Jan 182016
 

desert mesa bracelet

There are lots of different sources I use for my beads and jewelry findings, but the most convenient is my least favorite. The local craft stores such as Joann’s, Michael’s and A.C. Moore have plenty to choose from, but the quality isn’t always the best.

That’s why I was so happy to find the¬†string of oval beads I used in this Desert Mesa bracelet. One of the beads was chipped and some on the string have funky inclusions, but I rather like them anyhow.

They were labeled “Assorted Stone Beads,” so I can’t tell you exactly what they are except that they are quite interesting and look great combined with warm colored agates and antique gold findings. ūüôā

The best way to shop for jewelry making is to support your local bead store. Sadly, the only ones near me are too far to stop by regularly.

Instead I do I lot of my shopping for jewelry supplies online, here are a few of my favorites:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Desert Mesa Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 20x15mm oval stone beads
  • 6 14mm links of chain
  • 24 assorted 6mm beads
  • 24 head pins
  • 3 4.5-inch pieces 24 gauge wire
  • 1-inch length of chain
  • clasp
  • jump rings

Tools:

Directions:

Note: Be sure your loops are large enough to fit around the 14mm links of chain you have chosen. This is why I recommend the One Step BIG Looper, as it makes 3mm loops.

  1. Use chain nose pliers to grasp a 4.5-inch piece of wire 1.5-inches from one end. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į 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. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  2. Slide a 20x15mm oval bead onto wire and repeat step 1 to make another wrapped loop, this time grasping wire just above bead before bending with chain nose pliers.
  3. To make bead dangles slide each of your 6mm beads onto a head pin and make a loop with either round nose pliers or the One Step Big Looper.
  4. Use chain nose pliers to open a 14mm link of chain and attach 3 bead dangles, your clasp, 3 bead dangles and the loop of one of your stone oval beads.
  5. Open another chain link and slide onto loop on other end of your stone oval. Add three bead dangles to each side, then add another chain link.
  6. Open the chain link just added and add 3 bead dangles to each side, plus the loop of another oval dangle.
  7. Repeat the pattern of two chain links between each of the three stone ovals. Each chain link should have 3 beads dangles on each side.
  8. Finish by adding the final chain link to the loop of the third oval bead, 3 dangles, your 1-inch length of chain and 3 dangles.

 

 

 

 

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.
Dec 142015
 

aurora borealis bracelet

Although it’s hard to tell from the photo, those three larger beads are actually clear glass crystal. They have a very thin coating of metal that gives them an iridescent effect, changing colors as you change the angles.

This coating was developed by Swarovski in the 1950’s and was named Aurora Borealis after the northern lights. You can learn more about AB coatings¬†here¬†and here.

What I love about designing with this type of bead is that you can play off any or all of the reflected¬†colors. ¬†In this bracelet I’ve chosen to focus on the purples, but you could just as easily pull out the greens, blues or the fuchsia. Or use all of them. ūüôā

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Aurora Borealis Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 large focal beads 20-25mm
  • 18 inches of small beads: 2mm-4mm, seed beads and the like
  • several medium size beads and spacers for¬†dangle accents
  • head pins for bead dangles
  • 2 bead cones
  • toggle clasp
  • crimps
  • wire protectors
  • crimp covers
  • split ring
  • bead stringing wire
  • 2 3-inch pieces 20 gauge wire

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • split ring pliers

Directions:

  1. String medium size beads onto as many headpins as you’d like dangles and make wrapped loops. Use split ring pliers to open a split ring and slide on all the dangles. Set aside.
  2. Onto bead stringing wire add three inches of small beads. Onto one end slide a crimp. Slide the wire back through the crimp, leaving a 1/8-inch loop of wire. Flatten the crimp and trim excess wire. Repeat on other end. Make as many of these three-inch sections of beads as you like. (I used six in my bracelet.)
  3. Make a 90¬į bend in a three-inch piece of 20 gauge wire. Use round nose pliers to make a loop at the bend and add one wire loop of each of your strung bead sections. Make a wire wrap to secure and trim excess wire. Slide wire into a bead cone.
  4. Make a wrapped loop with the remaining wire coming out of the bead cone.
  5. Onto bead stringing wire slide the three focal beads, separated by spacers if you like. Onto one end slide a crimp and a wire protector. Add one half of the toggle clasp to the wire protector. Slide the wire back through the crimp. Flatten the crimp and cover with a crimp cover.
  6. On the other end slide a crimp and a wire protector. Slide the split ring with dangles over the wrapped loop made in step 4. Add the wrapped loop to the wire protector. Slide the wire back through the crimp. Flatten the crimp and add a crimp cover.
  7. Repeat step 3 to secure remaining ends of the short beaded sections. Check bracelet for fit and add more beads to wire, if necessary.
  8. Make a wrapped loop with the remaining wire coming out of the bead cone, adding other half of toggle clasp before wrapping.

