Hand Beaded Bracelets

Blessings Bracelet, Part 2

The blessings bracelet that I spoke of in the last post is done now.  It's in shades of purple and green, with accents of pink and a kind of butter-cream ivory.

So here are the supplies, the finished product and the general technique.

Blessings Bracelet Supplies

blessings-bracelet-suppliesAs you see in the photo, the supplies are kind of eclectic.  I have seed beads, lampwork beads, Swarovski in bicone and cube.  Sterling silver is in the bunch, as is gemstone beads in malachite, rhodochistite and jasper.

The clasp is a sterling toggle.  I used Soft Flex beading wire for the main part of the bracelet, and Fireline 8 lb. in crystal for the stranding portion.

The Finished Product

As you can see, I don't necessarily favor being symmetrical.  As in my lampwork, I prefer to be a bit of a free spirit and favor organic designs.

blessings-bracelet-doneOne thing that's very important in this particular bracelet is that you have to measure carefully, but you also have to keep it very loose for the main part of the bracelet.  You'll see why when I talk about the construction technique.

General Technique

First, using the Soft Flex I beaded the main portion of the bracelet in a single row.  Between the lampwork beads I put seven size 6 seed beads.

I kept the construction very loose at this point, with beading wire showing.  The reason is that I will be moving my needle between and around the seed beads, and I need some slack.

Once I had the main part of the bracelet done and crimped, I started with the stranding section.  I tied my Fireline (doubled for strength) between two beads on the "outside" of the lampwork beads.  I then threaded the needle through the beads until I came out through a lampwork bead.

At this point, I put random beads on my string and threaded them around and through the size six seed beads.  The reason I chose this size seed beads is because they have a very large hole, and can accommodate many passes through of the thread and needle.

And that's basically it.  I just added beads until (in this case) I ran out of thread.  You could do that, or create a more symmetrical stranding and stop sooner.

I hope you've enjoyed this, and so I'll leave you with some lampwork that's awfully pretty to look at. 

Ernestine lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 30mm 3 32nd
Ernestine lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 30mm 3 32nd
$32.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2h 48m
Auntie Mae lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 31mm 3 32nd
Auntie Mae lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 31mm 3 32nd
$32.00
Time Remaining: 2h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $62.00
Edna lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 26mm 3 32nd
Edna lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 26mm 3 32nd
$28.00
Time Remaining: 15h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $48.00
Noah lampwork giraffe bead sra DeniseAnnette 19mm 1 16th
Noah lampwork giraffe bead sra DeniseAnnette 19mm 1 16th
$15.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 3h 52m
NEW HANDMADE LAMPWORK BEADS SRA DESTASH IRIS LULLABY ELZ BEADS
NEW HANDMADE LAMPWORK BEADS SRA DESTASH IRIS LULLABY ELZ BEADS
$24.99
Time Remaining: 20h 49m

« Previous12

Do You Have a Blessings Bracelet?

My friend Jennie mentioned the concept of a "blessings bracelet" to me a few months ago.  It's a bracelet that, whenever you look at it, it reminds you of your blessings.

I know, in today's world it's hard to come up with anything to consider a blessing -- sometimes it all seems so bleak.  But a blessings bracelet serves to remind us that life can be good, if we'd take the time to remember the little things.

Jennie's Blessings BraceletCount 'Em Up

I thought that a bracelet would be a good idea, so I started on something simple that I could wear every day.  I got about half-way through and then realized that if it was too simple, I wouldn't notice it.  And if I didn't notice it...how would I remember to count my blessings?

So, back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, Jennie was working away at hers.  Periodically she'd ask how mine was going and tell me the status of hers.

Then there was the day the photos came.  Wow!  (FYI - you can click on the photos to see a larger image.)

Jennie's Blessings Bracelet CloseupIn case you haven't followed along, Jennie and I live at opposite ends of the country, so photos are all we have to go by.  And when she sent me the photos of hers I felt so bad that I hadn't worked on mine.

