Dangle this gorgeous decoration from the Christmas tree, a chandelier - or just about anywhere
This project looks amazing hanging on a tree or from a chandelier, yet it is very quick and easy to make. The combination of gleaming metallics, iridescent turquoise, and azure beads arranged in concentric circles with pointed metal beads top and bottom are reminiscent of the exotic domes of ancient Byzantium.
1 tube each of bronze and gold 1/8in (3mm) pearl beads
1 tube each of silver, pink, gold, and blue 1/4in (5mm) cup sequins
1 pack crafting pins or dressmaking pins
2in (5cm) polystyrene crafting ball
2 small pointed metal beads
1 tube of blue round glass beads
1 tube of turquoise flat beads
Chiffon ribbon to hang
Thread one bronze pearl bead, then one gold sequin onto a pin and push it into the centre of the polystyrene ball, and continue like this until you have made a circle around the circumference. In the same way, make a circle next to that using gold pearl beads and gold sequins, then another gold circle on the other side of the bronze beads. You should now have a centre band of three rows of sequins and beads: a middle bronze one, with a gold row on either side
Put a pointed metal bead onto a pin and fix into the South Pole position. Next make two circles of blue sequins. Finish the underside by covering it with silver sequins.
Turn the ball over, and start by placing a pointed metal bead in the North Pole position. Next fix in one row of silver sequins, two rows of pink sequins, two rows of blue round glass beads, and finally three rows of flat turquoise beads. Note that sequins cover the polystyrene very well and can easily be slightly overlapped. Sometimes, the polystyrene glares through from between round beads, so slip a sequin under these, as shown in step 1. If small flat beads like the turquoise beads dont cover well, simply add some on top of others to cover the polystyrene.
Remove the metal bead at the North Pole position, thread a length of ribbon onto the pin for hanging, and a sequin to act as a washer, then replace the pin in the polystyrene ball.
Try a variation
Sequin balls are so easy to make, even children can do it, but under-tens should be supervised at all times, and its not recommended for under-fives, who may put pins in their mouths. Choose the biggest sequins you can find - 1/2in (1cm) in diameter - in a range of colours that all look good together. That way, the children are guaranteed a fabulous finished decoration. They usually start by putting in the sequins randomly, though older age groups soon graduate to doing concentric circles as shown above.
This pattern is taken from 'Home-made Christmas' by Tessa Evelegh (Cico Books, £14.99).