March 8, 2009

How-To: Swarovski Crystal Cuff Bracelet

Hello everyone and welcome to my first public blog post EVER!
Today I will attempt to show you how to make a five-stranded beaded cuff bracelet. This is great for bride's jewelry or for the wedding party. I made them for my mom and maid of honor (sister) and it was a big hit. I matched it to their dresses and the wedding colors.

Time: About 40 minutes, longer if it is your first time attempting this kind of craft.
Materials: see below
Skill level: Intermediate
Skills involved: crimping, stringing, jump rings

**For teaching purposes I will be using bright colors in order to better illustrate the design. You do not need to go this bold in your piece. It looks very sleek and simple with only one color. Once you have mastered the construction you can also play with patterns. Have fun! It's your wedding!

For the bride, this would work beautifully with either Swarovski crystal style ab2x or their white alabaster ab or ab2x colors. You can also subtly incorporate the wedding colors, or slip in some azure beads to check "something blue," off your list. Whichever you choose, it will help you personalize your wedding and save you a lot of money by doing it yourself.

All the materials you need are featured below:

-Beading wire (.12mm)- 5 strands of about 6" each
-10 silver crimp beads
-2 silver/silver-plated jump rings
-1 large silver/plated lobster claw clasp
-1-3 inches of a larger silver/plated chain, for extension
-2 of the 5-hole silver/plated spacer bars
-2, 5-looped silver/plated link of your choice

-150 swarovski crystal 4mm bicone beads
You will also need these tools:
Jewelry Pliers
Jewelry Wire cutters

Ok here we go!

Step 1:
a) Take one of the 6 inch wire strings, string a crimp bead on it, and put it through the first loop on the 5-hole link. Then put the other end of the string back through the bead so it looks like this:
b)This is the tough-ish part: The crimping tool has two "crimps" to choose from. Begin by using the second crimp in to crimp the bead, then follow up by crimping the bead with the first crimp on the tool.

I suggest practicing the crimping before you start this. Test to see that the crimp is working and will hold the wire in place. Make sure to leave a little slack and don't crimp too close to the loop. This way your bracelet will be flexible and move with your wrist. The finished crimp should look like this:
Step 2
String one or two clear crystal beads, just to add some length. Then string nine beads of your chosen color. Once you have nine colored beads, string the wire through the first hole on your first 5-hole spacer bar. Add nine more colored beads and then string the wire through the first hole on your second spacer bar. Follow up with one or two more clear beads. The strand should look like this:Step 3:Repeat step 1a) to finish the strand. Make sure that your 5-hole links are both facing the same direction. This crimp will be harder. You may want to leave just a bit more slack. Here is the finished strand:
Step 4:
Repeat steps 1-3 (brian mcknight lyrics, anybody? never mind.) and build each strand. Be careful to leave the same amount of slack with your crimps so the strands are exactly the same length. If they aren't, don't worry about it. It all evens out when it is curved around your wrist.

Here is strand 2:Here it is with all of the strands:
You can use your imagination to envision it with all one color, but I wanted to make sure I was very clear. Don't be discouraged if you need to redo a strand or two. If you notice, I redid the green strand and put it on the end because I liked it better that way. Remember, relax and have fun!

Step 5 (almost done!)
Take your pliers and use them to pick up a jump ring. They say you should do this with 2 sets of pliers but I am cheap and just use my fingers. Gently open the jump ring by pushing to one side, NOT by pulling it apart. Observe below:
Once your jump ring is open attach the back side of the 5-loop link and the lobster claw clasp. Then close the jump ring. It should look like this:

Step 6:On the other side, attach a jump ring and the extender chain to the other 5-loop link so it looks like this:

Guess what? You are DONE! The finished product should look like this:
Now imagine it in white sparkly crystals coming down an aisle. Beautiful!
Here is my sister wearing hers. I used a square pattern here:
Please feel free to visit me on Etsy to ask questions about this post or to order a custom version of this bracelet.

Thanks for following along with me today. May your wedding be as amazing as was mine!

3 comments: said...

Oh how pretty! Everyone looks so beautiful, what a gorgeous wedding!

Karina said...

This is such a sweet post. I love that picture at the end!

Paperelle said...

Great tutorial! Congrats on your first blog post.