Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Barbie bracelet

Supplies:*Large white pearls
*Large silver pearls
*Small white pearls
*Small silver pearls
*Clear gems
*bead wire (.18mm in silver)
*2 wire slide clasp
*jump rings (4)
*clamp beads (6) #1
*needle nose pliers
*clamp 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. This also includes making sure the clasp and clamp beads match the color pallet.

*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. Also plan for certain material will bunch and shorten the length (see *Tip 4* for more about this issue.).


- 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. Do this for other side.

-Take a pair of need nose pliers and open a jump ring. Slide the jump ring onto the end of the clasp and close the jump ring. Do this for the other side of the clasp.

- Take a clamp and thread it on the bead wire; then slide the bead wire through the jump ring attached to the clasp. 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. Repeat this for the other side of clasp.

*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. Keeping it tight keeps the wire from rubbing. This is also why using a jump ring to attach to the clasp is important, as the wire attached to the jump ring is not going to move around much if its pulled tight.

-Thread on the beads and gems for both sides 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* )

*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 re-threading 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. This can also mean you should use seed beads to give flex room in between certain types of stones, gems, rocks, and so on. 

-Once you have finished your design for the length, slide on a clamp and use the clamp pliers to secure it in place. Do this again.  (see *Suggestion 1* and *Tip 4* ) (I almost always do this step just to secure my design and tightness of the beads.)

-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. Do this again for other side. (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 on the other end of the clasp (Or length of chain if you want to use that instead. 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.) and close the jump ring with the needle nose pliers. Do this again for the other side.

That will finish off the bracelet.

This was one I made for Mom. She is actually the one who named it the "Barbie" bracelet. She says thats what she thinks of when she looks at it.

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