I want to make a charm bracelet, but along with the charms I want to also incorporate lampworked beads along with Swarovski crystals. As you know, lampworked beads are quite heavy so there will be a lot of weight added to the bracelet. What is the best chain to use for this type of project? I truly appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you for your time.
A heavyweight cable chain, wrapped loops and sturdy jump rings are essential to keep heavy charms secure on a bracelet.
By connecting beads and crystals to the chain with headpins finished with a wrapped loop you create a connection with no seam, eliminating any accidental snags from pulling a beaded drop off your chain. If a wrapped loop is not a suitable means for your design, choose the heaviest gauge jumpring your design can accommodate.
Choose from the large selection of pre-formed jumprings or make your own using the wire of your choice. Heavy 16- or 18-gauge dead-soft wires are good choices for what you are describing. Consider the size of the bracelet links and the hole sizes of the various charms to determine a workable inside diameter of the rings. You ultimately want any charms to be secure but to move freely as a dangle.
Note: When using heavier beads, like lampworked beads, it is a good idea to distribute the weight evenly along the length of the bracelet. This will help prevent one part of the bracelet from falling to the underside of the wrist when wearing.
- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador