Track it with Beads!
by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Let jewelry be more than just a beautiful accessory with beaded bracelets that allow the wearer to track, count or mark milestones as needed. This convenient counting tool can serve as a friendly reminder of things, a visual tracking method of a personal goal or help to build anticipation for an upcoming event--appearing as jewelry, but serving a dual purpose. Track anything from the number of glasses of water consumed per day, medication schedules, work deadlines, military milestones or deployments, workout frequencies or use it to countdown to a special occasion such as a trip, birth, wedding or when you'll see someone next. The idea of "countdown," "track it" or "milestone" jewelry is perfect for unique gifts and resale because the wearer can easily adapt the bracelet to whatever they would like to keep track of. Here's how to make your own version of this creatively clever design concept.

What you'll need: The bracelet can be designed for any style or price point based on the beads and materials used in the piece. Single-strand or memory wire bracelet designs are good choices for creating tracking bracelets. Memory wire bracelets can accommodate a significant number of beads and are easy to take on and off. Select beads based on color and material for custom designs--such as birthstone-colored beads for a birthday countdown bracelet or wedding-colored beads for a wedding countdown bracelet, ranging in materials from glass beads to Swarovski crystal to gemstone and metal beads. The time intervals desired will determine the number of beads used in the design and bracelet length.

The key is that each bead represents a period of time, such as 15 minutes, one hour, one day or one month, etc. Vary the sizes and/or colors of the beads for ease of tracking. For example, if every bead represents 15 minutes, then make every fourth bead a larger bead or a different color to denote the hour. Or make it even easier for the wearer to track things by adding in number beads.

Next, create the marker to move along the bracelet for tracking. Any style of charm can be added to a lobster claw clasp or charm hanger, providing another opportunity for personalization. Add a wedding-themed charm, vacation-themed charm, military charm (such as ARMY or NAVY), or use initial charms to customize the marker to the countdown or what is being tracked.

Here are additional ideas for gifting and marketing this jewelry concept:
  • Sell marker charms separately for additional personalization and sales
  • Gift to someone to let them know when you'll see them next, such as an adult child leaving for school, long-distance friendships, military deployments, etc.
  • Countdown to special days, such as a birth, birthdays, weddings or anniversaries
  • Track workout, diet or other personal goals
  • A reminder of medication or nursing schedules

And lastly, simply place in a gift bag or presentation box for a beautiful and functional gift.

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