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Bracelets to Make
Bracelets to Make
Once I'd tried my hand at making a necklace and some matching earrings, my next project was to look at bracelets to make. I love bracelets of all kinds and was amazed to discover just how easy they were to make.
All I needed was:
- Some beading wire
- Some nice beads
- A few crimps (these go at the end to finish the bracelet off
- A clasp
It took me just 5 minutes to make my first simple beaded bracelet. I just cut the beading wire to length (plus a few inches for finishing, strung the beads onto the bracelet - I think the hardest part was choosing my beads - then I put a crimp on each end, threaded on a wireguard to protect the beading wire from fraying, fed the beading wire back down through the crimps and back through the end few beads for strength, squashed the crimps to hold it all and snipped the ends of the wire off. And there it was in my hand, my very first bracelet - and it looked stunning.
The quality was high, even though I worked fast, because I was paying attention to detail. You can produce high quality bracelets very quickly if you pay attention to what you're doing and the attention span needed is just 2-3 minutes, which is great if you want to work from home doing something that's easy to learn and enjoyable. I find it's also a craft that's easy to pick up and put down in just a few seconds if I have to.
Basic Bracelet with Beads
A basic bracelet with beads is very simple to make. It takes just a few items - and you can even buy a kit from online stores, including ebay) that provide you with just the right amount of materials to make a bracelet, without having to buy in 20 of everything.
But what else could be made?
You can buy beads, or even make your own beads. You can use cheap acrylic beads or pure sterling silver beads. One bead or many.
But it's not just about beads with bracelets, you can make bracelets in hundreds of different ways... more ways than you could ever have the time to make them!
Basic Leather Bracelet
If you don't have the equipment, or desire, to string beads and learn how to finish off a bracelet using wire, then one alternative is to make funky leather bracelets. You'll need:
- A length of leather thong, thin enough to go through your bead/s
- A single large bead, or selection of beads, with holes large enough for the leather to fit through
- A clasp to enable the bracelet to be taken on and off
Of course, it is possible to learn a technique for a self-adjusting bracelet, this is achieved using knots which slide to enable the bracelet to be put on and off.
There are some great clasps you can buy that simply fit onto the end of your leather thong and you squash them with some pliers to fix them - so this is quite an easy way to make an easy leather bracelet.
You can buy kits with everything you need the first time, then once you've made your first leather bracelet you can perhaps think about trying different ways.
Basic Wirework Bracelets
My favourite is wirework. I'm about to start learning this great technique, which involves learning to easily wrap wire round things in a way that can then be used in jewelry. If you can wire wrap a shiny stone, you can create a necklace, a pendant, or a bracelet from it very easily - and the skill is quite easy to learn.
A special craft wire is used for wirework bracelets. Wire is available in many colours, or in sterling silver and copper. For learning and practising, it's best just to use a silver color wire and not real silver. Use real sterling silver wire for when you're good, or when you want to make a lovely gift for a friend.
The word to describe the thickness is "gauge" - all wire is bought/sold in this way. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the wire. For wire wrapping a pendant I'd use an 18 gauge wire; for wire wrapping something for a bracelet I'd want something a little more delicate so probably a 22 gauge wire.
There are many great books and tutorials showing you how to do wire work. It can be as easy or as complex as you want. I want to be able to wrap precious stones and pebbles I discover on the beach, I have no interest in being able to make a tiara from wire wrapping, although that level of skill is very easily attainable.
Using wirework, you can create a bracelet using entirely, or mostly, wire. This is a very affordable way to make bracelets, which can produce stunning results.
What to Do With Bracelets You Make
Most people make bracelets for fun, to wear themselves. If you've got a special event to go to and you know what bracelet you'd need to complete your outfit, then it makes sense to make it yourself so it's just perfect. But what else can you do with them?
Here are a few ideas:
- Sell them and generate an income for yourself, start your own business
- Put together a few simple/affordable designs and hire yourself out as a children's party entertainer, offering bracelet making parties
- Make bracelets as fundraisers, or for raising awareness. Make bracelets to sell for your local charity, or a national charity
- If you have another business, whatever that might be, make them as prize giveaways in contests to promote your other business
- Make bracelets for friends and family
- Find a niche to make bracelets for, perhaps bracelets for brides, or bracelets for men
Gift Wrapping Bracelets
If the bracelets aren't for you, then you should spend some time thinking about presentation - the gift wrapping of the bracelet can transform it from being "just a bracelet" into something unique and special.
Your choices are:
- Boxes, cardboard or plastic
- Velvet pouches
- Organza bags
Another thing to think about is whether to wrap them in acid-free tissue paper if they're in a velvet pouch. But gift wrapping bracelets is a whole new topic!
I hope I've given you a few ideas - and whether you're looking for bracelets to make for fun, or for profit, then I hope you're now inspired to get started straight away!