The next time you need a little inspiration for a bracelet making project, head on over to your local thrift shop, junk shop, or resale shop. Chances are, you'll find loads of inexpensive jewelry that's just waiting to be turned into something new and beautiful!
A few weeks ago, my father-in-law gave me a bag of these two-holed mother of pearl bracelet components that he found at the church thrift shop he manages. (Some of the other treasures he's brought home for me include a vintage 1930s Czech glass and brass bracelet, a box full of antique Swaorvski crystal beads, and a beautiful Mexican silver ring!)
But these beautiful little bracelet making components captured my imagination right away — they reminded me of the kitschy stretchy bracelets I used to see in all the tourist shops that lined the beaches down in Galveston, Texas when I was visiting my parents. At first, I thought about using them for bead embroidery, but after a sleepless night spent trying to relax myself by dreaming up new bracelet making projects, I realized that these jewelry-making components were begging to be embellished with bead-weaving!
- 9 two-hole bracelet making components (the ones I used were approximately 15x34mm, yours may vary)
- 47 crystal bicones, 4mm (20 color A, 27 color B, or all same color, if desired)
- 5 grams size 11 seed bead (C)
- 1 gram size 11 seed bead (D)
- 2 magnetic clasps (or clasps of your choice — make sure to take into account the total length of the clasp when adjusting for size)
- Fireline 6lb. test
- Size 12 beading needle
- Scissors or thread cutter
- Chain nose or flat nose pliers (optional, but useful for pulling needle through tight spaces)
After I finished the first bracelet using crystal bicones, I dug through my stash of Czech glass beads and whipped up a second version using baby spikes, pyramid spikes, and coordinating round druks. Since the druks were 3mm (instead of the 4mm crystals), I compensated for the shorter length of the bracelet by using larger brass toggle clasps. The second bracelet worked up just as quickly as the first one, in less than two hours, so it's the perfect project to stitch up on the weekend or after a busy day at work.
This technique lends itself well to so many beaded jewelry design ideas! I was so excited by the potential that I dug up a little bag of wood Tiki faces given to me last year by a friend, paired them with some lovely Earth-toned two-holed coins from York Beads, and accented everything with some tiny 3mm round glass druks to make a spectacular beaded collar.
If you love bracelet making projects, Beadwork magazine should be your go-to resource for innovative, fun, beaded bracelets. Along with the fabulous Designer of the Year projects, you'll get the scoop on new beads, beading tools, basic techniques, and thoughtful bead artist profiles. Now you can get a digital subscription to Beadwork magazine and take your bracelet making projects on the go!