Friday, January 25, 2013

Bracelet sets

 This post has been long in coming.  Apologies to those who have asked me over the last few months and I haven't been able to get it done.  One thing I want to to emphasize is that you don't have to make them just like this.  For purposes of ordering supplies in bulk (which is cheaper), I have mostly stuck with the same basic design.  The photograph above shows two different interpretations of my design, both are fine.  As long as the mom and baby's bracelet/bow have a common element that's matching between them, anything goes.

I make the adult bracelets on beading wire.  Sometimes we use closures like the one on the left, but most of the time, again for simplicity, I use a lobster claw clasp and a split ring to hook in to.   Total finished length on an adult bracelet should be between 7 1/2" to 8", with an average of 7 3/4".  I like to carry a few different sizes with me when I go on shoots.  For the 8 mm size pearls, this works out to 10 on each side, two crystals in the middle, and maybe a couple of decorative spacer beads.  As you can see, for the 6 mm size pearls, it takes more to achieve the same length.
 All of the supplies laid out:  Accuflex beading wire (.46 mm/.019 inch diameter), lobster claw clasp, split ring (to hook the clasp into), two crimp beads, 4 mm jump ring and charm, 8 mm crystals and 8 mm glass pearls.

Cut a 9" length of beading wire.  Thread one end through a crimp bead, then the split ring, then back through the crimp bead the opposite direction.  Slide the crimp bead down until there is just a small loop at the end, and smash flat with pliers.  Snip off the excess tail.  String half of the pearls, then a crystal.  Bend the jump ring open, slide the charm on, and bend it back shut.  String it on to the bracelet, then the other crystal and remaining beads followed by the other crimp bead and lobster claw.  Bend the end of the beading wire around to go back through the crimp bead in the opposite direction, tug on the wire to cinch it down until there is just a small loop for the clasp to wiggle around in, and smash the crimp bead flat with pliers.  Snip the excess end, and tuck any remaining tail into the first bead hole.  Ta da!  Done!
 Baby bracelets are threaded on stretchy cord.  .7mm diameter is a durable thickness.  You may either knot/glue the ends or crimp bead.  I have found that I personally prefer the crimp bead ends.  The smallest bracelets should be able to slide easily onto an adult woman's index finger without stretching.  The bigger bracelets should fit a newborn wrist, about 3" in length.   I find it super helpful to us a little clamp on one end of the stretchy cord to keep the beads from rolling off while I work.

 I came up with ribbons for the baby boys.  Bracelets seemed too weird to me.  I photograph them with the boy resting in their hand, or for the tiny babies, with their hand resting on top of the center of the bow, next to the mom's wrist with her matching bracelet.  These are simply an 8" length of 3/8" grosgrain ribbon, looped into a figure 8 shape and the center of the loops hot glued and squashed down to form a double layer bow.  I use a 4 mm jump ring and 10 mm jump ring to dangle the charm off the 1" piece of ribbon that is glued around the center.  The top picture is a top view, the next is a rear view.

And the finished product - ta da!


  1. Thank you for posting this! I have been curious about making the bracelets/bows and now I will hopefully be able to add some to the stack of stuff I have to give to you. Thanks for all you do! You are incredible!

  2. Can't wait to see what you've been working on!

  3. What size pearls are used for the baby bracelets?

  4. I was looking for an in-depth article on bracelets/bows. Thanks for clearing my doubt.
    `SoundProof Enthusiast`