I have made a lot of these over the years. Take that to mean hundreds. Amazingly, I still had to look at one this morning to remember how to get started. Posting this on Instructables will prevent me from having that problem again.
You can use any size beads. I learned on pony beads--this works well for learning since you can see what you are doing. Most of my ornaments are made that size. Other large beads work well for ornaments--wooden, plastic, glass, even metal. Earnings might need to be a bit smaller--I use a variety of sizes of seed beads. Experiment, see what you like.
They were playing around with pony beads at the rehab center yesterday. That is what reminded me of this project.
Step 1: Getting Started--center Ring
Pick an appropriate thickness of thread or cord depending on your beads. I am using pony beads so crochet cotton works. For seed beads I use thinner thread.
If it is appropriate, choose a needle. Depending on the string you use and the size holes in your beads, you may not need a needle. I find it easier with a needle since you have to pass the thread through the same bead several times. I have done it successfully both ways.
You will need a total of 35 beads--I used 25 of the main color (yellow) and 10 of a contrasting color (red). I used the contrasting colors for the photos. These stars can be made from multiple colors or just one.
String 10 beads--alternating colors. Secure the beginning of the thread to the end of the 10 beads--tie a knot to form a ring.
Step 2: Second Round
Add on 5 beads (yellow, yellow, red, yellow, yellow). Skip 1 bead (yellow) of the first round, and pass the thread through the next bead (red).
Add 5 more beads. Skip 1 bead from the first round, etc. Keep this up all the way around.
Step 3: Last Round--finishing Up
You are done adding beads but this last round makes the points of the star a bit more pronounced.
Pass the thread through the bead from the first round. Pass the thread through beads 1, 2, 4, and 5 (the yellow ones) from round 2. Continue through the first round bead and 4 of the 5 beads from round 2 all the way around. Skipping the middle beads (the red ones) of round 2, makes them stick out a bit when you pull the thread of round 3 tight. Tie the thread to the tail from round 1.
Clip the threads.
Attach an ornament hanger to one of the points.