I started with some wooden beads I had in my stash. I believe they came from Joann. Can't remember why I bought these, but I'm sure it was because I knew they'd be good for something someday. 😊
There were various sizes in the set, so I picked out 7mm beads for my 1:12 scale ornaments and 5 mm beads for 1:24 scale.
(As an aside, I also used one of the small oval beads for a 1:24 hat stand, so—multiple uses! See, I knew they'd be good for something. 😊)
Since these beads were varnished, I did have to spend some time sanding them lightly to remove the varnish. If you could find plain wood beads, you wouldn't have to do this step.
I then filled the centers with wood putty.
After letting them dry overnight, I sanded the top and bottom to get them as smooth as possible. It's best to give the putty plenty of time to dry, because you're pushing it inside the bead, where air doesn't reach it. When I tried to rush the process, I regretted it. When I tried to drill my holes in the next step, I ended up pushing out the entire putty plug. 🙄
Next, I used my pin vise and its smallest bit to drill holes in the top of each bead. These will be used for the hanging wire, but I also inserted straight pins into the holes temporarily for easier painting.
I painted the beads with Apple Barrel Cardinal Crimson acrylic paint. (Any flat craft paint will do. I wouldn't advise using gloss or satin, because I don't think the nail art will stick as well.) Because red tends not to cover well, it took a good two coats (sometimes three) to get them looking the way I wanted. During drying time, I inserted the pins into the foam block I use for making flowers.
When they were dry, I used some snowflake fingernail stickers (note: not water slide decals) to decorate them. Obviously, the nail stickers are flat and the beads are round, but the nice thing about snowflakes is that it's easy to snip between the "arms" to allow for better shaping of the sticker around the bead.
Once I had the snowflakes stuck down, I used one of my ball shaping tools to really burnish them down well.
I then applied two coats of clear nail polish, to give them a nice shine and really hold down the stickers.
I took some fine brass wire and shaped it into hooks—larger hooks for the 1:12 ornaments and smaller hooks for the 1:24 ornaments.
I glued gold tone beads (size 8 for 1:12, size 15 for 1:24) over the holes I had drilled, centering the hole of the bead over the hole for the wire, and glued them down with Locktite Precision Superglue Gel. I then put a dab of the superglue gel on my hooks and inserted them in the holes.
These can hang nicely on standard bottle brush trees.
Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and hope you all have a wonderful weekend with lots of time for your minis!