So here are the photos of Jennie's bracelet, and I will be hard-pressed to come up with something even half as nice.  I'm staring at my pile of lampwork and Swarovski (in purples and greens -- how's that for a color combo) and trying to think of what I can do.

Hmmm, the sterling beads have gone into hiding somewhere in this room, but I did find some toggle clasps.  And yes, I have beading wire...oh no!  I just realized that wherever my sterling beads are, that's where all my crimps are.

Yes, this is going to get interesting.

Well, off to locate the silver beads and wayward crimps.  Once I have them all together, I'll take a photo of all the "fixings" so you can see the supplies before...and the finished bracelet after.

In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with some ebay eye candy to peruse - enjoy!

Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
$6.99
Time Remaining: 21d 1h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
One Random Pattern my choice Spoon Bracelet You Choose Size Clasp Quantity
One Random Pattern my choice Spoon Bracelet You Choose Size Clasp Quantity
$15.00
Time Remaining: 22d 18h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
$6.99
Time Remaining: 21d 1h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
$6.99
Time Remaining: 21d 1h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
Random Sets Of 12 multi Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
Random Sets Of 12 multi Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
$18.00
Time Remaining: 14d 16h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $18.00

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Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial Day One

OK, since you folks have requested it, here's a freeform peyote bracelet tutorial.  This is day one, where we make the basic bracelet.

Before I start, I'm assuming that you know how to do the regular peyote stitch, as it's the basis of this bracelet.  If you don't, check out the basic peyote tutorial video.

One other item of note.  This is more of a structured freeform peyote bracelet.  By that I mean I am not going as freeform as I would normally do (with holes, netting, etc.).  Instead, this is a middle ground between a normal peyote stitch and a full-blown freeform.  In other words, if you've always been a structured person, this will let you let loose a tiny bit. 

Materials Needed

I'm not going to give you exacts, because freeform peyote isn't an exact science.  Instead, gather up the following in whatever amounts are suitable for you:

  • Size 8 seed or tube beads, single color.
  • Size 11 seed or tube beads, two or three colors.
  • Six beads or crystals, from 5mm through 8mm.  Various colors to coordinate with the seed beads.
  • Thread; I used 6-lb Fireline, in the grey color.
  • Needle, size 10 or 12.
  • Clasp of your choice.

Step 1:  The Base Bracelet

Make the base bracelet out of the peyote stitch, using the size 8 seed beads.  I made mine 6 beads wide by about 6.75 inches long.  You can make yours as long as needed, minus the size of your clasp.  Here's the photo of the base bracelet.

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, the Base

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, the Base (Click to Enlarge)

Note:  Don't worry if your bracelet isn't arrow-straight.  Because this is freeform, it doesn't matter.

Step 2:  Add the Beads or Crystals

Next, I decided where I wanted my crystals.  Since I have been talking about vintage beads, I decided to use three of them in this bracelet.

I placed the beads with the smallest towards the bracelet ends, and the largest in the middle.  I spaced them out so they were more-less even.  Here's how it looks now.

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Step 2

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Step 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Don't worry about thread showing at the ends of the beads; it will end up being hidden in the next set of steps.

I encourage you to not use evenly matched beads/crystals in this step.  If you noticed, I have one large bead, two medium, two slightly smaller mediums and one small cyrstal.  It's part of being freeform!

Step 3:  The Basic Freeform Peyote Stitching

OK, now comes the fun part!  It's kind of hard to explain this part since it's freeform, but here's how I basically did it.  The freeform part was done with the size 11 seed beads.

Come up from a hole next to the crystal and string however many beads needed to just about loop around the crystal; the seed bead loop should lay just slightly to the back of the crystal.  Bring the needle down through the size 8 bead, then back up through the one right next to it.

String on two seed beads, then begin a peyote stitch across the loop, back towards the original direction.  Once you reach the end, bring the needle down through a size 8 bead, then back up through the next.  String 2 seed beads and peyote your way back across again.

