Friday, 5 June 2015

String along with me!

Last night I gave my first official jewellery making class. I have included the instructions in this blog so you can make your own.
To set up for your own project, here are a few things to have ready.
1. A basic idea of what you want to make! We made stackable bracelets in glass pearl beads on an elastic. (3 bracelets) 
2. A clean work surface with enough space to spread out a little. The dining room table is always good. 

3. A dustbin for your cut offs 

4.  Your beading tray 

5. Your beads and charms 

6. A tape measure 

7. Your beading elastic 

8.  Thread holder, this can be a spring or even a large paper clip 

9. Crimp bead covers 

10. Scissors 

11.Flat nose pliers 

12. Bead pin (to make sure the holes are open) 

14.Magnifying glass (optional, to find all the beads that drop on the floor!)

Once you know what you want to make, and which colours you want to use,  get your beads ready.  Never  go shopping for beading supplies without an idea of what you want to make, otherwise you land up with beads you may never use! (I have a large collection of those)

Gather all your things together and make yourself comfortable. 
Measure your wrist to get an estimate of how large your bracelet needs to be. The beads on the finished project will measure slightly larger than your wrist because you measure without the beads.  Most women’s wrists measure 17cm (about 6-7 inches), then add 1,5 cm (1/2 inch)to account for the beads. For a young girl the average is 15,5cm (about 5-6 inches) and for a man 20 cm (7-8) inches.

Take your elastic and, using the scissors, cut your elastic to around 8 cm (4 inches) more than you need i.e if you need 18,5cm for your bracelet add another 8 to that (7,5 inches+ 4 inches)). Place your clamp at one end, about 4 cm (1 ½  inches) in (you need the extra length to tie your knots).
Arrange your beads on your bead tray in the pattern that you want. If you are using one colour just lay the beads out.

As we used the glass pearl beads which are inexpensive and perfect for a first project, they don’t always have their holes open and you will need to put the bead pin through them all, otherwise you will struggle when stringing them.

Thread all your beads onto your elastic. You will definitely drop a few onto the floor it is inevitable! Leave another 4 cm (1 ½  inches) at the end.
Before your finish off make sure the bracelet fits you the way you want, by also threading the end into the clamp. Once you are happy with it, tie it off.

Take off the clamp at the other end and you are ready to tie your knot. You need to tie at least three ordinary knots to make it secure. Or a surgeons knot, to do this take the two ends and cross one behind the other to make a circle, bring the front  thread through the back of the circle to the front and then through again. Pull tight. Cut the extra thread off close to the knot and discard the off cuts.

Take a crimp cover and place it over your knot with the open end facing  what will be the inside of your bracelet and using the pliers close the bead.  You may need to align the ends after you have closed the bead to make it lie flush. To do this place the point of the pliers on the side and gently close, the crimp bead should then move into place.

When making the bracelet with the charm in the centre you will loop the elastic through one side and knot and crimp it before you thread your beads. You will not need the clamp as the charm will keep the beads from falling off while you work. When you have enough beads on, loop the elastic through the other end of the charm and tie a knot and cover it with your crimp bead.

Your bracelet is now ready to wear. To make stackable bracelets you would then make as many as you need following the instructions.

Kits will be  available in my shop on Monday 8th and they have enough beads to make 3 bracelets and are available in different colours. 

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