Whether you're a novice crafter or an experience beader, after reading our guide below, you'll know how simple it is to create something truly fabulous that your friends and family might guess you spent hundreds on at the department store or boutique!
Truth be told, your handmade version will be created with better materials i.e.: Sterling Silver or 14k Gold Filled metals, and gorgeous, authentic natural Labradorite gemstones and cultured Freshwater Pearls.
**Sidenote** Are cultured pearls fake? No! Virtually all cultured freshwater pearls in the market you see today, and that's including high-end jewelers, use pearls which come from farms. Finding completely natural pearls found in nature that are also perfect spheres is so incredibly rare, the prices are unfathomable... Of course not all pearls from farms are created equal. High end pearls which reflect a generally higher price-point of course come from farms that practice higher quality techniques and longer culturing times which add to the cost, but that's an entire blog article entirely. Just know that great quality pearls can be easily sourced, and you shouldn't classify pearls with cultured in the name as "fake". Try googling the practice of cultured pearls, it's quite fascinating!
Back to business, what are we making today?
Look at the all the colors hiding within the Labradorite, lovely shades of blues and greens. Then evenly spaced out we utilize a single 3mm Freshwater Pearl, flanked on both sides with 2mm 14k Gold Filled spacers.
The spacers play a real important roll in this piece. When someone comes into our shop looking for design help, we generally offer the same advice all the time. Don't be afraid to mix elements, in this case Labradorite gemstones with a pearl. But there's also nothing wrong with throwing in glass, woods, bone etc. But when mixing elements, you'll quickly learn that the different elements when next to each other tend to go *blah*, *yawn*, *boring*... That's when implementing some metal really sets each element off and you get that *POP* your piece needed!
I generally try to stick with a max of 2 elements plus a metal. Some projects look great with more than 2 elements, and that's great! But more than likely if you're struggling to love your piece, more often than not throwing in either a silver, gold or copper metal will change your perception of your design. Give it a try!
Measurements - Let's discuss figuring out our desired length.
If you're like me, you prefer to plan as much as you can before beginning. Other's throw caution to the wind and start stringing and play it by ear. Both will work, but let me give you some tips:
5 wrap bracelet.
Average adult female wrist length: 7"
Total length will be around 35"
If you would prefer to make a single wrap, or a 3 wrap, make your mental adjustments in length.
Expect to make adjustments. If your beads are tiny like this project, the beads will sit tighter on your wrist than the average beaded bracelet. If you are making a bracelet with huge 8-12mm beads, stringing 7" you'll be shocked when it doesn't fit on your average size wrist. The bigger beads sit higher off your wrist than tiny beads. Just know you'll want to hold your bracelet around your wrist to test the length out before crimping.
Now that we have a rough idea on length, we can get started!
*4 Feet Soft Touch Stringing Wire (you can use Fine Softflex if you have it).
*3x strands of 2x3mm Labradorite Rondelles (2 isn't quite enough, you'll have extra)
*1x strand of 3mm Freshwater Pearls
*1pk 1mm Crimp Beads (Sterling or 14k Gold Filled)
*1pk 2mm Spacers (Sterling or 14k Gold Filled)
*1x Mag-Lok Magnetic Clasp
1. Cut 4 feet of Soft Touch Beading Wire. (I might be able to to get the job done with 3 feet at 36" but I hate working the ends with such a small amount of string)
2. Use a bead stopper at one end of my string to prevent beads from falling off while working. You can use a piece of scotch tape as well.
3. Begin by using 2x 1mm crimp bead. Then begin stringing your pattern. We used 14x Labradorite beads per section. Some people prefer to measure out each section instead of using a particular number of beads, your call. Then add a single spacer, pearl and another spacer. Done with our first section.
4. Repeat pattern till roughly 35". When approaching 31-35" long, feel free to carefully wrap around wrist. You'll want the two ends to basically be touching each other. If too far a part, even after adding your crimps and clasp they won't be able to reach each other... If your two ends overlap by a little bit, that's ok! When making a wrap bracelet, a little long is just fine, when you connect the two ends you can fluff your bracelet out and it will re-align and center up just fine (watch video at end for clarification).
5. Finish off with 2x 1mm crimp bead. 1 would probably suffice, but when working with 1mm crimps I feel safer doubling up.
6. Now time to crimp our clasp on. After stringing your last crimp, string one end of your magnetic clasp on. Go back through your crimp bead, removing most of the slack. Using the tip of your chain-nose pliers, smoosh your first crimp bead.
7. Move all your beads down to the end of your necklace that was just crimped, giving you more string to work with on your second side.
8. String your other magnetic end, go back through the crimp, and be especially careful when removing your slack this time. If you pull too tight and don't leave a little wiggle-room, your bracelet won't naturally drape around your wrist.
*Crimping tip* When working with wrap bracelets, I like to coil my bracelet up into 5 wraps as if it were on my wrist prior to crimping my second side. If your bracelet is in a straight line and you pull the slack out nice and tight when crimping, your bracelet isn't going to coil nicely...
I've included a short video so you can see the crimping process on both ends:
Voila! How does she look? No need to answer, I already know it looks magical <3
As you can imagine, this design would look amazing in all different gemstone variations. If you make something different than our Labradorite and Pearl example, please share it with us! You can tag us in your posts on Instagram @beadncrystal
That's all for today friends. We're continually thinking about what project to Blog about next. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below. We think you'll get a kick out of our next project though for sure! What is it? Well let's just say it pertains to what we're all going through while in quarantine, and is sold out everywhere... :D
Happy beading <3