Tag Archive | bracelet

Marlene 2

A couple of years ago, I lost my favorite beaded bracelet (the Marlene) at the engineering competition I was helping at.  I think that my coat caught the magnetic clasp and knocked it off my wrist.  After I realized it was really gone, I re-ordered the supplies to make it.  I even paid to ship the 2mm indigo round crystals all the way from Australia (which I made sure to buy enough extra beads).

After several messed up starts, this time I was determined to get this bracelet completed.  I honestly think that this time the bracelet was much harder to make.  Maybe because I knew that the bracelet is a hard make?  I was trying to get it to look more similar to the picture in the book but I had a hard time achieving that.

Again, I did not use the recommended number of right angle stitches on the bezel.  Looking at the example in the book, it really looks like the directions have you add an extra row on the front than what the example shows.  On the back, I did add an extra row just to make sure I had a more secure bezel setting.

I read through my notes, previous blog post, and the instructions.  But to be honest, I still couldn’t understand how to make the finished bracelet look more like the picture in the book.  The bracelet does look very similar to original bracelet that I made.

This time I used a box clasp instead of the recommended magnetic clasp in the book.  I have worn it a couple of times and the box style clasp seems to be holding up well and realistically probably blends in better with the art deco/ art nouveau style of the bracelet.




Fun Floral Cuff- Beadwork April/ May 2011


I wanted to try out a new bead technique.  So I choose the “Contemporary Corsage” pattern from Beadwork’s April/ May 2011 issue.  It is a cuff bracelet that uses bead embroidery, and peyote stitch (to secure the rivoli).  Beadwork magazine rated this project 2 out of 3 beads.  Accordingly, two beads means “Designs for an intermediate beader, a beginner ready to expand skills, or an advance beader looking for a project that won’t take weeks to complete” (pg. 95 on April 2011 issue).  This is pretty accurate.  I really didn’t have any problems with this pattern and I probably fall somewhere between intermediate and beginner.


I just followed the material list in the instructions.  I didn’t even use half of the beads I picked up for this project.  The un-used beads from the material list include bead A, bead D, bead E, bead G and the 3mm bicones.  I think I picked up 10 grams of the cylinder size 11 beads.  Instead of using the white I had originally planned on for the petals, I switched it to the size 11 delica beads.   To be honest, as I was putting this together, I think the pattern is overdone.  There were just too many competing details.  I ended up leaving off the picot fringe around the center crystal just because it looked like it would be too much.  The bio for the designer did mention that she had designed jewelry for Steven Tyler, so maybe I should have expected it to be over the top?  I haven’t done anything else from this designer so I am not sure if that is just her design aesthetic.  Definitely read the instructions and decide what you want.


The one part of the directions I don’t like is for the 3mm pearls on the flower.  The instructions say to randomly place the 3mm pearls throughout the flower.  But look that the picture, I don’t think those pearls were “randomly” placed.  Also, there is no count on how many pearls to randomly place.  Some of the pearls are needed to edge the cuff part.  So if anyone decides to make this, definitely consider doing the cuff part first so you have all the 3 mm pearls to randomly place over the flower without short-changing your cuff part. I still ended up with extra 3mm pearls after doing the cuff part of my bracelet.

The pattern does say to glue the flower to the cuff then stitch it down.  I found that I had a difficult time trying to get the needle to pick up just a little of the suede on the cuff.  So I tacked down one end along the edge of the cuff instead.

I plan on using the flower part again to make a brooch.  I think the flower would look lovely on a coat or jacket.


Jewelry for Visiting Downton Abbey- Beadwork 12/2008

DSCI0163 I got the Egyptian Cuff bracelet pattern from a free e-book on the Beading Daily website.  But if you have the issue of Beadwork December 2008/ January 2009 magazine, it is in there also.

I could easily see this bracelet being worn on Downton Abbey (granted their bracelet probably would cost more than $35).  I think this bracelet has an art-deco style with the rectangles and loops.  If the oval fringe loops are done in a different seed bead color than the rectangular stations, it would really highlight the art-deco feel of the bracelet.  I didn’t really see this until after I got started on my bracelet.  It may be something to think about if I ever make this bracelet again.  Each rectangular station is created using a three layer Right Angle weave and then connected together.  I picked a champagne colored delica bead and the Indian pink crystals.  The stations resemble waffle fries sort of with a line of honeysuckle pink crystals down it.  When you look at the completed bracelet picture in the instructions, it looks a lot denser than what the actual results are.


This is a good beginner project.  The pattern isn’t too hard, the directions are very clear, and there are nice diagrams.  Recommended advice is to carefully watch what direction you start your second level.  One cannot go complete the seven beads across the first level.  The third level will not work out if the second layer is wrong.  The second level has to start with the adding 3 beads across the width.  This was the only thing I could come up with as to why I had to tear apart the second station I made.  I could have messed up something else but I couldn’t see what else I did wrong.


