If you are in Toronto, the best deal on beads I have found is Chaton Beads near Queen West and Palmerston. It is on the south side of Queen just east of Palmerston. They also have shops in Quebec and I believe you might be able to order online. If you get on their email list, they will send you coupons for great deals. Occasionally they will have a coupon for 50% off everything in store. I went on one such day and got enough materials to make at least 30 stars for $20. What a steal!
1.0 mm aluminium wire
A selection of beads (ensure that the wire will fit through the hole of your bead, I used beads in the 4-8 mm range)
Hot glue gun and glue
A variety of sequins
In addition you will need a measuring tape or ruler, a pair of wire cutters and round-nose jewelry pliers.
1. Straighten out a section of your wire and cut roughly even lengths. I used 4", 5" and 6" to get three different sizes of star. You might find it helpful to use a spare piece of fabric to run along the wire as you straighten it out.
2. Decide how you want your star to look. Lay the pieces down in a shape that is pleasing to you and make sure that the angles are wide enough to make a relatively even looking star.
Once you know how you want the finished product to look lay one of your wire pieces on a surface you don't mind getting glue on and put a drop of hot glue in the center. Quickly press in another piece of wire into the glue spot at the predetermined angle. I am a bit fearless about burning my fingers, but do exercise caution. You want the glue to wrap around the second piece of wire. Also, be careful not to glue the pieces to the surface of the table. Lift the star off the surface before it dries. Once this dries, repeat with the third piece of wire. I tend to make a bunch of the star forms first and let them dry completely before beading. Don't worry at this stage, they will look ugly, but the magic is about to happen.
3. Slide the beads onto the spokes of the stars. Because the lengths are unlikely to be perfect, slide beads onto the shortest spoke first. It is also a good idea to use smaller beads for the center. Make sure you bead one spoke at a time or the beads will fall off and you will have a huge mess. Play with colour combinations until you find one you like. Leave at least a half centimeter at the end of the spoke unbeaded. With the round nose pliers, gently bend and loop the end so the beads will not fall off. If you have excess, trim with the wire cutters. This loop will also provide a place that you can slip a ribbon or string through for hanging. Repeat on the other spokes.
4. Once all of the spokes are beaded, choose a sequin for the middle of your star. Put a drop of glue in the middle and attach the sequin. Repeat for both sides. This not only finishes the star by hiding the ugly glue spot, but will also help to strengthen the connection. For a less sparkly look you could also use a button,or a more dimensional look you could use a bead, but I liked the combination of the flatness and bling provided by the sequins.
Voila! A beautiful ornament for the tree or for a gift topper.