Once you've made a peyote ring across the back of the crystal. string maybe 8 or so seed beads and lay it across the base bracelet.  Go down through a size 8, back up through the next one.  Add 2 seed beads and peyote back the way you came.  When you get to the end, turn atound and peyote back down.

Thread your needle through the size 8 beads, until you come up through the bead next to the next crystal and repeat.

It's one of those times that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's what I have up to this point:

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Adding the Freeform

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Adding the Freeform (Click to Enlarge)

As you can see, I've made a loop around the crystals, and down across the base bracelet, which I have then added the peyote stitch.

Well, that's it for today.  I'm going to embellish this bracelet further in the next post.  If you like what you have up to this point, put the clasp on it and call it good!  But if you'd like to go a little further, stop on by for the next set of steps.  I should have them up in a day or so, once I decide how fancy I want to get!  😉

Meanwhile, here are some pretty eye-candy pieces of vintage costume jewelry that you might like looking at.

[nms:eisenberg vintage signed,7,1,10]

Beaded Bead Bracelet

I decided to try a beaded bead bracelet, since I found three of my lampwork beads that were hanging out and not doing anything. I immediately saw that they used two of the colors from my coraling bracelet (which I am slowly but surely working on), so I got the idea to make a beaded bead bracelet.

Beading the Beads

I decided on three different types of beaded beads; a small tubular ndebele, a ladder stitch and a fringed donut. 

Beaded Bead and Lampwork Bracelet

Beaded Bead and Lampwork Bracelet

The ladder stitch and tubular ndebele look amazingly alike, but I think the tubular ndebele is stronger.  I probably won't wear this bracelet very often (I just have too many), so I didn't worry about the ladder sticth ones coming apart.

The fringed donut was easy; just a loose circle of six beads, and then I created two finges for each bead.  Keep the original circle on the loose side, since you'll be passing the thread around the beads several times, and it tightens up on its own.  That much I learned from my first one!

I found some turquoise, in two different qualities.  One was a large chip, supposedly from the Sleeping Beauty mine.  The other was matrix turquoise from China.  Both were certainly useful, but naturally the Sleeping Beauty was much nicer.

I located a toggle clasp that I didn't realize I had for the closure, as I am out of the lobster claw, and I don't like using magnetic on my wrist (I get my hands and wrists too close to my laptop's hard drive for my own comfort).

Haven't named this beaded bead bracelet as yet, because I'm not sure what to call it -- nothing is jumping out at me.  Guess I'll have to wear it awhile and see.

Closeup of the Coraling

Closeup of the Coraling

The Coraling Goes On

I'm still working on my coraling bracelet, and it's taking longer than I anticipated.  Probably because I decided to make the bracelet dense with beads.  First, here is a closeup of the coraling; you can't get the effect, but I thought it was a really cool photo.

Now keep in mind that my bracelet is based on a peyote stitch.  Then I am snaking up through and between the various beads with the coraling.

OK, so just what is coraling?  I guess you could call it a kind of kinky fringing.  The difference (in my mind, anyway) is that the coraling creates branches which can contain branches.  Kind of like what coral looks like.

I don't know where the name originated, but after working with it, I think it's apt.  I like it better than kinky fringe, because I think coraling leads to more possibilities.

Coraling Bracelet, One Third Done

Coraling Bracelet, One Third Done

OK, now here's the amount of the bracelet I have done; roughly one third is coraled at this point.

I decided to use three (four, if you cound the accent beads) different colors in this bracelet.  One is an inside color green encased in a light yellow.  Another is a turquoise encased in clear.  The final is a matte jade color.

One note; I used size 8 seed beads for the peyote base, I didn't use the tubulars.  The tubulars I found give a firmer stitch, which is exactly what I didn't want for this bracelet; I wanted it very flexible to start, because I was going to be going back through the size 8's many times, which would stiffen the bracelet some.  The coraling beads are a mix of size 11 seed beads and tubular beads.

That's all for today, as my eyes have gotten tired and my fingers sore from pricking them far too many tmes with the needle while making the tiny beaded beads.  See you later!