The hardest part of the bracelet was finding a pretty clasp.  The pattern only calls for a magnetic tube clasp.  But I really wanted to keep with the art deco style and thought a box clasp would look perfect on it.  The box style clasp would also mimic the tile stations too.  Anyways, since the delica beads are smaller than regular seed beads, I needed something with a little more length so the bracelet fit comfortable around my wrist.

This pattern could easily be adapted for a necklace.  The oval fringe would be longer (probably around two inches between stations) and on the short (4 stitch) side.

This is the second make of this bracelet. The first one I made was too small using groups of 4 for outside loops and 7 for the center loops (7 inches total). The 7 inch bracelet didn’t give my wrist enough room to move. The second version is slightly too big and I used groups of 6 for outside and 8 in the center (approximately 7.5 inches). So probably after the new year, I will redo this again and try for 7.25 inches.

Maggie- a bracelet tribute to Natalie Woods


According to the introduction of this pattern in Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Crystals, the pattern was inspired by a bracelet that Natalie Wood wore in the movie “The Great Race”.  I haven’t ever seen the movie.  The one time it was on Turner Classic Movies recently was when I wasn’t at home.  The picture in Jean Campbell’s book though looks very classy and the end result certainly didn’t disappoint at all. 

 This bracelet was specifically meant to go with the linen fabric I picked for a 1950’s style dress.  Since I wanted to be able to wear this bracelet with other outfits as well, I decided to go fairly simple with the color selections and only picked one of the colors from the dress fabric instead of two.  I used the last of my silver seed beads from the Olivia necklace.  Then I played with the plain and aurora borealis finish on my colored crystals. 

 I sat trying to figure out what I was supposed to do at Step 1 Curve part.  It just didn’t make sense.  The picture is only part of the component but I wasn’t really understanding which beads were the ones shown in the figure.  I kept trying until tragedy struck.  A size 15 silver bead said enough was enough and just broke.  So component one was taken apart to redo.  I then went ahead and skipped Step 1 Curve part.  From what I can tell, it may not be a necessary step.  My bracelet looks like it came out fine without this step. 

 I just could not put a snap clasp in another bracelet.  I have troubles putting on the bracelet I put a snap clasp on by myself.  This time I tried a mini magnetic clasp.  The little clasp is fairly flat.  Hopefully the little clasp will work well.  I couldn’t find anything else that looked like it would work. 

 Out of the four projects I have made from this book (Marlene, Olivia, Elizabeth, and Maggie), this is definitely the one I would recommend for a beginner.  Each link section only took about 20 minutes to make.  Each silver disc for the clasp was about 40 minutes.   Besides the Step 1 Curve, everything else is pretty easy.  After making a couple of links, you don’t even really need to have the book out to finish up the rest of the links. 

 This bracelet could look really cute (and perhaps modern) completed in a multiple colors. This may need to be considered for all the left-over 4mm crystal beads from previous project.  A burst of color should make a very spring inspired bracelet.   It would seriously be something to consider if I get to needing a quick bracelet for a special occasion or gift.  The look can be slightly different by adding more links in.  I really think this is the one I should make for my mom. It has a tennis bracelet look that she would like.  It may be intriguing to try using the links from this bracelet to make a band around a Christmas tree ornament.  It may be something to keep in mind when the next holiday season comes up.


(This was the best picture I could get quickly early this morning.)

It isn’t White Diamonds- Elizabeth bracelet


Another bracelet from “Creating Glamorous Jewelry” book.  This bracelet was pretty easy to put together. The only hesitation I have about recommending it for beginners is that the double wrapped wire loops on the pearl flower clusters have to be a similar size to a number 11 delica cylinder bead. I had very nice looking double wrapped loops, but they were the wrong size and I had to fix them.

The flower clusters were easy to create. But my nice round double loops did not fit in with my size 11 delicas well. So for every cluster, I had to smashed the double loops into an oval shape so that it matched the delicas width better. I am glad now that I continued making flower clusters until I ran out of Rosaline crystal pearls. I was able to get 30 clusters completed. I had about 4 clusters that I wasn’t able to use because the smashed double loop was done very poorly. Getting the pearl clusters’ double loop to fit well is the only problem I see a beginner having troubles with. It may be possible to get around problem by changing the bracelet base seed beads to size 8 delicas instead of size 11. This probably will give the clusters a bit of wiggle room but I am not certain if it would or how it would affect everything else. But it would be something to consider.

It is a substantial bracelet and is fairly heavy for a beaded bracelet. All together it probably took about 20 hours to complete. I actually had the flower clusters created back in February. It had to wait until I had a chance to get out to Overland Park to pick out seed beads and a clasp. Then I really only worked on it during breaks at work because it was too cold to go outside for a walk.

