Bracelet with Hill Tribes Silver Beads, Gemstone Beads and Czech Pressed Glass Beads

An eye-catching scroll charm forms the centerpiece of this eclectic bracelet. Learn how to make scroll charms, and craft complex, woven strands of beads and charms in this absorbing, fun project. An added "note" is the musical sound this bracelet makes when you move!

Cut a piece of plastic tubing to desired length. It is suggested to use an Exacto miter-box and small saw to get a straight, clean cut.
Slightly roughen the outside of the plastic tube with the "scrubby" side of a kitchen sponge, or sandpaper. This will minimize the slick plastic look of the tube.
Select paper image. Use scissors or craft knife to cut image the same length as the tube and about 1-1/2 inches long. Roll paper image into a scroll form and insert into tube.
Glue bead caps to each end of the tube. Allow to dry completely.
Cut a piece of 22-gauge copper wire twice the length of the tube/bead cap assembly.
Using round-nose pliers, form a simple loop at one end of the wire and thread into center of tube. The wire should pass through the center of the scroll so it is not visible through the tube.
Form a simple loop at the opposite end of the wire, shaping it so it rests closely to the bead cap.

Tip: You may wish to embellish the wire with beads before forming the eye-loop. Dangles can also be added to the end of the loop before the final wire wrap, or added with jumprings.

Attach a jumpring to the top of the loop and set it aside.

Creating the bracelet of your "Dreams"

Decide if you are making a bracelet or a necklace. Measure your wrist diameter if making a bracelet (or measure neck diameter if making necklace); add about a 1/4 inch for ease of movement, i.e. an 8-inch wrist diameter plus a 1/4 inch equals 8-1/4 inch--converts to 210mm.
On your macramé work board, layout the clasp ends, left and right at opposite ends of wrist measurement. Pin them in place with "T" pins, i.e. left clasp end at the "0" mm and right clasp end at the "210mm."
Divide wrist measurement by three for two spacer bars, i.e. 210mm dived by 3 equals 70mm for each section. If making necklace, divide measurement by five for four spacer bars.
Place spacer bars at 70mm intervals. Pin in place with "T" pins.
Visualize written sheet music for the next stage, the beads become the individual notes on the lines or threads of the music. Experiment with color emphasis, rhythm, repetition and accents of color and reflective metallic light. Just as there are subtle shifts and melodies in song, so shall there be in your work.

Layout your large (10-12mm size) beads between the clasp ends and spacers. Think of physical balance of weight and where they will appear when you are wearing the completed piece. Focal points and very special beads should be towards the center of the piece.
Layout your medium (6-9mm) to accent and complement the large beads. Then, layout the small (4-6mm) beads to bring visual harmony to the whole composition.
Surround yourself with small containers of seed beads, heishi, small accent beads (3-4mm), flowers, leaves, etc. These are your color palette bowls, and will be mixed and randomly strung as you weave through and around the larger beads you have already placed on your workboard.
Cut a length of 3-ply nylon cord, four times the original wrist measurement, i.e. 210mm x 4 = 840mm (or approximately 36 inches). This will allow plenty of cord to knot, twine and finish without fear of the "OOOPS! too short factor." Another plus ... if your piece decides it wants to be a necklace instead of a bracelet, you have enough cord to follow the new creative path!
Decide which color cord you would like for the other stands. I usually use two different colors of cord in my pieces. Cut the desired number of strands in the colors you have selected, i.e. 6-hole spacer bar = cut 6 or 7 cords 4-hole spacer bar = cut 4 or 5 cords
Finish each end of the strands with a drop of G-S hypo cement or Dritz® Fray Check™ spread thinly and evenly for about 10mm along the ends. Allow to dry. This will enable you to use the strand end as a "needle" to go through smaller seed beads.
Select a cord and hold the ends in one hand, fold in half to find the center point.  Mark with a small alligator clip. Using the layout of beads as a reference guide, begin in the center of the piece and work out towards the right or the left end. I am right-hand-dominant and work towards the left end first. Pick whichever end is most comfortable for you.

Take a deep breath ... begin!
String on a bead, slide it to the center of the cord. String on several more beads of various sizes, shapes, and colors to form a pleasing composition. It is suggested to work with about 10-15mm of cord at a time.

Place a small alligator clip on the cord next to the last bead to prevent slipping.
Repeat Step 12 on each of your strands of cord, working from the center of each cord outward. Lay the cords flat on your workboard, from top to bottom, as you string beads. Remember the lines of the sheet music.
Begin to weave cords into larger beads as you continue to string one cord then another, progressing about 10-15mm at a time.

Tip: You should have two strands of cord in a large or medium bead. This will give strength and dimensional stability to your piece.

Tip: Fill large-hole beads with size 11 seed beads to reduce stress and abrasion on the cord.

Tip: Use floss-puller to thread multiple cords through large beads or to thread through hollow or filigree beads more easily.
Check layout for visual and physical balance and color placement as you string and weave. Be flexible, add colors, textures and sizes as you progress. Size 11 seed beads make great "bridges" over larger beads on adjacent cords.

Tip: Use "T" pins to anchor the work in place ... prevents slipping.

Keep stringing and weaving cords through beads until your piece reaches the correct length to the center section. Our example was 70mm.
Knot each cord end close to last bead on each cord.

Tip: To knot, form a loop in the cord then pass the cord end through the loop. Position tweezers inside the loop and grasp the end of the cord as it exits from last bead. Pull cord end gently to slide loop into place next to the bead. Pull knot tightly.
Thread cords into the holes in the spacer bar and slide bar into position next to strung section. Form knots as above on each cord as it exits from the spacer bar. Repeat on other bar.

Tip: Knotting spacer bars into place keeps them vertical and inline, prevents shifting. The knots become a decorative element in your work. They can also be hidden by remembering to place a larger holed bead next to the spacer bar (size 8 or 6 seed beads work well).
Continue to string beads on cords and weave into larger beads in remaining sections to the right- or left-of-center section you just completed. As you near the end of this section close to the clasp location, remember to use a large-hole bead next to the clasp. The large hole will help hide the crimp bead and knot we will use in finishing.


Slide crimp bead onto a cord. Pass the cord through the loop on the clasp and back through the crimp bead. Pull the cord gently and tightly and form a knot next to the crimp bead.

Do not cut the cord yet!
Put a dab of G-S hypo cement on the knot and let dry. Use floss-puller to thread cord end back through large-hole bead next to clasp.
Crimp the crimp bead with crimping pliers.
Cut the end of the cord to about 3-4mm. Touch the end of the cord with a match or small flame to melt cord end and seal. Careful!  Don't melt the cord to the beads!

Enjoy your new creation.

The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.

Have a question regarding this design idea? Email Customer Service.

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