I have a new beaded chainmaille bracelet tutorial video that I’d like to share with you. I did it a couple of weeks ago (at the time of this writing), and it’s an easy and fun project. Off and on, I’ve done quite a bit of chainmaille (A.K.A. chain maille or chain mail), and I’ve gotten back into it. I’ve never really done it beaded, though, so it’s a new challenge for me — or at least a new look. 😀
And speaking of looks…I plan to do more beaded chainmaille bracelet tutorials. I have one in the works (just need to finish filming and editing), and am thinking of ideas for another one. I also have another (non-beaded) chainmaille bracelet in line for a video — I have some sample chains made, I just need to film the actual construction of those chains.
Beaded Jewelry Directions
OK, the video will be a little further down, but before that is a comment on directions for beaded jewelry – and jewelry in general.
Jewelry designs and styles change over time. When I first started, it was simple bead stringing. Then along came fancy lampwork beads. Beading patterns (herringbone, peyote, brick and such) were really big for a bit, but they’ve pretty much already been around in one form or another. Bead embroidery burst upon the scene, as did wire wrapping.
Nowadays, it seems like wire jewelry in one form or another is big. This includes wire wrapping, wire weaving and chainmaille. Oh, and jewelry that includes tassels is also pretty popular. The looks are bold and meant to be noticed. And all this means you’ll likely see more chain maille and wire jewelry videos from me!
Beaded Chainmaille Bracelet Video
Since you’ve been waiting for this video, now is he time to watch it! One thing I think I forgot to mention in the video is that the 18 wire gauge is in the AWG measurements, which are traditionally used for jewelry. If you get jump rings is an 18 SWG measurement, the pattern won’t work.
And now — the video!
Beaded jewelry has a lot of meanings these days. When I first started on my jewelry journey, stringing was the fashion, especially with beautiful lampwork beads.
I had a blast with stringing, and it wasn’t too terribly long before I succumbed to the lure of actually making lampwork beads for myself. Then I got the idea to sell some on ebay, which I did for about 3 years or so. During that time, I wasn’t able to do a whole lot of other work because I spent so much time making beads!
Here is one of the sets of beads I made during my lampwork phase. Strung, of course, LOL.
Beadwork, Here I Come
Next was beadwork — beading patterns like peyote, herringbone, netting, and things of that nature. Going from working with the larger lampwork beads to the itsy-bitsy seed beads was a bit of a challenge at first. Gosh, those bead holes were small!
In all my work, I’ve been drawn to more organic designs. So while I did learn the beading patterns, I usually managed to go off and do my own thing. Freeform bead weaving intrigued me, and when I saw a freeform netting class at my local bead store, I jumped at it. And this is the result from the class.
I got to enjoying beadwork so much that I started my YouTube channel Beaded Jewelry Diva. I kind of was doing it for fun, but the first time I realized people really were watching was when I was in the hospital after surgery (strangely enough).
One of the hospital employees came into my hospital room and after confirming my name was indeed Gail Nettles, she asked, “Are you Beaded Jewelry Diva?” Wow! That sure did make my day!
I love Sherry Serifini’s work, and I never thought I would get a chance to meet her. But — my local bead shop had her come in for some classes, so I eagerly signed up. (BTW, Sherry is a sweetheart and a great teacher.) Well, now that I realized that I really could do bead embroidery, that gave me a new direction.
Beads! Beads! More beads! Talk about a license to buy beads in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Shibori silk was one of my favorite new supplies, and bought all kinds of colors and sizes.
I also realized that I could use buttons with my bead embroidery. The cuff photo actually does have a button — the big “cab” on the left. I just cut off the shank!
Beads and Wire
Wirework doesn’t seem to be a beading medium, but I am here to say that it can be. Here’s a bracelet I made, using sterling silver wire as the frame, and sterling silver wire for “stringing” the beads.
I did happen to buy a lot of sterling wire when it was really cheap, thus this was in sterling. These days I’d probably make this with copper, or perhaps silver-filled.
It’s a heavy bracelet, and has beads, gemstone chips, pearls, seed beads and who else knows what. 😀 It was fun to make, but it took a long time — I spaced it out over many months.
When people ask me what my favorite beading medium is, my only answer is whatever I am working on at the moment. I go back and forth with all kinds of beading, so I keep my hand in it all.