This week we are celebrating the final Iron Craft challenge of 2011 with a little bling. I had an idea for a bracelet rattling around in my head and I decided to see if I could make.
My sister sells vinage silver charms on ebay and sometimes she sells pre-made charm bracelets. When she makes a charm bracelet it is FULL of charms, just absolutely heavy with them. I like the look and thought is might be interesting to try with beads instead of charms. Here’s my final result..
I call it the icicle bracelet because all those clear beads remind me of ice. I added the blue beads because I thought it could use a touch of color and that blue reminded me of the color of glacial ice (here’s one of my pics from Alaska to show you what I mean).
This ended up being a tricker project than I had envisioned. First, I had to find the right beads. There are not that many beads that are longer and have a hole on one end. Most have a hole all the way through, right down the middle. I was lucky and found these on a strand at Joann’s for only $3.99. I used about 72 beads, almost all of the ones on the strand. The blue mirror-like beads were ones I had in my stash.
Then came the problem of hanging them. I had thought I could just put the beads on jump rings and then hand them off a link bracelet. The problem was jump rings are too circular to go through the long straight hole at the top of the beads. I went and asked for advice at my local bead shop. We decided my only option was to make my own hangers for the beads from jewelry wire and crimp beads.
You can of course use any beads you like to make a bracelet like this, the trick is to have them hang off like charms on a charm bracelet and really pile them on.
- 70 or so teardrop shaped clear beads
- 10 or so blue mirror beads
- link bracelet
- crimp beads
- jewelry wire
- jewelry pliers
- scissors or wire cutters
- jump rings for blue beads
Cut about an inch of jewelry wire and thread it through the hole on your bead.
Fold the wire up to create a triangle.
Put one leg of the triangle through a link on the bracelet.
Put both ends of the wire through the hole in a crimp bead. The further the crimp bead is away from the bead the further the bead will hang from the bracelet and vice versa. Using your pliers, squeeze the crimp bead flat until it is holding the wires together securely, so it will not come off. This takes a little strength and after 70 beads my hand was really sore! Cut the remaining wire ends off as close to the crimp bead as possible (you can sand them down if there are still some scratchy bits, but I didn’t need to on mine).
My link bracelet that I built the bracelet on had long links alternating with short ones. I put three white beads on the long links. On the short links, I alternated between the blue and the white. The bracelet is just heavy with beads and looks really opulent, especially when it catches the light.
Tomorrow I’ll show you some other bracelets I made for this challenge…
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish