November 24, 2010

Glass Leaf and Swarovski Crystal Bracelet



Last time I was at my favorite bead shop on the coast I found a strand of red, yellow and orange shimmery glass leaves and thought they would make the perfect Christmas present for my mom. She loves sparkly jewelry and is one of the few women I know that truly looks good in orange. You can find similar beads here.


I bought a dozen or so packages of Swarovski crystals in fall colors to go with the leaves. Swarovski crystals are a little spendy but you can sometimes find them on sale at Michael’s or JoAnn’s. Or better yet, you can buy them in bulk here and here. Plus, I found that even though the boxes were tiny the beads actually went a long ways and I could probably make another bracelet out of what I have left.


First, I cut three pieces of bead stringing wire long enough to go around my wrist plus a few inches. Then I threaded one wire through one side of a three-way spreader and back through a crimping bead.



I smashed the crimping bead with pliers to keep the wire in place. When using crimping beads, there is fine line between smashing them so hard that they break (instead of just flatten out) and not hard enough so that the wires slip. You might want to practice on some wire scraps. Trust me, it’s extremely frustrating when your almost finished bracelet comes apart and spills beads all over the floor.


I trimmed off the short piece of wire and started stringing beads.



Once enough beads were strung to go around my wrist, I attached the other speader in the same way I put on the first one.


I repeated this method for the other two strands and then attached the clasp with jump rings.



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