Bracelet Making: Three Special Bracelets in My Jewelry Collection

Jul 4, 2012

I don't wear bracelets too often, even though I have bags of them in my collection of handmade beaded jewelry. Most of the time when I'm designing a new piece of beaded jewelry, I usually come up with necklace making designs, not bracelet making designs. But, once in a while, a great bracelet making idea pops into my head, and I have no choice but to listen to the beads and run with it! Even better is when I receive a beautiful bracelet as a gift or learn how to make someone else's beaded bracelet design.

I recently added three new beautiful bracelets to my collection. Each one has a great story behind it!


This bracelet was originally supposed to be my challenge project for Beadwork magazine later this year, but at the last minute, I was inspired to create a different piece for that particular challenge. Still, my Lotus Cuff bracelet was a great bead embroidered bracelet making refresher for me. I tried something new for this bracelet and decided to leave most of the colored bead embroidery backing exposed to add an additional color to the palette of beads I chose.

The design of the Lotus Cuff was inspired by the time I spent attending prayers and meditation with a group of traveling Tibetan Buddhist monks back in April. The cultural center that hosted the monks was adorned with beautiful Tibetan Thangka paintings, which are a combination of painting and embroidery using metallic silk threads. No matter what my mood, when I wear this bracelet, I remind myself to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the ride.

bracelet-making I don't often get the chance to bead with a group of friends, and I don't often have the time to work up another artist's beaded bracelet making design, so making the beautiful It's Becoming bracelet by Nikia Angel at York Beads in New York City a couple of weeks ago is something that I will remember for a very long time! It was so much fun to meet new beaders, hang out with Nikia for a while, and just relax and learn a new bracelet making project.

This last bracelet was gifted to me by the wonderful (and talented) Tanya Borden. Tanya and I were swap partners in Lori Anderson's Pantone Bead Swap a few weeks ago, and part of the Pantone color-inspired package of beads I sent to Tanya in Thailand was a small bag of some flower-shaped sequins I found in New York City. Tanya was so inspired by the sequins that she sat down and created this delicate and fashionable bracelet -- and then she sent it to me as a thank-you!

I was so touched to receive this unexpected gift that I've worn Tanya's bracelet almost every day since receiving it, and it's another wonderful reminder of how beads can bring us all together!

I think what I love the most about bracelet making is that you can use pretty much any materials with any beading technique you like to create a piece of beautiful beaded jewelry that you can look at all day! How refreshing is it to look down at your wrist and see all that beaded goodness down there?

No matter what your favorite bracelet making technique is, you're sure to find some new inspiration in 101 Bracelets, Necklaces, and Earrings 2012. There are dozens of step-by-step instructions for new beading projects using beading, stringing, and simple wire wrapping techniques, as well as great information from my favorite color expert, Margie Deeb, on how to pair metal findings with your favorite beads. Pre-order your copy of 101 Bracelets, Necklaces, and Earrings 2012 and give your imagination a boost!

Have you recently discovered a new favorite jewelry-making component or bead for bracelet making? Maybe you've discovered a new kind of seed bead or a new metal finding that you just can't live without. Leave a comment and share your favorites here on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,


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SigridW@4 wrote
on Jul 4, 2012 10:06 AM

I have some very special bracelets (6 now and working on 2 more). They are doing some "talking" through the people they are visiting. They are traveling from one person to another for a week at a time spreading good will and good Karma. So each one will have its unique stories of who they visited and where in the world they have been! There 2 traveling internationally (2 more to start soon) the others are in the US.

I started this after having surgery for cancer and thought of all the well wishes so many had given me. I wanted in someway to do the same for others. You can read about it in the blog


beadbiddy wrote
on Jul 4, 2012 5:01 PM

Here's a little story for the Fourth of July: Unlike you, Jennifer, I mostly make bracelets -- for myself, for friends, for the fun of fooling around with beads. I was trying some stitches out with blue tila beads, and had the idea to make a flag-theme bracelet using them and red and white 8/o's, with gold 15/o's as the "turn beads," with a Fourth of July picnic in mind.

I was tickled with the result and happened to wear it one Friday when I went to a doctor's appointment. The physician's assistant had on a scrubs smock with an American flag pattern, and when I remarked on it, she mentioned that she had a son in the Army in Afghanistan and wore something every day that would keep her boy in her mind and heart. I went home and made a duplicate of my bracelet for her and dropped it off for her Monday. She burst into tears, put it on her wrist, and there it will remain until her son is safely home.

KayakSue wrote
on Jul 5, 2012 2:10 PM

Hi Jennifer...your cuff is gorgeous. I would like to try to make one using similar materials. It will take me forever but I'd love to try. Is the pattern available in Beading magazine?