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The Martha Craft Challenge, Project 72: Beaded Bracelets

Very similar to the necklaces, these bracelets. But shorter.

I made two here, trying out two techniques. The first is quite simple: just string a bunch of beads onto the silk cord, add clasps, and you are done. I really wanted to do something ombré, and thankfully I found some gorgeous, tiny carnelian beads that were gradated.

So, I strung them on a tiny silk string and ended up with this!

 

This first bracelet would’ve been really easy had it not been for too short cord. Martha suggests cutting the cord off before you start; I recommend just stringing right onto a full cord because I had to do it several times since I cut the cord too short to adequately tie knots. The other tricky part was the gradations; the beads came already ombréd, so to speak, on a thread, so I had to keep them in the exact order when I put them on the silk cord. You would think there would be an easy way to transfer them, but if there was I never discovered it. I’d slide 5 – 7 beads off at a time, carefully keeping them in order, and then add them to the silk cord.

The other bracelet I made required both chain and wire wrapping. Wire wrapping is a PAIN. It’s very delicate; it’s difficult to get the wire to wrap in a perfect circle. For this bracelet, I took some beads that I got at Michaels, inserted a “head pin” (essentially a pin with a head on it to stop it from going all the way through the bead), created a little circle and attached it to the chain, then finished wrapping the wire around itself. To illustrate:

This was one of my crappier wire wraps that didn’t end up on the bracelet.

This is what you are trying to achieve with the wire wrapping. This photo looks pretty good; it looks wonkier in real life. Like, the circle at the top is never quite round.

And I could never get the end of the wire to wrap perfectly into itself, so that you can’t really see the end.

Anyhoo! Here’s the finished result:

TIME INVESTED

For the carnelian bracelet: About 1 1/2 hours

For the wire wrap bracelet: About 3 hours

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

TOTAL COST

For the carnelian bracelet:

  • silk beading cord, $1.55
  • carnelian beads, $28
  • bead tips, $0.75
  • clasp: $3.99 (a package of base metal clasps)

Total cost = $34.29

For the wire wrapped bracelet:

  • sterling silver chain, $8.99 (per foot)
  • beads, $6.99 (at Michaels)
  • base metal head pins, $3.99 (at Michaels)
  • clasp: $3.99 (a package of base metal clasps)

Total cost = $23.96

WAS IT WORTH IT?

Definitely. Making jewelry is one of those crafts that really pays, I think. You can make great gifts and custom stuff for yourself. It takes a little time to master a few skills, but once you have, it opens up a whole world. Honestly, this chapter in itself might be reason enough to buy the Encyclopedia (although you can get lots of jewelry making books that would give you more info, too).

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  • March 8, 2012, 9:38 pm Erika

    These look great! Be sure to post pictures of future jewelry creations.

    Reply