Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tutorial: multi strand bracelet with earrings

Today I'm making a multi strand bracelet, with matching earrings.

It's not hard to do, and there are so many possible combinations you  can put together.  All you need are two different kinds of beads that go well together, one larger and one smaller; and some chain.  Ready? Let's get started.

First, let's prepare our work space.  I'm going to share my most secret jewelry making tip. Take an old pillowcase, or piece of fabric.  Something in a light color, not a busy print.  Using your tape measure and an ink pen, mark your starting point, and then mark the pillowcase at 7, 7-1/2, and 8 inches.  These are the standard bracelet sizes.  Now you have a template to guide your bracelet length as you work, and the fabric will keep round beads from rolling away.  It also feels comfy, so if you spend a lot of time beading and resting your arm on the desk, this will help you out.

Difficulty level:  easy to medium

Tools and Supplies:

*round nose pliers
*flat or chain nose pliers
*jump ring tool (looks like a ring)
*shears or wire cutters

*several larger beads
*lots of smaller beads
*3mm, 4mm, and 5mm jump rings
*eye pins and  head pins
*lobster clasp
*7mm jump ring for clasp
*ear wires
*daisy spacers

I'm using some 8mm Czech glass cathedral beads, and 3mm vintage amethyst glass beads; but you can choose any combination you like. 

A. Starting with your larger beads, place your beads on eye pins, and link together with the 4mm jump rings to make a rosary style chain. 
If you don't know how to make a beaded chain, check out the easy steps in my necklace tutorial.

B. Measure your beaded chain against your template.  Make sure you include the clasp in your measurement. Keep adding links until you get the desired length. An average bracelet is about 7-1/2 inches.  

Add a 4mm jump ring to each end of your large bead chain when it is done~ this will help it drape better when the bracelet is all put together.

C. Now let's make a rosary style chain with the smaller beads. I'm using 3mm jump rings on these small links. Keep adding links until it is about as long as your large bead chain. 

D. Now measure out a length of your chain that is about as long as your beaded chain. I'm going to use two strands of this vintage chain. It has links that you can open and close with your pliers and jump ring tool. If your chain has soldered links, cut it with the shears. 

E.  Attach both ends of the chain together with a 4mm jump ring. Repeat on the other side. 

F. Now comes the tricky part, assembling all of the strands.  Open a 5mm jump ring and place each of your strands on it.  Repeat on the other end. You may have to add small jump rings to the end of your strands to get them to drape right.  

G.  Now attach the lobster clasp to one end of the bracelet with a 3 or 4mm jump ring. Attach the 7mm jump ring to the other end.

H. Now let's make the matching earrings.  Take one of your large beads and place it on a head pin.  Then add a 3 or 4mm daisy spacer.  Then add one of your smaller beads.  

Now cut the pin with your shears or wire cutters, leaving about 1/4 inch at the top. 

Using the round nose pliers, shape your pin into a loop.  Use the flat nose pliers to close and straighten the loop. 

And add your dangles to the ear wires. Most ear wires have a loop that can be opened with the jump ring tool.  Easy peasy!

I would love to see what you make with this tutorial, so leave me a comment if you try it.  Happy beading!

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  1. I am inviting you come and be part of my blog hop:

  2. Lovely beads!
    ...Thank you for stopping by my lil'blog and leaving a sweet comment!

    Greetings from Australia♥

  3. That is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen! What a great job, I don't think I have ever seen one that detailed on jewelry making, I am so impressed with people like yourself that have the patients to design jewelery, I get crabby just hanging crystals on a chandelier LOL!


  4. This is a very informative post...easy to follow...just great! Thanks! Hello, I am Loretta, I found you on Linky and am your new follower...both blog and Linky! Please stop by to visit and follow us too, I would love having you there...I sure hope you have a lovely, creative day! Hugs