Friday, January 6, 2012

Feeling like Spring... jewelry wise

*Painted flower beads
*Red gem stones
*bead wire (.45mm in silver)
*lobster clasp
*jump rings (2)
*clamp beads (3)
*chain (2 inch length)
*needle nose pliers
*clamp pliers
*round nose pliers
*wire cutters
*Measuring tape

*Tip 1- Plan It Out* As with all jewelry designs I laid out the design on my bead board before I started doing anything. Had to try out different style gem stones to see which one matched best, as I did not buy any of the beads at the same time.

*Tip 2 - Measure* Always measure for each project to make sure the lengths that fit best are correct. This is important when making items for other people.  Once you have done them enough times you will know the required lengths and can skip this step.


- Measure out the length of bead wire you will need to fit around your wrist and then give yourself about 2 inches to loop back through at the ends. Use wire cutters to cut correct length.

-Take a pair of need nose pliers and open a jump ring. Slide the jump ring onto the end of the lobster clip and close the jump ring.

- Take a clamp and thread it on the bead wire; then slide the bead wire through the jump ring attached to the lobster clip. Loop the bead wire back through the clamp bead and then use the clamp pliers to clamp it the bead in place. This should allow for a loop to hold the one end in place.

*Tip 3- Tight Loops* Try and keep the loop as tight as possible to keep from having a big gap. This can be done by holding one end of the bead wire with a needle nose pliers and then taking the other end of the wire and pulling it tighter.

-Thread on the beads and gems in the order of the design you picked ahead of time (see *Tip 1*)

-Continue this until you have the length you determined earlier. (see *Tip 2*)

-Once you have finished your design for the length, slide on a clamp and use the clamp pliers to secure it in place. (see *Suggestion 1* and *Tip 4*) (I skipped this step for this project due to tightness. )

*Suggestion 1* Doing one clamp bead at the end to make sure everything stays tight and then another to create the loop is NOT required. You can choose to use only one clamp bead, just be sure to keep the beads together tightly enough to not end up with large gaps when you wear it. I do it for both ease and strength. Beginners can do this until they get better at rethreading the closure clamp.

*Tip 4 - Consider Material and Purpose* You must always be aware of the type of give and strength your supplies have or you could end up with breaks, scrapping, and no flexibility. The heavier the wire the less bend and flexibility it has. String the beads too tightly together and some will rub together and break. String them too tightly and the beads will bunch and not bend well around your wrist. Some times you need to allow for "give room" with bracelets in order to get the bracelet to wrap.

-Take another clamp bead and thread it on first, then slide on the other jump ring, then thread the wire back through the clamp. Now tighten the wire until you have a small loop. Be sure that the jump ring stays in the loop you create. Use the clamp pliers to close the clamp when you have the loop the size you want. (see *Tip 3*)

-Take a wire cutters and clip off the extra wire as close as possible to the last clamp bead. If the wire is bend-able enough and the bead holes are big enough you can thread the extra wire back through the beads instead of cutting it.

-Take a needle nose pliers and open the jump ring on the end you just finished and slide in the length of chain and close the jump ring with the needle nose pliers. This will allow for different tightness around the wrist. This can be very helpful if you didn't follow *Tip 2* and its not long enough to go all the way around the wrist.

That will finish off the bracelet.

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