You can make all kinds of beaded bracelets. While some techniques take a little time and patience to master, others take only moments. String chunky beads with metallic spacers to make very quick pieces with an effectiveness that belies their simplicity. Weave seed beads into delicate bands. Slip beads onto tough, springy memory wire for quick and simple multi-strand bracelets. Create "floating bead" bracelets with transparent monofilament. Embroider strips of leather or other fabrics with beads to make bracelets.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Seed beads
- Bead soup (mixed beads of different shapes and sizes)
- Crimp beads
- Beading thead
- Monofilament beading thread
- Coloured embroidery floss
- Beading needles
- Crewel needles
- Beading wire
- Memory wire
- Chain-nosed pliers
- Crimping pliers
- Memory wire cutters
- Crimp clasps
- Cyanoacrylate adhesive or clear nail polish
Cut three or four foot-long pieces of nylon monofilament. Leaving a tail of about 4 inches, thread a crimp bead on one piece, and secure it with the crimp pliers. Slide a crystal bead onto the thread next to the crimp bead. Slide a crimp bead next to the crystal bead and crimp.
Add another crimp bead-crystal bead-crimp bead sequence, leaving a gap of an inch or two from the first bead group. Repeat until you have filled a 6- or 7-inch length of thread.
Gather all the strands together. Tie the tails in an overhand knot at each end, and dab with Cyanoacrylate adhesive or clear nail polish. Trim the tails. Add crimp clasps.
Cut two foot-long pieces of beading thread. Tie them together at one end with an overhand knot. Slip one seed bead onto one of the threads. Pass the other thread through the same bead in the opposite direction.
Take two beads of a contrasting colour to the first. Slip one onto one thread and one onto the other.
Thread a bead of the first colour. Cross the threads through this bead as before.
Repeat until you are happy with the length of your bracelet. Add crimp clasps.
Cut a length of beading wire long enough to go around your wrist plus an extra inch. Thread a crimp bead at one end and crimp, leaving half an inch of wire free. Form this into an eyelet.
Thread a metallic spacer bead. Thread a larger coloured-glass or gemstone bead. Continue alternating beads until the wire is almost full. Finish on a metallic spacer bead.
Add a final crimp bead. Form the remainder of the wire into a hook shape so that it can hook through the eyelet.
Cut a section of closely coiled memory wire. This should have five or six turns. Bend one end over with your pliers to make a stop.
Thread a round metallic bead. Thread a cylindrical bead. Thread another metallic bead. Thread a round crystal bead. Repeat this pattern continually.
When the wire is almost full, bend down the end of the memory wire to make a stop. You can now wind the bracelet round your wrist, and the springy coils of the memory wire will stop it from falling off.
Tips and warnings
- It's OK to use cheaper beads when you're experimenting, but your designs will often work better if you find good quality beads.
- Only use cutters designed to cut memory wire. It's very strong and tough, and will quickly ruin ordinary cutters.
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