More often than not we are inspired by materials. Catalogs and conventions tend to overwhelm with the sheer volume of ideas. But can’t you usually pick up just a simple component, like a length of chain or some beads and have the beginning of an idea?
That’s how this bracelet started, with just the chain.
Sometimes designing is about asking what if. What if this edgy, industrial chain had girly pink beads on it? What if we added LOTS of bead dangles? What if we had a huge, funky clasp?
Sometimes the answer is, “Nah, don’t bother. Yuck.” And sometimes it comes out pretty cool. 🙂
How about you? What inspires you and what is your design process?
- 6.5 inch length of chunky chain for bracelet base, the one I used has 8 large links
- large lobster claw clasp
- 40 assorted beads of your choice, I used a combination of pressed glass bicones, lampwork glass, faceted metallics, frosted round glass beads, glass cube beads and white ivory look beads
- 40 assorted bead caps to fit your beads
- 40 headpins
- 2 pair chain nose pliers
- round nose pliers
- wire cutters
- crimping pliers, optional (for rounding over wire wrapping)
1. Note the thickness of the large links in your bracelet chain. Find the point on your round nose pliers that will make a loop large enough to fit over the large links. Use a sharpie, if you like, to mark that point on your round nose pliers.
2 Slide a bead and a bead cap onto a headpin. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap. Bend wire at 90° angle. Grasp bend with round nose pliers at marked point and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop. Reposition pliers to finish loop. Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose or crimping pliers to tuck in end.
3. Test to make sure your loop will fit over the chain link, then repeat step 2 for all 40 beads, bead caps and headpins.
4. If some of your beads (like my blue ones) are too big for the head pins, feel free to add a seed bead and/or a spacer bead to hold it in place.
5. Use two pairs of chain nose pliers to open a large link of your bracelet chain. Add five bead dangles to each link, three on one side and two on the other. Repeat to add dangles evenly along entire length of chain.
6. Attach lobster clasp on one end of bracelet chain.