Set your New Year's Eve party apart from the crowd with glass-bead enhanced dinnerware, napkin rings, and a candleholder.
Use multicolored glass nuggets to make chargers sparkle like jewels. Use similar colors for each place setting, or give each one a different shade.
(for each place setting)
1. Clean glassware. Wash all glassware in warm soapy water and dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth. Wipe all surfaces with a lint-free cloth and vinegar to remove any soap or fingerprints; let dry.
2. Paint the year on the flute. Using the silver pen, write the new year on the bowl of the flute. Allow the paint to dry for 24 to 48 hours.
3. Etch the dinner plate. Sponge etching cream onto the outer rim of the dinner plate, letting some shiny glass show through. Vary the thickness of the etching cream on the glass. Leave the cream on according to the manufacturer's directions.
4. Remove etching cream. Wearing rubber gloves, wash the etching cream away in warm water.
5. Etch other glassware. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to etch the back of the plate, the salad plate, the bowl of the goblet, and the bowl of the flute (avoiding the area with the writing).
6. Decorate the charger. Randomly arrange the glass nuggets around the outer rim of the charger plate, making sure they do not extend beyond the outer edge or so far in that they interfere with the dinner plate. One at a time, place a small dot of glue under each nugget and press it in place until the nugget is secure. Let dry for 24 hours.
7. To clean these dishes, we recommend washing them by hand. Take care not to scratch the silver writing on the flutes.
These sparkling rings can grace your table long after the holidays.
(for each place setting)
1. Prepare the base ring. Apply a small amount of glue to the silver ring over the ends; let dry to create a smooth join.
2. Thread beads onto wire. Cut a 30-inch length of wire. Make about three small loops at the end. Carefully transfer about 22 inches of beads to the wire from the threaded hank. Make tiny loops at the ends of the wire.
3. Wrap beaded wire around base ring. Apply a small amount of glue to about 1/2 inch of the circumference of the ring. Wrap the beads around the ring about four times over the glue; allow to dry, leaving about 3 inches of excess wire at the beginning. Wrap the end wire temporarily around the ring to prevent the beads from shifting on the wire. Continue wrapping the beaded wire around the ring to the end of the wire.
4. Make and add another beaded wire. Join on a second length of beads by inserting wire from a second strand through the last 5 beads of the first strand and pulling 3 inches of wire through; pull snugly so there isn't a gap. Continue wrapping beads around the ring until you reach the beginning. Join the strands as before, leaving 3-inch wire tails.
5. Secure with wire tails. Wrap the wire around the napkin ring between rows of beads, pulling snug to conceal the wire between the rows of beads.
Since you thread most of the beads onto wire first, assembling this sparkling table accent will be quicker than you think.
1. Cut and bend frame pieces. Cut three pieces of 16-gauge wire, measuring 10 inches long each. Mark two points 3 1/2 inches from the ends of each wire piece, using a permanent marker. Hold the length of wire firmly in flat-nose pliers next to the marked point. Press on the wire to make a right angle at the marked point. Repeat at the second point, and for the remaining two pieces of wire to make the frame pieces for the candleholder.
2. Make decorative end coils. Make a small loop at the ends of the wire frame pieces, using round-nose pliers. Hold the loop with the tip of the chain-nose pliers. Begin coiling the wire around the loop by pressing the wire away from you, using your thumb; keep an even amount of space between the rings of the coil. Open the pliers and move them along the length of the wire in about 1/8-inch increments while coiling. Continue coiling until the size of the coil is about 1/2 inch in diameter. Repeat to make coils at the ends of each frame piece.
3. Make a bend in 2 of the frame pieces. Mark the center bottom of 2 of the frame pieces. Position flat-nose pliers next to the mark and push the wire against a hard surface or tool to make a 60-degree angle. Repeat for the second frame piece.
4. Make the frame. Cut and fold a 6-inch length of 24-gauge wire in half. Place the frame pieces around the glass circle so the glass looks like it's divided evenly into six pie shapes by the wire frames. (It may be helpful to mark the center of the third frame piece.) Wrap the 6-inch length of wire around the centers of the frame pieces. Make three wraps across the center of the wires; remove the glass and twist the ends of wire together to one side of the wrapped area, using chain-nose pliers. Trim the twisted wire to 1/4 inch and fold the end over. Crimp flat with flat-nose pliers.
5. Tape around the sides of the frame. Turn the frame right side up. Cut an 11-inch piece of masking tape. Mark points on the tape spaced a scant 1 3/4 inches apart. Wrap the sides of the wire frame with masking tape, aligning the marked points with the wire frame pieces.
6. String beads on wires. Cut several 26-inch lengths of 24-gauge wire. Loop one end of a wire to hold the beads on. Slowly transfer about 18 inches of beads from the hank to the wire; loop the end to hold the beads on. Continue to string additional wires with seed beads; set them aside.
7. Begin adding beads and wire to frame. Cut another 26-inch length of 24-gauge wire and wrap the end three times around one wire spoke of the frame at the bottom center of the frame. String two seed beads on the wire and wrap the wire once around the next spoke. Add two more beads to the wire and wrap the wire once around the next spoke. Continue to circle around the bottom of the frame, adding beads to the wire and wrapping the wire around spokes of the frame. Continue until you reach the end of the wire. Join to a 26-inch length of beaded wire at a spoke in the frame by twisting the ends around the spoke, then together for about 3/8 inch. Press the twisted ends flat against the spoke of the frame.
8. Continue adding beaded wire to frame. Wrap additional lengths of beaded wire around the frame in the same manner, pushing beads aside to wrap the wire once around each spoke until you reach the tape. Remove half the width of the tape and continue beading as far as you can, then remove the remaining tape. Wrap the beads around the frame until you reach the base of the coiled spirals at the top. Anchor the last wire by wrapping it a couple of times around the last spoke.
9. Assemble pendants. Thread a flat silver bead, a blue accent bead, then another flat silver bead onto a head pin. Cut the pin 3/8 inch from the top of the last bead. Bend the wire above the last bead at a 90-degree angle. Grasp the end of the pin with round-nose pliers and roll the wire to make a loop.
10. Attach pendants to candleholder. Open the loop with chain-nose pliers, and hang the beaded pin from the spiral coil; close the loop. Repeat for the remaining coils.