Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration Project #2! Perky Pixie Ornament!

Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration Project #2: Perky Pixie Ornament
Copyright Margot Potter 2009
Copyright McCall's Magazine circa 1960s
Copyright Margot Potter 2009
(Click on images to view close up)
Today’s retrofabulosity is courtesy of McCall’s Christmas Make-It Ideas Vol. VIII which is curiously lacking a publishing date. Based on the hair styles and the kitschy crafty deliciousness inside, it appears to be sometime in the late 1960s. There is so much good stuff in this one magazine; I could mine it for inspiration for years to come. Yay! Today’s retrofabulous project is a jaunty little elf made from beads, buttons and tinsel pipe cleaners. Their charming versions are made from lovely felt, pipe cleaners and Styrofoam balls covered with nylon them. I’m particularly smitten with the tiny antennae...

I decided to try using beads and bits from my studio. I do love felt so, but I wanted to give it a new spin. I scored these painted wooden face beads in Manhattan, but I’m quite sure you can find similar beads online or at your local craft chains. If not, paint a plain wooden bead yourself, this is a fairly simple series of circles and lines! I would totally sport this as a necklace...seriously. It's that cute! So it falls into the 'ornapendant' category I created last year for sure!
Retrofabulous Perky Pixie Ornament
Copyright 2009 Margot Potter


30mm wooden face bead (or plain wooden bead you decorate)
1.5” white plastic button
25mm white plastic bead
10mm frosted red Lucite bead (Plaid Fresh)
2 10mm olivine moonglow vintage Lucite beads
7 9mm red moonglow vintage side drilled button Lucite beads
2 19mm olivine Lucite leaves1 30mm dark olive 3 petal Lucite flower (40mm widest side to side of petals)
2 20mm red vintage (or new) buttons
26 gauge Beadalon German style wire
18 gauge Beadalon Artistic Wire Tinned Copper
Silver tinsel wire

1. Thread a 10” 26 gauge wire over bent in half over the center of a tinsel pipe cleaner.

2. Thread 26 gauge wire into a Lucite flower bead, a white plastic bead, a face bead and into a big button and a final bead. Wrap wire flush to the back and around the bottom of the final bead using pliers to twist and secure. Cut off excess and tuck wire tail into itself.

3. Thread a wire with a red bead and two Lucite leaves. Wrap around the neck area of base. Twist ends, cut off excess and tuck wire into itself.

4. Cut off a 5” segment of tinsel pipe cleaner. Thread a bead on each end and loop wire end with round nose pliers to secure bead. Wrap center of beaded pipe cleaners around neck of base, these are your arms.
5. Thread 6 8mm beads on a 4” section of 26 gauge wire. Wrap wire around waist of base. Use pliers to twist wire, cut off excess and tuck tail under.

6. Thread ends of bottom tinsel into buttons, use pliers to pull wire. Wrap tinsel around itself. These are your legs.

7. Add a wire hook to the top of your ornament and enjoy! (These make fabulous package toppers!)

The vintage Lucite beads were given to me by The Beadin’ Path for use in my design work, the other materials were purchased by me.


TesoriTrovati said...

You amaze me Miss M! What fun. Wish I lived where you do so that we could get crafty together. I could see starting little crafting bees all over...people getting together and making kitschy stuff just like the quilting bees of yore. Love the elfs. Reminds me of a Christmas decoration that we have in storage. Time to trim the tree! Enjoy the day!

Margot Potter said...


I'm sure we'd have a wonderful time together. I like that, crafting bees! Happy trimming!


violette said...

Yes......this is too cute for words Margot!
Hey...when did you change your website and blog??? I like what you have done. I'm considering going with wordpress to make things a bit easier!

Loved the picture of you and Avalon on the Duncan ad........almost screamed when i saw it.

Love, violette xo

Margot Potter said...


Thank you! I miss you so! I did the website several months back, wanted something more flexible. I'm using SquareSpace, which can be a blogging platform. That's really what it's designed to be. I like it a lot. I just redid the blog, it needed a little zip!

Are you going to CHA?! I'd love to see you.


Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

I wish you could see the smile on my face right now. I mean ear to ear!

Those are about the most adorable ornaments I've ever seen. I want to make some for my brothers and sisters with each one representing something special about each of them.