I haven’t added any leaves yet to the bracelet. I have been considering how to redo the leaves. I tried to make one following the instructions and the sides along the crystal were rolling around it so much while I was making it. I am guessing my square stitches were not securing the beads in between stitches. But I am glad that I haven’t added the leaves quite yet because I have an even bigger problem with the bracelet.

I absolutely dislike the clasp. I like that it is invisible. But the 8mm snap is so big that only one really fits on the band. The bracelet is pretty heavy so a single clasp point may experience a lot of pulling. I am afraid that the tugging and pulling of undoing the snap could cause the bracelet to break. But that may just be me worrying for nothing and the bracelet is stronger than I think it is. However, I really think I will end up re-doing this whole bracelet if I can find a better clasp. The snap is just too hard for me to put on myself and it takes several tries to be able to clasp it.

I dislike this clasp so much that I am not even going to try it on the next bracelet- “Maggie” from Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements.


All the projects in this book, “Creating Glamorous Jewelry” are based off of jewelry from Hollywood legends like Marlene Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, and Olivia de Havilland (just to name a few). Seeing that I have a love for classic movies, I thought it would be a perfect book to have.  The Marlene bracelet is based on one of Marlene Dietrich’s emerald bracelets. The beaded creation is as eye-catching as the original. I should be able to get a lot of wear out of it with jeans, top/ cardigan, and heel. It dresses up any simple outfit.

"Marlene" bracelet from Creating Glamorous Jewelry"

“Marlene” bracelet from Creating Glamorous Jewelry”

It wasn’t until after I was finished that I came across an interview for About that the author mentioned this as one of the more challenging pieces she had created. So I will mark down all the differences between the book’s version and my own to that and not user error like I originally thought.

The pattern in the book is designed for a 6 1/4 inch bracelet. So anyone making this will need to lengthen it. When I worked at a jewelry stand, 6 1/4 inch bracelet was classified as a child’s length. A standard size bracelet is usually 7 inches; which is what I lengthened this to.


First part to make was the focal bezel.  Instead of the peyote setting I am use to, this pattern called for a right angle weave bezel.  I wasn’t able to follow step #1 exactly.  All total I used 34 right angle stitches instead of the 28 listed in the book.  I had switched out the seed beads for delica beads so that could be the reason but I don’t think it was the cause of my restart.  When I had used the seed beads, the 28 units was just too small for bezeling the focal 22x 30 mm crystal.  Be aware just in case this wasn’t all my fault if you make this pattern. 

My next word of advice for this pattern is it is very fickle with tension. Each of the side components with the 2mm indigo crystals were probably made about 3 times because I broke the thread and there was no way to repair it. The whole piece just started to unravel when the thread broke.  After all the repeated practice, I was able to make the side components in an hour. 

For the outer band stem connection, I wasn’t quite sure what the directions were telling me to do. From what I think I understand now, is that the herringbone tube should have been 12 beads instead of 6. I really slowed down progress on this bracelet when I started to wonder if it would be able to clasp without breaking.  In all, this was probably around 40 hours of patiences. 


Crystal Wrap Around

I found this book, “Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski: 65 Sparkling Designs with Crystal Beads”, at the used bookstore.  The author is Laura McCabe, I have seen several of her pattern contributions to Beadwork magazine.  From knowing that I had a fairly high expectation of the projects in this book.

I made the crystal wrap around bracelet.  It is definitely a statement jewelry piece.  (And apparently very on trend, granted I didn’t know wrap bracelets were until I saw them show up everywhere after I brought the crystals for my bracelet.)  But going off the pictures in the book, all the pieces in the book are statement pieces.  This bracelet more than exceeds my expectations.  The instructions are pretty decent but I wouldn’t say this is a beginners project at all.  One needs to be at least fairly comfortable with peyote stitch or at least have bezel set a crystal before would really help.  There isn’t too many pictures to follow.  The final products picture in the book is great looking, but it doesn’t really show the pattern of the 15 color A and 12 color B.  My suggestion is to layout your color pattern beforehand and buy your beads and crystals by what you want.

Since these were going to be the smallest ravolis I have made so far, I decided to use the 12mm option instead of the 10mm one.  There are twenty- seven beaded bezel set rivolis in this bracelet.  I don’t think anyone would want less than the twenty seven.  After looking at it on my wrist, I think I could have used at least one more crystal.  It wraps around my wrist three times and I have about a 7 inch wrist.  Anyone with a larger wrist should expect to use more than twenty-seven to achieve the wrap around look one desires.

To set my crystals, thirty-two beads seemed to be the best fit.  The chart given inside the book recommended thirty beads.  I am not sure if the difference is because of I used a different style of rivoli by accident, tension, or even changes in how the beads were made.  I didn’t add all the embellishment that was in the pattern.  I used padparadscha and light rose as my color combination- two of my favorite colors.  Setting each stone in bead of its respective color, I had very bright and rich colors.  Adding the beaded picot to the edges of the ravoli would probably been too distracting.  I did add the picots to the pale copper rivoli connections.