 

Oct 202014
 

citrine nuggets bracelet

Consider this bracelet excellent practice for making wire wrapped loops. You’ll need at least 40 to make it so¬†full.

Other than the time it takes to make all your bead dangles, this is a fairly simple bracelet. The truly fun part is shopping and digging in your stash to choose the assortment of beads.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Citrine Nugget Bracelet Video Tutorial over at Youtube.

Materials:

  • 12 12-16mm citrine nuggets
  • 12 small metal bird shaped beads
  • 16 other beads
  • assorted seed beads and spacer beads
  • 40 head pins
  • 22 gauge wire (if you have any top drilled beads)
  • 7 inches seed beads or small beads (less than 3mm)
  • 8 6mm bicone beads
  • 10 inches bead stringing wire
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • clasp
  • jump ring
  • 2-inch piece chain

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • fine point sharpie
  • sliding gauge
  1. Use sliding gauge to determine size of your seed beads or small beads. Slide gauge out to slightly larger measurement and mark that point on your round nose pliers with a sharpie.
  2. Slide citrine nuggets, bird beads and other beads onto head pins along with assorted seed and spacer beads to make 40 bead dangles.
  3. For each bead dangle use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers at sharpie marked point and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.¬† Reposition pliers to finish loop. Hold loop with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  4. If you have any top drilled beads ¬†cut a 3-inch piece of 22 gauge wire.¬†Slide wire into hole of bead, leaving ¬Ĺ inch sticking out on one side. 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. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend. Bend longer remaining wire at 90¬į angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop at sharpie marked point. Wrap remaining wire around bends and down to cover bead hole. This can be done with neat, tight wraps, or in ‚Äúmessy wraps.‚ÄĚ
  5. Sort your bead dangles into seven approximately equal piles.
  6. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your chain to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp and squeeze ends of wire protector together. Test to make sure crimp is holding and trim excess stringing wire. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  7. Slide onto stringing wire a 6mm bicone bead, enough seed beads to equal 1-inch with the bicone and one pile of wire wrapped bead dangles. Repeat until you have added 7 sections of beads & bead dangles. Finish with another 6mm bicone.
  8. Repeat step 6 to add a crimp and wire protector to the end of stringing wire.
  9. Use a jump ring to attach clasp to the wire protector.
May 192014
 

Here’s a bracelet to match the Hammered Paddle Headpin Earrings from a couple weeks ago.

crystal & floral bead bracelet still (1)

The spring colors in this bracelet make me happy!

crystal & floral bead bracelet still (2)

If you need practice making wire wrapped loops, this project is for you. ūüôā

The concept is fairly simple: make wire wrapped connectors of largish (10mm or so) beads, connect them with jump rings and hang several wire wrapped smaller crystals (4mm) on each  jump ring.

crystal & floral bead bracelet still (3)

I needed a little more length and so added five pairs of jump rings to one end, thus making it longer and adjustable. ¬†There were four stray crystals left on the table (couldn’t have that) so I add three to the end of the chain and one next to the clasp.

For details on how to do the wire wrapping, check out the video. Happy creating!

You can watch the Crystal Dangles & Roses Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6-8 10mm ceramic beads
  • 15-24 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 15-24 head pins
  • 3mm silver plated beads (optional)
  • 6mm silver plated jump rings
  • silver plated lobster clasp
  • 20 gauge silver filled wire

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Directions:

Use 20 gauge wire to make wrapped loops on each end of 10mm ceramic beads. Wrap enough beads to make the desired length of bracelet less one inch.

Slide each 4mm Swarovski crystal onto a head pin and make a wrapped loop. ¬†(If desired add a 3mm silver plated bead first.) Make enough of these for three to go between each ceramic bead. ¬†Wrap extras if you’d like some near the clasp or at the end of the chain.

Open a jump ring and slide on loops of two ceramic bead units and three wrapped crystals. Close jump ring securely.

Repeat to connect all ceramic beads together with crystal on jump rings in between.  Use a jump ring to add lobster clasp to one end (and crystal, if you like) and several jump rings to the other end.