February 16, 2013
I've had several requests for a tutorial for the bracelet I posted the other day...
So I made another today and took photos of the process so I could put together a tutorial for you. Here's the bracelet I made today...
Same concept, just different fabrics and papers for the beads.
To me, the funnest (that's probably not a word, is it?) part of making these is choosing the fabrics and papers. Everything gets sort of "mashed" up, so you really don't need to be concerned with patterns - it's really more about colors. It's funny how the fabrics take on a whole different look once torn and braided. Same thing with the papers used to make the beads. I thought I'd show you the fabrics and papers I used in each of the bracelets I made. The fabrics are just regular cotton prints, same as you would use for quilting or sewing.
For the original bracelet I posted the other day I used papers from both of the Beautiful Beads paper packs along with the fabrics shown in this photo...
Here's a shot of my supplies for today's bracelet. I used the Basic Grey Mint Julep 6x6 pad (in stores soon!) and the fabrics shown in this photo. You can use any papers you'd like with the Beautiful Beads die - the Beautiful Beads paper is lighter weight, so if you use other patterned papers for your beads they will turn out a bit bigger (which is perfectly fine!). I love being able to make them out of other papers -- it means I can create a totally coordinated project...from the bracelet all the way down to the packaging.
And lastly, I made this one the other night...no paper beads, just fabric and regular beads.
Here's a better shot of the fabrics...
Below you will find the step-by-step instructions. Oh, and I should include a disclaimer. I am not a jewelry maker. I really have no knowledge of the correct techniques or methods for constructing jewelry (aka: I have no idea what I'm doing). This is how I made mine...you might be more familiar with proper jewelry construction, and might have a better method. Feel free to use whatever works best for you. :-)
- 3 Different fabrics of your choice
- Beads of your choice (I used a combination of glass, metal, and paper beads made with the Papertrey Ink Beatiful Beads die). My glass and metal beads were just something I picked up from Walmart
- Swivel Clip and "D" Ring set (I used a 1.3" size purchased HERE on Etsy)
- Beading Wire (also purchased at Walmart)
- Sewing Machine
A little about the clasp I used in my bracelet -- I used this swivel clip and D ring - I originally bought these for the straps of some cute little wristlets I made for Christmas gifts. They're not really intended for jewelry making, but since I live an hour away from a craft store, this was the only thing I had on hand that would work. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? :-) The one drawback is that it's not adjustable. Not a problem if you're making these for yourself. More of a problem if you're making them for gifts. You could consider adding a bit of chain to the D ring end so that the wearer would have a little adjustability -- just make sure the chain links are large enough that the clip swivel clip will fit through them. Someday I might try someting like this for a more polished look.
So step-by-step, this is how I created my bracelet.
1. Tear edge of fabric to straighten. Snip appx 1/2" from edge and tear strip. Repeat until you have three strips of each of the three fabrics.
2. Stack strips and machine stitch across top (this will get trimmed off later, it just makes braiding easier).
3. Braid strips. Braid rather tightly and try to get the braid as even as possible. Use a clilpboard to secure while braiding.
4. Continue until all three fabrics are braided. They should each be a minimum of 9-10" long. I used some small binder clips to hold the braids in place until I was ready to work with them.
5. When the braiding is finished, machine stitch across the braid (make sure it's nice and neat and tight over the area you are stitching)
6. Trim off excess close to stitching.
7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 with the other end of the braids. You will be left with three tidy braids to work with.
8. Get out the swivel clip and D ring.
9. Thread all three braids through the loop of the swivel clip. Line them up neatly, folding the ends over neatly back onto themselves.
10. Hold them in place and stitch through all three braids without stopping to cut threads between each braid...just sew over the whole works, but becareful not to hit the metal ring with your sewing machine. Trim away any excess close to the stitching. (The way I have bracelet shown in photo is what I will refer to as "wrong" side)
11. Lay the bracelet out wrong side up and straighten braids. Thread other ends of braids through the D ring. Check the length - I found that having the braid portion about 6 1/2" long worked well for my wrist, but that may vary for you depending on the size of your wrist and the clasp you are using. Fold the braids over the ring and line up neatly, making sure all the braids are the same length.
12. Stitch across all three braids, just like in step 10. Trim excess close to stitching.
13. Now get out your beading wire.
14. This is probably the trickiest part of the bracelet, and difficult to show in a photo, but hopefully you'll get the jist of it. Insert the end of the beading wire between the first two braids, threading it between the line of stitching and the ring of the clip and then back up through the ring of the swivel clip. Tie a double knot to secure, leaving a 1 1/2" -2"tail. Edited to add: a wonderfully helpful blog reader shared that the beading wire is not meant to be tied -- seeeeee....I told you I have no idea what I'm doing!! :-) She suggested using a crimp bead/tube and pliars instead as the knotted wire may not wear well. You will need two strands of beading wire, one between each braid. You could try tying the beading wire to the ring of the clip BEFORE stitching the braids to the clip - whatever you feel would be easier. If you do it before, just make sure the wire is positioned between the braids when you stitch through the braids.
15. Add your beads making sure to catch the "tail" of the wire in your beading for at least an inch or so - this hides the tail and feels more secure than trimming it close to the knot. You can trim the tail of the wire so it will hide inside a bead. I used a mix of glass, metal and paper beads. If you want to see a tutorial for creating the paper beads, visit Nichole's blog HERE.
16. Once your beaded strand is the same length as the braided strands, thread the end of the wire between the braids and knot it around the D ring. Thread the tail back through an inch or two of the beading and trim excess. Repeat this process for the second strand of beads.
and that's it! Just fasten the clasp and your bracelet is finished. Here's a close-up of the back of the finished bracelet.
But it's really not complete without some pretty packaging, right? I once again used the new Boutique Accessories stamp set and Boutique Accessories Card die to create a coordinating card to put it on. Both the new stamp set and die are now up for purchase in the Papertrey Ink store and are linked in my supply list below.
And one more close-up...
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial...let me know if you have any questions!
Other supplies not linked: beading wire, glass and metal beads, fabric