Oct 312017
 

Inspiration comes from so many places: nature, the work of other artists, color palettes and the like.

I’m often inspired by materials, especially when somebody has put them together in a way I wouldn’t have thought of.

fall harvest bracelet cover

This wire wrapped bracelet, full of Czech glass beads, was inspired by a strand of beads in a recent Dollar Bead Box called “Fall Harvest Mix.” 

This bracelet is fun to wear, as several of the beads are drilled off center, making it easy to fidget and fiddle with them!

Something about the matte finish of the beads made me think of candy corn, so I had to run out yesterday to get some just for this photo shoot.

Do you love or hate candy corn? I love it until I’ve eaten too much, then I hate it… and myself, lol.

You may find these videos useful in making this bracelet:

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Fall Harvest Bracelet-Wrapped Loop Beaded Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

May 042015
 

hammered bangle bracelets
Don’t be intimidated by the heavy gauge wire in these bangle bracelets. It’s not hard to work with, it just may take a little more time to hammer it to the point you want.

Which bracelet do you prefer? I like the one with the rhinestone cup chain best. (You can find this lovely, sparkly chain in lots of colors over at Eureka Crystal Beads. The one I used is the 4mm Rose AB.)

The leather sandbag was a gift and I’m glad I finally got around to using it, as it’s quite helpful and the sound dampening while hammering is appreciated by everyone in the house. 🙂

Since completing the video I’ve discovered a few changes that will make your bracelets come out even better.

  • I used entirely too much heavy gauge wire to begin with. Instead of 10.5-inches, 8.75-inches should be plenty.
  • To be sure of the correct bangle size for you, measure the inside diameter of a bangle you have that fits. Add 3/4 to 1-inch for the loops.
  • To keep the loops together so your bracelet keeps its shape you can either wrap them together with wire or connect them with jump rings.
  • I found I preferred the look of a heavier gauge wire for wrapping the decoration to the bracelet.  I still used about a yard and wrapped it back and forth a few times.
  • Don’t use super fine gauge wire to string your beads. They get too  much wear and tear to hold up for long. Instead use the heaviest gauge wire that will fit through your beads. I used 2o gauge for stringing and wrapping.
  • Adding some beaded dangles to the loops not only adds detail and interest, it weights that side of the bracelet so your beads or cup chain are more likely to stay on top.

hammered bangles redone (2)
Here are my improved bracelets.

hammered bangles redone (3)

They fit much better now and I’m happier with the look.

hammered bangles redone (1)

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Hammered Bangle Bracelets Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials for each bracelet:

  • 8.75-inches 12 gauge copper wire
  • 36 inches 20-24 gauge copper wire
  • 3 inches beads or 3 inches 4mm cup chain (4mm Cup Chain can also be found at Amazon.com)
  • headpins and beads for bead dangles.

Tools:

See video and notes above for directions.

Sep 012014
 

I’m always amazed at how much a little bit of wire wrapping can dress up beads and jewelry.  The ceramic beads in this bracelet were just kinda “meh” by themselves, but look quite nice wrapped in little wire cages.

caged-beads-bracelet-still-3

In this project you’ll learn how easy it is to make caged beads.  These can be used for any kind of project where you use beads: earrings, necklaces or home dec.  Also, if you want more wraps around the beads, just cut your wire a bit longer to begin with.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Caged in Copper Bead Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 7 – 10mm x 15mm oval beads
  • 10 – 6mm bicone beads
  • 28 inches 20 gauge dead soft wire, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 10 inches bead stringing wire

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Use chain nose pliers to make a loop in the end of a 4-inch piece of wire.  Continue looping wire loosely around making a spiral until 2-inches of wire remains.
  2. Make a loop on other end of wire and make a spiral as in step one. This spiral should face in the opposite direction so when the spirals meet in the center you have an “S” shape.
  3. Use pliers to gently pull out both spirals into a cone shape. Fold entire unit in half to make a wire cage.
  4. Slide a bead into cage, lining up loops with ends of bead holes.  Use your fingers to shape cage to bead.
  5. Repeat to make a cage for each of the seven beads.
  6. Slide a crimp bead onto 10-inch bead stringing wire. Slide wire through round part of toggle clasp and back through clasp. Flatten crimp with chain nose pliers.  Trim excess wire with wire cutters.
  7. Slide on a 6mm bicone and a caged bead, making sure wire goes through loops of 20 gauge wire, then through the bead and back out through other  loop of 20 gauge wire.
  8. Repeat step 7 to add all caged beads to bracelet. Slide on last three bicones, a crimp and bar of toggle clasp. Slide bead stringing wire back through crimp, flatten with chain nose pliers and trim excess wire.

 

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.
Jul 162013
 

Hey all!  Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  My dad passed away last month and after a difficult two weeks I just arrived back home to Mass from New Mexico last Friday night.  After decompressing a bit over the weekend, I finally got in some crafting.

2013-07-17-woyww-funky-bracelet-3

The free tutorial for this bracelet was posted over the Art Jewelry Elements blog a while back.

2013-07-17-woyww-funky-bracelet-1

Here’s my desk after working on it.  Not too much of a mess.  Just wait until I get back into polymer clay. haha

Why am I posting a photo of my worktable?  Well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. You can read all about it over at Julia’s.

2013-07-17-woyww-funky-bracelet-2

This was  fun, self-indulgent kind of project.  I made it just cuz I liked it and I wanted to, so there.  ===grin=== The focal bead is way too big for practical wear, but I am kind of happy with how it looks.

So, here’s to craft therapy, guaranteed to always make one feel better.

Happy creating!