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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Making Beaded Bracelets

Making jewelry with beads is becoming hugely popular, and with good reason. You can basically make whatever you want, in whatever style you like, in whatever colors you choose. Every creation is unique. But if you're just starting out, making a beaded bracelet can seem a bit overwhelming. There are plenty of different things you need to consider when making a bracelet.

The first step is to get together the necessary tools and elements you need for your bracelet. Most good craft stores will carry a good range of at least the basic tools you need, so you can go there to search for tools, wire, fasteners and string. They will most likely have a good range of beads for you to choose from as well.

If you're keen to do something a little bit more complicated, or you find your craft store's selection a bit limited, you can check out a dedicated beading store. But be warned - it's very hard to get out of one these stores without falling in love with far too many beads and spending more than you plan to! Beading stores can be a little more expensive, but you benefit from a huge range of beads in all colors, shapes and styles. You will probably also find that the salespeople are beading enthusiasts too, and can give you lots of helpful advice.

When it comes to tools, start with the basics, and build your collection as time passes. You don't need everything on day one, but you will certainly find that wire cutters, jewelry pliers and a good pair of craft scissors are always useful. So buy these first.

You also need to decide what type of material you want to string your beads on. If you've already chosen the beads, think about their colors and the feel of the bracelet you plan to make. One of the simplest stringing materials is stretch or elastic string. You simply knot one end, slip the beads on in order, finish with a knot and perhaps a drop of glue to keep the knot in place, and you're done. You can also use beading string for this type of bracelet.

If you want your bracelet to be a little sturdier and stiffer, then try using beading wire. It's still relatively flexible, and gives a nice finish. If you want a solid bracelet, then you probably need to use regular wire, which can give you a chain effect if that's what you're after.

Children often find it interesting to thread beads onto hemp, material or leather. You will need to choose larger beads for this type of bracelet, but it can be a simple way for a child to make a bracelet as a gift for a friend. Hemp also is very suitable if you want to make jewelry with an earthy look to it.

The final step is to choose the type of clasp or fastening you want for your bracelet. You can just tie the ends together if you're using elastic or breading string, but if you want something a little more attractive and durable, then you need to look at a proper fastener. Toggle clasps are very beautiful, but can be a bit expensive. If you're concerned about your bracelet coming undone, then you might prefer to use a claw clasp.

As for the design of your bracelet, well, that's up to you! Let your imagination run riot. Check out jewelry designs in shops and magazines, and work out what style appeals to you. It's often a good idea to include a mixture of complementary beads in one bracelet, to give the piece interest and depth. Choose different sizes and shapes, but make sure the colors mix well together.

Making beaded bracelets is great fun, and a great way to have a unique piece of jewelry specifically designed to match your taste and clothing. Beaded bracelets also make fun and inexpensive gifts for friends.

If you want to read more about ref=]beading, click over to Felicity's site at
To read Felicity's Ultimate Bead Lover's Guide, go to

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