Apr 182016
 

imperial jasper bracelet (1)

This bracelet design is similar to ones I’ve done before, combining single strands of larger beads with smaller ones on multiple strands. It’s easy to do, and an interesting look. It’s also a great trick for stretching a few special beads to make an entire piece of jewelry. 😀

The silver stardust beads bring out some of the silvery gray color in the jasper beads. I’d considered using black beads as an accent, but thought they were too stark.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Imperial Jasper Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Dec 212015
 

amethyst copper bracelet

This week’s bracelet design is a fairly basic one. Amethyst teardrop beads are strung onto eye pins to make bead connectors for the main part of the bracelet. They are then linked together by a single link of chain, or an oval jump ring, with several copper bead dangles hanging from each link of chain.

There are so many variations that you could do with this and totally change the look and feel by changing up the choice of beads and colors. I love the idea of making the dangles in freshwater pearls with perhaps peridot or a pretty pink crystal used for the main beads. It would be quite spring-like.

I hope you like this design in that you give it a try! Here are a few of the supplies are used in making this bracelet.

By the way when I first started this design I used some fairly inexpensive head pins and 75% of them broke in the making of the loops. Argh. This proves to me once again that cheap materials don’t save you much. Buy the best quality you can afford. You’ll be glad you did with the amount of time and aggravation it saves you.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Amethyst & Copper Dangles Bracelet  Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 8-12 4mm-8mm beads for main part of bracelet, amount varies depending on the size of beads
  • one eye pin for each bead
  • beads for dangles (4x number used for main part of bracelet)
  • one head pin for each dangle
  • chain with 4-5 mm oval links or oval jump rings
  • clasp

Tools

  • chain nose pliers
  • 1-Step Looper or:
    • round nose pliers &
    • wire cutters

Directions

  1. Slide each of your main beads onto an eye pin. Use round nose pliers to make a loop or use the One Step Looper. Connect all of these bead links together with an oval link of chain or jump ring between each one until bracelet is long enough to go around wrist.
  2. Slide beads for dangles onto head pins. Use round nose pliers or One Step Looper to make loops. Attach four, or as many as you’d like, to each link of chain on bracelet.
  3. Use a jump ring or a link of chain to attach clasp to one and. Attach four additional links of chain or jump rings to other end.
  4. Make additional bead dangles by sliding beads onto head pins and making loops, Attach a few of these to the four links of chain at the other end of the bracelet.
Feb 232015
 

pink & purple chain bracelet (1)

Sometimes it’s fun to dig through the bead stash and pull out bits & pieces of chain, some orphan beads & put them all together in a pretty piece of jewelry.

pink & purple chain bracelet (2)

The gold chain and charms tie in all the differing components of this bracelet to make a varied and interesting whole.

What bits & pieces are in your bead collection that might work together?

Happy creating and enjoy the video!

You can watch the Pink & Purple Chain Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 10 8-10mm beads
  • 12 6mm beads
  • 5 charms & 5 jump rings
  • (or make your own charm dangles by adding assorted metal beads to headpins)
  • 3 different styles of chain 6-7 inches of each (or use a variety of small bits and pieces)
  • 20 gauge wire
  • 12 headpins
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 split rings

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

See the video for detailed instructions.

Sep 152014
 

When I saw this set of ocean creature charms, sea glass seemed the natural choice to go with them.

Sea Glass Charm Bracelet

But I didn’t have any sea glass beads, and didn’t feel like going shopping for some. Instead, I made my own.

Sea Glass Charm Bracelet 2

So today I have two videos for you, one showing how to make the faux sea glass beads and the other showing how to make the bracelet.

faux sea glass polymer clay

The above photo of the far more realistic looking sea glass is what I show how to make in the first video. It has a higher proportion of clay to ink and therefore lets more light shine through, giving a more real sea glass appearance.

If you create something based on these tutorials, please share photos with us on Keepsake Crafts’ Facebook page. You’ll find a special folder, entitled “Your Creations” under “Photos” > “Albums.”

Enjoy the videos and happy creating!

