Do you still have any of your childhood tree ornaments? My mom gave me a box of mine last Christmas, and putting them on my own tree brought back so many memories! Alongside the handprint reindeers and favorite snowmen, I found one that my family used to give as gifts to everyone. These would be great to make for classmates, since they're fun, personalized, and easy enough to make in large quantities!
[You'll need beads of varying sizes, thin wire, pliers, and a ribbon to finish these off.]
First, use your wire to form the shape of whatever initial you want, and cut the end. You can straighten it back out now, so that the beads go on more easily. Using your pliers, bend the end into a small ring:
I like to put my beads in something very shallow, so that it's easier to thread them quickly. I usually use tupperware lids, because the grooves catch any runaway beads :). I've often done more monochrome initials, but it's kind of fun to do colorful, eclectic ones for little kids!
After stringing the whole length of the wire, use the pliers to form another ring on the other end:
Then bend the wires into your letter shapes!
Use the small rings you've formed to thread a ribbon through the ornaments, so that they can hang on the tree.
They're so simple, but you never know - you could be bringing them out twenty years later like I am :).