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How To Make Beaded Spangles
Spangles are colourful, beaded bracelets made from memory wire. They make great handmade gifts and are quick and cheap to make. If you are new to creating handmade jewellery or beaded jewellery, you’ll love this Spangles project!
According to Wikipedia, the universal fount of all web knowledge, Spangles "were square boiled sweets, bought in a paper tube, manufactured by Mars Ltd in the United Kingdom from 1950". Apparently they were discontinued in the early eighties to the immense disappointment of us all and I've decided to revive the term as an abbreviation of "spirally bangles" otherwise known as memory wire bracelets.
Spangles are really comfortable to wear as they don't clunk the desk too much when you are operating a mouse and they slide up and down your wrist, making you feel quite sexy. You can hang them around a room like suncatchers for decoration and and they have many other decorative functions. They are easy to make and don't require a lot of patience or tools so they’re ideal for beginners and beaded jewellery enthusiasts with large bead hoards who want to use up some of their excess stock.
What You Will Need
- Seed beads
- Larger, colourful beads
- Bracelet-length memory wire
The only stuff you need will be pointy pliers, seed beads, other thematic beads and a length of memory wire that circulates your wrist a few times. You can buy memory wire already cut to size or use wire cutters to obtain a custom length from a bracelet-width memory wire coil.
Choose a theme for your Spangle - in this case I've chosen an Asian style cat bead and flower beads in red, turquoise and white. Select your beads so that they fit into your theme and have matching or complimentary colours. To get the effect of the Spangle above, use longer lengths of seed beads interspersed with larger, more decorative beads.
Creating The Beaded Spangle
1. Hold one end of the memory wire with pliers and twist the wire into a small loop. This stops the beads falling off. It should be a small sized loop so that you are not discomforted when wearing the Spangle.
2. Thread the beads on the unlooped end, with the smallest beads near both end loops, to prevent the beads from falling off. Experiment with different beads until you are happy with the design. Lengths of smaller beads interspersed between larger beads make a nice arrangement and gemstone chip beads also work well in memory wire beaded bracelets.
3. When you’re finished, try on the Spangle and test for comfort before completing the final end loop. Using pliers, hold and twist the unfinished end of the memory wire to complete the Spangle.
Ideas For Decorating With Spangles
Besides wearing Spangles as bracelets, there are many other ways to use them. Spangles make lovely suncatchers around the house – simply add a crystal to one end and some twine or wire to the other end with a knot. I’ve never experimented with the use of bells on Spangles but I think that chain-linked bells on Spangles would make a very nice windchime, especially if you have a long length to work with.
Storing Spangles is easy – place them on a doorknob for quick access or over a cup containing pencils to brighten up the place. You can also store other beaded bracelets on the Spangle by clasping them onto the Spangle itself. This mega-bracelet can also be worn for dramatic effect!
Spangles make lovely handmade gifts. Present them by tying them into a bow with the gift ribbon around a present, or put them in a little cellophane bag with some lollies and a cute gift tag.
If you make enough Spangles, you can loop them together to form a giant beaded Spangle necklace (WARNING – this is only for really loud and outrageous costumes!)
Thanks For Reading!
Thank you for reading my article about how to make beaded Spangle bracelets. Spangles are so easy to make and become beautiful decorations around the house as well as handmade jewellery. Since they can be produced very quickly and are very versatile with bead types, they can be made quickly to suit any outfit. If you’re looking to make handmade gifts for loved ones in one afternoon, Spangles are a great choice and will showcase your bead collection easily!
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© 2013 Suzanne Day