To Make Faux Sea Glass Beads:

    • translucent polymer clay
    • alcohol inks in colors of your choice (I used Ranger’s Stream and Bottle)
    • needle for piercing beads
  1. Condition until soft, then roll out 1/8 package (1/4 ounce) translucent clay into a flat sheet. Rub the edge of alcohol ink dropper on the clay, spreading a thin smear of ink an inch or so long.  Allow ink to dry until there are no shiny spots.
  2. Repeat for as many colors as you’d like. Each 1/4 ounce will make six or seven beads. (Rubbing alcohol or  Alcohol Blending Solution will remove the color from your hands.)
  3. Roll each color of clay into a log and break into pieces the size of the beads you want. Roll each piece into a ball. Use a smooth tool like an acrylic block to slightly flatten each ball from three different directions. This will give each piece a random shape.
  4. Pierce each bead with a needle to create the stringing hole.  Accordion fold a piece of cardstock for a baking rack and bake at manufacturer’s recommended temperature for recommended time.

To make bracelet:

Materials:

  • 8-10 sea glass (or faux sea glass) beads
  • 8-10 ocean theme metal charms
  • bracelet with clasp and chunky chain (my bracelet chain has 16 links)
  • head pins
  • 3mm spacer beads
  • jump rings

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Onto a head pin string a spacer bead, a sea glass bead and another spacer bead. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop open and insert a link of bracelet chain. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  2. Repeat to add a sea glass bead dangle to every other link of bracelet chain.
  3. Arrange ocean creature charms between sea glass on bracelet in the order you’d like. Attach each to a link of chain with jump rings.
Mar 102014
 

My son saw me wire wrapping this bracelet with copper wire and decided to pull the wire out of a bunch of electronics he had saved for recycling. Now I’ve got piles of 28 gauge copper wire and figured I’d better do something with some of it.

messy-wrapped-drops-dangle-bracelet-2

Top drilled beads are wrapped with just wire, not head pins or eye pins, so I went digging around in my stash for some some drops that would work.

The only bummer is that this kind of wire has an enamel coating, so it won’t patina with liver of sulfur. Any suggestions for a quick and easy way to remove the coating?

messy-wrapped-drops-dangle-bracelet-1

I’m really liking the mix of earthy tones in this bracelet, but it feels like it still needs something.  Perhaps if I come across some drops in an amber color, those will be the perfect finishing touch.

You can watch the Messy Wrap Drop Dangle Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials: 

  • total of 7 inches chain for bracelet base (mine uses 6-inches of large link and 1-inch smaller links)
  • 12 – 8mm Swarovski crystal top-drilled bicone beads in color Mocha
  • 8 – 15mm red dyed stone top-drilled triangle shape beads
  • lobster clasp
  • approximately seven yards 28 gauge copper wire (reclaimed from the inside of discarded electronics)

 Tools: 

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • nylon jaw pliers
  • wire cutters 
  1. Cut wire into 8 – 16-inch pieces and 12 – 10-inch pieces. To straighten wire, hold one end firmly with chain nose pliers and slide through nylon jaw pliers several times.
  2. Slide a 16-inch piece of wire into a 15mm bead, leaving an inch sticking out one end. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole.  Grasp both wires with chain nose pliers at top of triangle and bend at 90° angle.
  3. Treating both wires as one grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop open and slide over a link of your bracelet chain. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers.
  4. Wrap remaining wire around bends and down to cover bead hole.  You will be building up a cone shape of wire from the bottom of the loop to just below the bead holes. Tuck in wire end with chain nose pliers.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 to wire wrap all 15mm beads with 16-inch pieces of wire and 8mm Swarovski crystal bicones with 10-inch pieces of wire and attach to bracelet.
  6. If necessary, attach all pieces of chain together to make length of bracelet. Use jump ring to attach lobster clasp.
May 062013
 

These Chan Luu style bracelets are quite popular now.  I love the slightly earthy, hippie vibe you get from the cord wrapping. They’re also amazingly simple to put together.

5-wrap-bracelet-beaded

The website has some gorgeous combinations, with Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones, and if you can afford it, the prices are well worth it.

However, if like me, you’d prefer to make your own, here’s a video showing you a fun version. I’ve made a 5 wrap bracelet here, but I give directions so you can make a single, double, triple, quadruple or as many wraps as you like.

5-wrap-bracelet-5

If you want the look of several different bracelets, just bead a wrist’s length of beads in each color before going on to the next.

This is another project where all the different color combination possibilities totally fire the imagination!

Happy creating and enjoy the video. I’m still waiting for WordPress to solve the video embedding problem so here’s the tutorial over at YouTube:  Multiple Wrap Beaded Bracelet

Quintuple/Multiple Wrap Beaded Bracelet

Difficulty: Medium

Materials:

  • 1 mm Leather Cord, approximately 2.5 yards (see directions for more precise measurement)
  • 5-6 yards silk cord (see below for sources)
  • 7-8 inches each of five different kinds of beads
  • button for closure, 3/4-inch to-1 inch in diameter
  • 7mm-10 mm jump rings, 10-20 or so
  • needle & needle threader
  • super glue

Directions:

To determine length of leather cord needed measure around your wrist for a comfortable bracelet size. Double this measurement. For a quintuple wrap bracelet, multiply this number by 5. Add 12 inches to get the length of leather cord you will need.

For example: Your wrist measures 7.5 inches. Double this to get 15 inches. Multiply 15 by 5 to get 75. Add 12 to get 87 inches. Feel free to cut a little extra for insurance.

  1. Slide button onto leather cord. If using a shank style button, just slide cord through shank. If using a button with holes, slide cord from the back through one hole and from the from the front through another hole. Center button on leather cord.
  2. Thread 2-3 yards of silk cord onto needle. Pinch end of silk cord between two leather cords, right next to button. Wrap silk cord around silk cord end and leather cords for about ¼ inch. Apply a drop or two of super glue and allow to dry. Trim any excess silk cord end.
  3. Tape button down to work surface. Keeping leather cords parallel, tape them down about 12 inches away from button.
  4. Slide threaded needle under top leather cord.
  5. Slide a bead onto needle and slide down silk cord until bead touches leather cord.
  6. Bring silk cord up over and then back under bottom leather cord, then back through bead, being careful not to split the silk cord.
  7. Bring silk cord over the top leather cord and repeat steps 4-6 with remaining beads, moving and retaping cords to work surface as you progress.
  8. To add a new piece of silk cord, first cut new length of cord. Pinch end of new cord and about ¼ inch of old cord between two leather cords below last bead added. Use remaining end of silk cord to wrap for about ¼ inch. Apply a drop or two of super glue and allow to dry. Trim any excess silk cord end.
  9. To cover this wrapped cord, slide jump rings onto two leather cords and new silk cord. Resume adding beads.
  10. Before finishing bracelet check to make sure it wraps comfortably around your wrist the number of times you want. Finish bracelet by pinching about ¼ inch of silk cord between two leather cords below last bead added. Use remaining end of silk cord to wrap for about ¼ inch. Apply a drop or two of super glue and allow to dry. Trim any excess silk cord end.
  11. Hold two leather cords together and tie into an overhand knot, including wrapped silk cord into knot. Make another overhand knot about 1 inch away. The space between the two knots should be just large enough for the button to go through. Make one more overhand knot the same distance away from the second knot. Trim any excess leather cord.

Sources for silk cord:

For 2 meter cards of silk cord with wire needles already attached (you’ll need 3 cards to make a quintuple wrap bracelet):  Silk cord No. 5

This spool is far more economical, since you get 115 yards, but you have to choose one color and stick with it. Also, you’ll have to thread your own needles.  Silk Beading Cord Size FF Black

Oct 082012
 

In case you were wondering, here’s yet another way to use cuff bracelet links.  This one is the simplest of all.  (Here are the links for the steampunk bracelet tutorial and the pink floral cuff bracelet.)

blue-cuff-bracelet-still

I love the way the silver, blue and gunmetal all work together. Plus, I find these so much more comfortable to wear than regular, solid cuff bracelets.

blue-cuff-bracelet-still-close

Happy creating!

Supplies:

  • 3 – 1 1/2-inch x 1-inch oval cuff bracelet links
  • 12 – 6mm jump rings
  • 4 – 8mm jump rings
  • 3 inches chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  1. Attach a 6mm jump ring to each of the four holes in each of the bracelet links.
  2. Slide an 8mm jump ring through 2 adjacent 6mm jump rings, then through 2 adjacent 6mm jump rings of a different bracelet link.  Attach remaining bracelet link in same manner.  Also attach 8mm jump rings to the end pairs of 6mm jump rings.
  3. Attach a 1-inch piece of chain to one end of bracelet; add a lobster clasp to end of chain.  Attach remaining 2-inches of chain to other end of bracelet to complete.

 

Oct 072012
 

I’ve been having a blast, making these cuff bracelet links for my Etsy shop.  Not only is making the links fun, but I’ve got loads of ideas for how to use them.  In case you missed it, here’s a video for a steampunk bracelet I did a few days ago.  I have plans to make at least one more tutorial showing how to use these links.

pink-cuff-bracelet-link-still-005

Because they’re polymer clay, these oval links are very light and comfortable to wear. However, like I mention in the video, I’m sure you could find other components to use as a focal point.  It kinda makes you look at everything in the craft store in a new way.  🙂

pink-cuff-bracelet-link-still-001

Right now, I’m offering 20% off your entire purchase in my Etsy shop.  Just use coupon code KCBLOG20 when you check out.

pink-cuff-bracelet-link-still-004

Don’t miss my tip at the end of the video for making bead counterweights. (So the bracelet’s not always upside down on your wrist.  Annoying!)

