Saturday, January 28, 2012

DIY Glass Pearl and Swarovski Crystal Bracelet



I love pearls. It's too bad they are so ridiculously expensive. Luckily, there are an array of glass pearls that are available. They range in quality from extremely poor to the oh-so-gorgeous Swarovski glass pearls. The ones I used in this project were lower quality glass pearls and they still look pretty darn good.


This is a fairly easy project. It's great if you're trying to learn simple jewelry making techniques. Here, I show you how to use beading wire and crimp beads to create a bracelet. Once you have this technique down and all the tools needed, you can pretty much make any single stranded beaded bracelet you want. If you want to learn more simple techniques, I also have tutorials on how to use memory wire to make bracelets, how to use feathers in jewelry, how to cut and use chain for necklaces, and how to make simple eyepin earrings.

Ok, here we go:

Materials needed:

- 15-20 4mm Bicone Swarovski crystal beads (number depends on how long you want it)


Directions:

Step 1: Cut about 9-11 inches of beading wire off of spool using cutters. You'll want to have a few inches of extra wire beyond your wrist size. I have really small wrists, less than 7 inches, so I usually cut about 9 inches off. You'll want to do more for larger wrists.

Step 2: thread crimp bead through one end of wire. Follow by adding one side of toggle clasp. thread wire through crimp bead again, making a loop around toggle clasp. See pictures.





Step 3: Use crimp pliers (location 1) to secure crimp bead. The crimp bead will look like it has been bent in half. Turn crimp bead 90 degrees and use location 2 to compress crimp bead. This will result in crimp bead folding over on top of itself where the original bend was formed. SEE PICTURE BELOW!


Step 4: Add beads. I did a simple pattern as you can see, but if you want to do something a little more unique, go right ahead. Continue to thread beads on until it fits your wrist. You can check by looping the unfinished bracelet around your wrist to see if it will fit, just be careful to hold on to the unfinished side so the beads don't fall off. Remember that the addition of the rest of the crimp bead will add on a few centimeters.




Step 5: Okay, this is the most difficult part. When you're done threading your beads, add a crimp bead on to the end followed by the other piece of the toggle clasp. Just as in step one, loop around the clasp and back through the crimp bead. Here's the trick. You don't want to crimp it too tight. If you do, you'll have a couple problems. First of all, your bracelet will be inflexible and a bead might crack or break when you try to wear it. Second of all, you won't be able to tuck the end of your wire into a bead leading to an unsightly wire sticking out of your bracelet. So, you'll need to leave a little room. I try to leave about 2-3mm between the last bead and where I secure the crimp bead.

Using the steps outlined in step 3, secure the crimp bead with a small amount of space left between last bead and crimp bead. Use cutters to trim wire so that there is about 3mm of wire left. Tuck wire into bead at end of bracelet. This is difficult, but keep trying until you get it in there. If you have a pair of chain nose pliers, you can use them to make this step easier by grabbing the end of the wire and forcing it down into the bead hole.

The photo below shows what it should look like after you trim the wire. Note that it looks as if there is no space between the crimp bead and the crystal bead but there actually is. The beads have just loosened up to fill the whole space but are still movable enough to push down and shove the wire into the last crystal bead.

Once the wire is pushed in, you're done! I think the addition of a small ribbon bow would be adorable somewhere on this bracelet. Any ideas?



9 comments:

  1. I love this! So cute!

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  2. So neat! I want to make these for my bridesmaids.. Hmm.. This will be interesting! Great tutorial!

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  3. I love this but we all know pearls can be expensive, no need to swear over this.:p-_-_-_-_

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  4. Beautiful! I love your blog - always full of great ideas!

    Following now!

    xoxo,

    http://icycrystalgalleria.blogspot.ca/

    Cindy

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  5. I'll be making this soon. I want to add some glass angels pointing toward each other.

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  6. I just love the idea of incorporating crystals and pearls. A common way to go would be to have the pearls on a necklace, but I think they also look better on a bracelet. Great! Thank you so much for this very helpful tutorial.
    Cindy Wilson

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    Replies
    1. Me, too, Cindy! Aside from very few exceptions, they're the only medium I work in....classic and classy. I'm not much for "trendy" overly stocked jewelry. Does that make me snobby????

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  7. What beading wire did you use? The link didn't work. Beautiful bracelet btw

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