6-Strand Pearl and Crystal Wedding Bracelet

Mar 13, 2008

 

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?  No wisdom here on that question, but I can tell you that if you whisper the word "wedding" in an empty room, everyone within 50 miles will hear you--and regale you with wedding stories! When word got around the office that I was going to write about beaded wedding jewelry this week, I heard from many others who had personal wedding jewelry stories to share, including Stringing editor Danielle Fox, who shares some photos and wedding jewelry memories below.

 

Heather’s Wedding Jewelry
Danielle Fox

I’ve never enjoyed making jewelry more than when I made my sister, Heather’s, wedding jewelry. I knew it had to be special—after all, she had asked me to make her something she would be wearing on the happiest day of her life and forever after in the photographs taken of the day. Talk about pressure!

Far right: Bride Heather with her jewelry-making sister Danielle

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In keeping with the simple beauty of Heather’s strapless off-white lace dress, I made a classic one-strand “pearl” necklace with light cream rose Swarovski pearls mixed with clear and silk (my favorite!) Swarovski crystals. To match, I created dangly earrings and a bracelet with more than 60 Swarovski pearl and crystal dangles (but who’s counting?)—an exercise I’d recommend to anyone who wants to perfect their wrapped loops and develop arthritis. All joking aside, my sister loved her jewelry, she looked gorgeous in it, and that, we all know, is what it’s all about.

Is there any other type of jewelry that is made and worn with so much love? I doubt it.

 


 

Free Project: Rachael's Wedding Bracelet

Long-time Beading Daily readers might remember Rebecca Campbell's story last fall about creating some special jewelry for her sister's wedding ("A Wedding Story"). After several readers requested the instructions, Rebecca agreed to share the steps for the bracelet she created the morning of the wedding. Talk about giving the bride "something new" to wear!

 

This monochromatic bracelet uses elegant pearls and crystals. It also features crimp covers, which are a polished way to cover the crimps, making them look like little silver rounds. (For help with crimp covers, see the techniques page on the Beading Daily website.)

At right: The bride Rachael walks down the aisle with her father.

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Free Project: Rachael's Wedding Bracelet by Rebecca Campbell

 

So, what's your story?

If you have wedding jewelry stories or tips to share, please post them on the website. I'd love to know--freshwater pearls or Swarovski--which do you prefer? What other types of beads work for weddings? Have you ever finished up a piece the day of the wedding? I personally have been asked to fix the clasp on a bracelet in between wedding photos. That moment was a weird twist on the cliché, "Is there a doctor in the house?"

 


 

 

Michelle Mach shares free beading projects and tips every Friday. If you have comments or questions for Michelle (or suggestions for future free projects), please post them on the website.



