Bracelets!?!?! Yep! That's right... A little break from quilting is here, and reminiscing of my beading experiments some years ago, The Hill has today a beginner tutorial for a simple braided bracelet. Besides, some variety to our Crafty Bone Activities never hurts, right?
Ah! But Yiya had an accomplice for this task... Craftyful! An online store with a variety of fabric, buttons, ribbons, zippers, charms and good ol' crafty goodies, Craftyful is a great place to get supplies from.
For some reason, I got "lost" in their selection of Swarovski crystals and had the inkling to make a bracelet like the one in the following picture, but in a much needed different combination. I gave beading and making bracelets and earrings a shot because mom kept asking for a set, hehe... Of course, I wanted to experiment, and this was one of my favorite looks. Let me tell you, it was not easy to wait for the beads and start stringing them! :)
Without much more ado, I present to you my new braided bracelet make with Swarovski crystals from Craftyful:
But just before getting to the instructions, hats off to Craftyful and their shipping! If you have ever worked with beads, you know those little guys roll over the place in a millisecond! From a really cute envelope...
... to individual, labeled ziplock baggies inside another sealed bag, this is by far the best method I've ever seen to deal with little cute beads. Isn't it nifty?
Here is a close-up so that you can see the packing better - those little beads aren't going anywhere without your permission!
And yes, those first pictures had scrap batting in the background; batting is great for keeping beads from rolling all over the place, but it is not so great for pictures when Swarovski crystals are in it...
Man! It was a feat getting the pictures and after several backgrounds and even thread colors, I ended up on my faithful, worn out cutting mat, hehe...
For this tutorial, Craftyful provided biconic Swarovski crystals. I decided to use a complimentary color combination (purple-yellow), to make the final bracelet really pop.
Also, I decided to use different hues of the same color just to provide variety.
Craftyful makes this process so easy! They have a menu that allows the user to click on the characteristic they want and their system automatically shows beads that match the selection. From kinds of beads to size and color, they have a bunch of choices and a very simple system.
Whatever the combination you go for, you will need an average of 70 3mm biconic Swarovski beads to complete a bracelet - 7 per section. Also, this tutorial calls for at least 9 dividers, plus the clasp you want.
Ready? Let's start beading!
Two strand bracelet - Version 1
As the title says, this technique is easy-piecy-breezy... Well, almost like the title.
You will need regular beading nylon thread; cut a 25" length and fold it in half. The beading starts on the two open ends. I like using a regular clothes pin and pinch the fold, just to keep any beads from disappearing and running all the way under the table...
String one divider and one crystal on both ends, like so:
Then string two more beads, one on each end
Continue alternating - one bead on both ends, strings together; two beads, one on each end (separated). String a divider every 7 beads.
You will end up with something that looks like a zigzag beading:
Looks cute, right?
Here is another view:
Now, feel free to add the clasp at this point, but if this just doesn't feel like it's all you can do... keep on reading! This was just practice for the second version! :)
Then two more beads, one on each end.
Here comes the tricky part... String the next bead, on ONE end.
I strung this bead from RIGHT to LEFT, so the next step is to to the same with the other end, but in the opposite direction.
In this case, I took the left string and put it through the bead from LEFT to RIGHT.
Then string two more beads, one on each end. (Please note the super useful clothes pin on the folded edge, keeping it all safe!)
Now string one more bead, on both ends; then, start it all again and repeat until you get the length you want!
Here are the same steps, but with a different color - these gorgeous, sparkly beads are kind of tricky to photograph, so I just want to make sure you can see them. :)
And here you have it, a simple, elegant and easy-to-make braided bracelet! :)
With eight sections, I was really close to the length I wanted, so I strung two "half sections" at each end of the bracelet just to make sure I have enough wiggle room to secure it - and keeping it secure while wearing it! :)
Just for extra blogging fun, here is the bracelet that started it all many years ago:
Of course, this technique can be used with many kinds of beads, but I particularly like the effect that results from the biconic Swaroski crystals.
Try different colors, shapes, sizes and dividers - can you feel your crafty ideas tickling in your head? Remember that each new variety will modify the final number of total beads you will need.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and give this a try!
Stay blessed! :)
P.S. Here is a little sneak-peak at a future post: