The history of decorating Christmas trees goes back to the early 16th century. Legend has it that Martin Luther lighted a Christmas tree with candles to demonstrate to his children how stars shine through the dark. The earliest trees in Germany were decorated with gingerbread and wax ornaments. Tinsel was invented in 1610, and was made from real silver until the middle of the 20th century. In England, the earliest Christmas trees were decorated with tinsel, silver wire ornaments, and beads. Early Christmas trees were all decorated with home made ornaments.
These light and airy twisted wire ornaments are jewelry for the Christmas tree. Make them from silver (as shown here) or from colored wire. Very little time and a tree to decorate? Quickly add metallic shimmer to catch and reflect the tree lights. Dress them up with a few beads and watch them sparkle. Christmas cornucopias and cornucopia angels can be added, along with garland to complete the decorations. These decorating ideas prove that beautiful doesn’t have to be expensive.
Materials and Supplies to Make Twisted Wire Ornaments
- Spool of 24 gauge jewelry wire
- Wire cutters
- Masking tape
- Small paring knife, with about 5/8″ wide blade
- Needle nose pliers
- Assorted beads
How to Make Twisted Wire Ornaments
- Protect the knife blade by covering the cutting edge with masking tape.
- Starting 2 to 3 inches above the tip of the knife, wrap wire from the spool around the knife, leaving a 5 to 6 inch tail on both ends. Wrap firmly, but not so tightly that the wire won’t come off the knife, all the way to the tip. Click the picture below for a larger view.
- Remove the wire from the knife. Individual wraps may need to be pulled, but be careful not to pull the wraps away from each other, causing a gap between the wraps. The wire will naturally twist when it is off of the knife. If it doesn’t twist, or you want a little more twist, try using a smaller knife.
- Create a loop for hanging from the wire at the wide end of the twist.
- Beads can be added to the top and bottom wire, as desired.
Make lots of these easy twisted wire ornaments. Make them long, make them short, and in different colors. Home made Christmas tree ornaments have a long history. While store bought ornaments are beautiful, the satisfaction of making your own has special meaning that warms and lightens cold winter nights.