How to String a Bracelet

How to String a BraceletAre you ready for your life to be changed forever?  Here is a tutorial I created this afternoon to explain how you can transform a pile of beads into a beautiful bracelet.  It’s to kick off my first ever classes at Beadfest Philly in April.  I’m so excited!!!  It only took a mug of chicken soup, 2 raspberries, a cup of coffee, piece of fruit leather and a little chocolate for me to pull it together.  I hope you find it a useful resource and something you want to share with your friends and family.   And if you live in the Philly area, I hope you’ll come take a class with me at Beadfest.

Let’s get rollin’!

Stringing MaterialsThese are the basic materials needed.  Before I forget, this post is brought to you by Jesse James Beads and Beadalon.  They both help keep the lights on in my studio.

Back to the materials:  Wire cutters, crimping pliers, 49 strand .018 nylon coated beading wire, crimp beads, beads and a sparkly Upper Clasp.

One thing that is so very important:  the crimp beads must correspond to the wire diameter.  Look at the bottom of the wire spool–it says use with crimp bead #1 or crimp tube #2.  The crimp bead and tube packages will be marked with #__.

I promise, I’m not making this stuff up.

String the beadsI always use 49 strand .018 Beadalon wire for my stringing projects.  It’s so versatile and can hold the big chunky beads with no problemo.  The Jesse James Beads were strung (almost) exactly like they were on the wire.  I added a few tiny 4mm glass beads in the middle and at the end.  The nice thing about JJB is they come in 7″ strands.  My wrist is 7.5ish so by the time I strung the beads and included the clasp length in the total bracelet length, I had a perfectly sized bracelet.

Row of beads length + clasp width + approx 1/4″ for wire connections = your bracelet length

Crimp beadWhen you are happy with the bead section, string one crimp bead followed by one end of the clasp.

crimp on claspRun the tail of wire back through the crimp bead and slide it up next to the clasp.  Leave a little room for the clasp to move freely.

Crimp 1Crimping pliers have two openings in the jaw–the “U” shape and the “EYE.”  That’s what I call them at least.  First, hold the wires so everything stays in place and put the crimp bead in the “U” shape. Clinch the crimping pliers together to mold the crimp bead into a “U” shape.

Crimping 2Turn the crimp bead 90 degrees and place in the “EYE” shape.  Clinch again so it folds the crimp bead over (kinda like a squashed “C”).

cut the wire from spoolSlide all the beads to the clasp/crimped end of the bracelet and cut the wire from the spool so you have an 1.5″ or so to work with.

I string with the spool attached so I don’t waste wire.  You can pre-cut the wire too.  For me, that’s just too much of a commitment though (laughing).

Pull out the slackRepeat for the other side, stringing a crimp bead and the second part of the clasp.  Run the tail of wire through the crimp bead and pull out all the slack.  Not so tight that the beads can wiggle a bit though.

Final crimpCrimp again as you did before.  It’s helpful to put the flush side of the crimping plier up against the beads (see arrow above).

Cut the wireNow cut the tail of excess wire.  Check twice that you have the right wire and cut once (ancient bead stringing secret).

bracelet 4And that my dear friends, is all there is too it!  Are your ready to get this bead stringing party started or what?! Hokey Pokey time!!!

Bracelet Un-latched Now they are doing the loco-motion!  Woot-woot!

bracelet 3Here they could be doing a little line dancing or the funky chicken dance.

No wait.  They are doing the Macarena.

Heyyyyy Macarena!  These beads came to play, y’all.

Speaking of party….guess what?  I’ve got a little giveaway for you!

Bead Stringing Starter Kit GiveawayThis is a beginning bead stringing kit!  It has Beadalon wire, crimping pliers and crimp beads along with the infamous Jesse James Beads below.  It will also include a sparkly Upper Clasp like the one on my bracelet above.

Is that Macarena song stuck in your head too?  Mine too.  Sorry about that!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy entering and thanks for showing the like love to these dear sponsors!