Today’s bracelet is beginner-easy. I mean, I try to make all my tutorials easy to understand and accessible to all skill levels, but if you are brand-new to making jewelry, this is a great one to start on and it’s a perfect last-minute stocking stuffer or gift for a girlfriend.
What you will need:
- Beads you love. I found this little pack at Walmart on my last shopping trip and picked it up on a whim, it was only $2.50. Any size, any color, any mix of beads are fine, though! Make it personal! I do like to use glass beads because it makes a higher-quality-looking bracelet, but if you like faux pearls or acrylic beads – go for it! There really are no rules.
- Memory wire – a package should run around $4, but it will make up several bracelets. I have used about half a package on 4 bracelets so far.
- Wire cutters (the ones from your toolbox work fine, don’t buy specialty jewelry wire cutters if you don’t already own them)
- Pliers – round-nosed work best, but if you don’t already have some, any small pliers will work just fine
If this is your first time unstringing packaged beads – be careful, LOL. You may want to empty them into a dish. Even when I’m careful, I usually manage to lose at least one. : P
I normally work right off the coil of memory wire because it’s difficult to know how far your beads will go. You can cut off a few coils (maybe 5 or 6?) but I hate doing that because quite often there’s a coil or two that I have to trim off at the end that’s too small to use on another project, so it gets wasted. It’s up to you, though!
Anyway – begin by taking the end of the wire in your pliers and making a small loop. This is so your beads won’t fall off the end. : ) Memory wire can be really difficult to bend – you’ll have to really muscle it. But that is a good thing – it’s how it retains its shape for the bracelet.
I decided to sort my beads by shape and finish. Some of these were clear and some were frosted. I decided to add each type all in a row together, then moving on to the next type, instead of mixing them up – but you can do it however you like if you’re working with coordinated beads!
Then, just string them. Well, technically it’s wire. You know what I mean – add them on to the open end of your coil! ; )
As you work, slide your beads down to the looped end of your wire.
When all your beads are added (or you feel like there are enough loops to your bracelet – 3-5 loops are a good number for this size bead), you’re ready to finish off the end. Let me make a suggestion here: do NOT just cut off the end of your wire without first bending it, at least a little for a loop just like we made in the beginning. Because memory wire is hardened, it can take a little oomph to cut. Which means that when it snaps off, you run the risk of some beads going flying. Making your loop first, BEFORE you cut the end off, helps keep your beads in place. Also, make sure there aren’t any large gaps between your beads before finishing the end.
I apparently don’t have a photo of this, sorry. But you will just be making another small loop, just like you did to start the bracelet.
That’s it! Depending on what size beads you use (because smaller beads means you need to use more of them, so adding them takes longer) you should have this bracelet done in anywhere from 10-30 minutes – EVEN if you have never beaded before.
As always – feel free to ask questions if anything isn’t clear – I’m happy to help. You can just comment below and I will email you back!