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Comments

Coley J wrote
on Mar 14, 2008 12:25 PM
For my wedding, I wanted to do something special for my maid of honor and bridesmaids but, I couldn't figure out what. One day, I went to my mom's beauty shop to get my hair done and one of her co-workers had some jewelry that she was selling. It was just beautiful! I was in awe! So - I decided that I wanted her to make my maid of honor and bridesmaids jewelry to wear during the wedding and then to keep after the wedding. We talked and it had to be something that was beautiful for the wedding but something they would want to wear later too. My wedding colors were light pink, white and dark blue. The girls wore light pink strapless dresses. So, she made them each (there were 4) a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a necklace. She used mostly light pink and clear Swarovski crystals for the project. It turned out absolutely gorgeous and they were so touched by their gifts!
SusanM@213 wrote
on Mar 14, 2008 12:42 PM
I made a pink pearl and swarowski crystal bracelet for my sister-in-law as a wedding gift last summer. I found the pattern on the internet. I was a novice beader and had never worked with a needle and fine thread before. The first time I made it, the clasp didn't stay on - a nice lady from my local bead store tried to help me fix it, but it ended up looking awful so I took it apart. She also told me I needed to double the thread. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 had to be ripped out because the design was not right, thread got tangled, etc. I finished it in the car on the way to party the night before the wedding. I started it in June for her birthday - the wedding was in July. She was supposed to have a pink dress (hence the pink beads), but she had a white dress and her husband-to-be gave her a bracelet to wear for the wedding. I think she wore it as part of her going away outfit. But I learned a lot and she has a one-of a kind bracelet in her favourite colours.
PamB@64 wrote
on Mar 14, 2008 12:49 PM
I would love the instructions (and an upclose photo) for the jewelry that Danielle Fox made for her sister's wedding.
JacquieC2 wrote
on Mar 14, 2008 1:20 PM
When my niece asked me to make a Rosary for herself, and chaplets for her grandmother, and grandmother of her fiancee, I was thrilled! She also wanted simple and classic necklace and earring sets for her wedding party. Each bridesmaid had a different color of set. It was a traditional Irish wedding and she wanted 'connemara marble' beads in her rosary. I had a really tough time finding the correct shape of beads. She had seen a rosary made with barrel shaped beads. I searched ebay, Irish stores on line, locally,and at the time no one had heard of connemara marble. Of course now I see it quite a bit!!! It is a beautiful stone mined only in Ireland with a greenish white feathering effect. She also wanted for the center of the rosary, a jade rose which she had seen on one of my previous rosaries. Of course that was a one of a kind, and again, I searched and searched. It was her wedding and I wanted her to have what she wanted!!! Finally everything came together and the finished rosaries and chaplets were a big success. I felt proud, she looked beautiful, and it was a nice feeling to know those rosaries will be treasured heirlooms for generations to come.
cmtuchman wrote
on Mar 14, 2008 4:21 PM
I, also, would like the instructions for Heather's Wedding Jewelry by Danielle Fox. Any chance of offering them?
SandraG@34 wrote
on Mar 15, 2008 3:44 AM
The daughter of a co-worker asked me to make her wedding necklace and earrings for her. I used small creamy freshwater pearls and 4mm Swarovski crystals and an antique MOP heart shaped button for the clasp. Stephanie loved the set.She even had her photographer take pictures of the necklace all by itself. She said the necklace made her "special day" even more special.
JennyA@11 wrote
on Mar 15, 2008 7:16 AM
I had tried my jewelry out in a bridal shop. The shop owner only wanted pearls and Swarovski's that did not reflect other colors (AB Coating). I was surprised because I had made bridal jewelry before and that is what the bride wanted, they loved the reflection of other colors. So I did as I was told and only sold two necklaces-they sold the earrings as well, but they would not pay me for them. A lesson learned, do not do consignment to a bridal shop owner, or a certain kind of shop owner. She was taking a necklace that I was charging $15 for wholesale and marking it up to $58, if those same shoppers came to my craft booth or my other shop I sell at, they would see it for $34.95. That was just a bad deal all around.
Bartokcomp wrote
on Mar 15, 2008 9:03 AM
My sister-in-law and brother got the "journey" necklaces for the bridesmaids. Their dresses were purple, and the bride wanted them to have purple earrings. I used varying sizes of purple velvet Swarovskis and clear iris seed beads on 2-inch headpins. I bent the pins in alternating directions to mimic the wave of the journey necklaces. The bride thought they were beautiful, and so did the bridesmaids.
on Mar 15, 2008 11:43 AM
I'm just finishing doing my second set of custom wedding jewelry and I agree it is THE most fun jewelry project possible. I haven't had a "bride-zilla" which probably helps LOL. Both brides were long-distance (one was a soldier serving in Iraq!) but with lots of email back and forth -- ideas, links to jewelry web sites, in progress and approval scans -- we have been able to work from daydream to happy customer with ease.
Kelli@23 wrote
on Mar 16, 2008 11:10 AM
After years of doing bridal jewelry ensembles, both as a business and for family members, I have learned some key lessons:
1) Expect brides to be extremely demanding and perfectionist, down to the infinitesimal detail, and expect them to not want to pay you for your time for it.
2) Expect to spend a lot of time searching every place you can think of for the material/color/size/shape they want and to lay out money in advance for it, on the HOPE that this is the thing they will want.
3) Expect to spend a lot of time designing something they may very quickly reject.
4) Expect to improvise mightily if you can't find the correct finding and are tight for time.
5) Expect delight and extreme gratitude and many referrals when you satisfy their expectations.
--Kelli P.
Gluebelly wrote
on Mar 19, 2008 10:08 AM
I agree with Pam. I'd like instructions for Danielle
s set as well.

Off to look up Journey necklace.