2020, but I misjudged the time it takes to gather all the different beads and simply ran out of time. This kit is particularly time-consuming to make up because there are a lot of different beads to count out and bag up. Some of the beads have fairly small holes, so I pre-stiffen the ends of the cords to make them easier to pass through the beads and this takes a lot of time because there are 16 ends to stiffen for each kit!
This year I was determined to find the time to get some kits made up and so I have been busy purchasing the beads and playing with the details of the new version. For the narrow part of the icicle I have put together a bead mix of 6 different finishes. This means that by threading on the beads randomly each icicle will be different. For the rest of the icicle I have found 3 different shapes and size of bead. These may vary slightly from the images, but they all include the fabulous twist beads in both crystal and crystal AB. Sourcing all of these beads is quite a challenge and I have had to buy from no less than 7 different suppliers!
I realise that some people may prefer to make 2 matching icicles and that is possible as well. I have pre-threaded the tips of the icicles with drop beads and crystal rondelles. One cord has one crystal and the other has 3, so it would be easy to swap one across to make them even. In the instructions I suggest making one longer than the other, but there are enough beads to make them both the longer length.
When I was packing up the beads for the kits I realised that they could be used for a beautiful necklace, so I quickly tried it out and was delighted by the result. I have decided to send PDF instructions for adapting the design to make a necklace. I think that purchasers of this kit will have a difficult decision to make … frosty ornaments or Ice Queen necklace!