Materials (to make a 7 1/2 inch bracelet)

  • 1 1/2-inch x 1-inch oval cuff bracelet link
  • 2 – 4 3/4-inch pieces chunky chain (with odd number of links)
  • 10-16 assorted beads
  • 10-16 headpins
  • 4 – 10mm jump rings
  • 2 – 8mm jump rings
  • 4-inch pieces of 22 gauge wire instead of headpins for any top drilled beads
  • lobster clasp
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Slide beads onto headpins.  Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make wrapped loops. (Or follow directions in video to wrap top drilled beads.)
  2. Open a 10mm jump ring and slide into a hole of cuff bracelet link.  slide 2 or 3 bead dangles onto portion of jump ring coming out of top side of cuff bracelet link.  Slide one end of one piece of chunky chain onto jump ring and close jump ring.
  3. Open another jump ring and slide into other hole of cuff bracelet link on the same side.  Slide on remaining 2 or 3 bead dangles and other end of same piece of chain.  Repeat to add chain and bead dangles to other side of cuff bracelet link.
  4. Find center links of chunky chain.  If desired, attach additional 5 or 6 bead dangles to one of these center links, along with an 8mm jump ring.  Attach an 8mm jump ring and a lobster clasp to other center link.

Happy creating.  🙂

Sep 282012
 

I’ve been having fun, making some new items for my Etsy shop.  Of course, as soon as the jewelry gets made, I have to wear it!

steampunk-cuff-link-bracelet-still-1

So, I’m wearing my new steampunk bracelet right now, and loving it.

cuff-bracelet-link-steampunk

What’s listed in my Etsy shop are the individual oval links.

steampunk-cuff-link-bracelet-still-2

I’ll be posting a video soon showing how you can make a very cool bracelet with only one link.  But I’m kinda partial to this one with three.  🙂

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • three oval cuff bracelet links, approximately 1.5 inches x 1 inch (two holes on each side)
  • 14 8mm jump rings
  • eight small beads
  • eight eye pins
  • lobster clasp
  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide a bead onto an eye pin. Use round nose and chain nose pliers to make a loop with remaining pin. Cut off excess eye pin. Repeat to make a total of eight bead links.
  2. Open a jump ring; slide into a hole of a cuff bracelet link. Slide on a bead link and close jump ring. Open another jump ring; slide into corresponding hole in another cuff bracelet link. Slide on other end of bead link, being careful to keep everything straight and untwisted. Repeat to attach second pair of holes in cuff bracelet link. Repeat to attach third cuff bracelet link.
  3. Use jump rings to attach remaining four bead links to remaining four holes in cuff bracelet links.
  4. Attach remaining loops of two bead links (coming from the same cuff bracelet link) to a single jump ring. Repeat for remaining two bead links, adding a lobster clasp to this jump ring.

 

Aug 072012
 

This super quick and easy bracelet of wooden beads has a great, earthy vibe.  Using leather cord to string the beads means you don’t even need any jewelry making tools!

knotted-cord-bracelet-still

I love the lightweight feel of these wooden beads; you hardly notice it on your wrist.  Sometimes in the summer, a bunch of heavy glass beads can be quite uncomfortable.

If you’ve never made your own jewelry before, this is a great project to start with.  Find just three focal beads and six accent beads that you love and have fun creating!

Materials:

  • three 1-inch wooden beads
  • six 3/8-inch wooden beads
  • 15 inches 1mm leather cord
  • one lobster clasp
  • 1½ inches chain
  • scissors

Instructions:

  1. Trim ends of leather cord at an angle. Slide on one 3/8-inch bead, one 1-inch bead, and another 3/8-inch bead. Make knots in cord at either side of 3/8-inch beads.
  2. Make another knot in cord ½ inch away from previous knot. Slide on one 3/8-inch bead, one 1-inch bead, and another 3/8-inch bead. Make another knot in cord after second 3/8-inch bead. Repeat to use final three beads.
  3. Tie lobster clasp to one side and chain to other side of remaining cord.  Make several knots along cord if desired. Trim ends at an angle.