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Adventures in gift giving: Bead For Life

November 12, 2008 |  5:48 pm

The first in a series of unique and inexpensive gift ideas for the holidays

The idea of buying and giving gifts this year has made me a little anxious.  I’ve reined in my spending, but hate to skimp on presents.

So, it’s time to get creative, and I welcome the challenge, whether it means being extra crafty, baking a ton of cookies or MacGyvering up some neat art project I hope my parents will love enough to hang somewhere in their house.                               1multiples_in_curve 

Thankfully, because of a few unique and inexpensive gift ideas I’ve stumbled upon, no one will have to suffer the sight of some crude craft project I’ve whipped up. 

The gift I plan on giving my stylish girlfriends are bracelets and necklaces made from beads purchased at http://www.beadforlife.org/. The beads are made by women living in poverty in Uganda. They recycle old newspapers to form oblong shaped beads that come in brilliantly vibrant colors.  The sale of the beads along with the jewelry they make helps them to get out of poverty and support themselves.

I was feeling ambitious and bought a bag of loose beads for $12 that I hope to fashion into some gorgeous and colorful bracelets that will look great stacked high on the arm. They also sell necklaces, bracelets and earrings that all make really beautiful gifts. I purchased a triple-strand necklace to give away (as a backup incase I don’t accomplish my goal of making 100 bracelets); it was only $20.

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Along with a few bracelets in a box, I’ll include a note that tells the story of where the beads came from and how they help support those who made them.

Suddenly gift giving doesn’t seem so daunting, but actually exciting and above all, rewarding.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Bead For Life jewelry. Credit: Bead For Life.

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