Hello, when Sheila asked me if I would like to contribute to her blog – I jumped at the chance! Unlike Sheila, I do not sew or quilt (although I envy those who do). My main passion is for beads – but I also enjoy general crafting (see more about me on the About tab).
Today, I’d like to share with you a charm bracelet that I have recently completed. It started out, as these things often do, when I spotted some new charms at Hancock Fabrics. They were just adorable – full of all sorts of sewing icons. Now, I may not sew – but I know a lot of folks that do, and I could easily see one of my co-workers loving this piece. The charms are by Marian and Me, and are actually marketed as scrapbooking charms (so you may have to hunt a bit to find them).
First, I gathered all my supplies – trust me, nothing is more frustrating when working with a small piece than to have to get up and constantly hunt for the ‘right’ bead. I decided to use a blue motif with this, the charms are all pewter – so any color you choose would work well with them. I wanted to make it a bit eclectic, but not too much so I used a mixed bag of blue beads for the bead charms. And I selected a card of complimentary buttons to add a bit more about sewing to the bracelet.
I laid everything out – working hard not to create an obvious pattern – and for me that is a VERY hard thing to do! Since the pewter charms were obviously the largest, I placed them first. This set of charms actually comes with a spring ring clasp, so I used that to attach them – I liked the length it gave to the dangle. Next, I added the buttons. These were added using 26 gauge silver wire because I wanted them to hang straight down. You could choose to use a jump ring and small piece of chain instead – the look is up to you.
Here is an image of the buttons as I added the wire – you can see that the button on the left has the wire run through two of the button holes, while the button at the right has that same amount of wire twisted together to form the ‘link’ I used to attach them to the bracelet.
Finally, I added a series of bead charms. These were created by looping the wire over the link in the bracelet, and then threading the beads onto both pieces of the wire, so that it snugged the wire against the bracelet. At the bottom of each bead charm, I made a wire loop using a pair of round-nose pliers. The end of the wire was crimped against the bottom bead, and any excess wire was trimmed very close to the bead.
If you are going to use the method I did in creating the loops at the bottom of the bead charms, make sure you have TRUE round-nose pliers. They can be found in almost any craft/sewing store. Here’s a picture in case you have not heard of these before. Another tool that makes this task so much easier are the new Craft Snips by Fiskars. I like the idea of having a pair of scissors that I can use instead of always hunting for wire cutters to do my beading. As you can see from the picture below – they are very well made, and of a good size. There is also a safety catch that will keep the scissors closed – something most wire cutting pliers don’t have.
As you can see, my bracelet came out looking quite nice! I can’t wait to see the look of surprise when I give this to the person I’m thinking of. Who is it? Well, that would ruin the surprise!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing