Monday, April 27, 2009

Multi-Strand Bracelet


I love this style of bracelet - I made a bunch of them in different colours. This goes back a ways, but sometimes, when sorting through older items - you find they are fresh and new again!

The only key thing with making these is to make sure all the strands are the same length - otherwise, one sticks up or flops over and looks goofy. If you did it deliberately, I suppose, with different sized beads and whatnot, it would look ok - but I was going for smooth river of colour look myself.

The other slight awkwardness was that I could never find 5-strand clasps to go with the 5-strand spacer bars - so I would use a 4-strand and attach 2 strands to one loop. Slight potential there for getting the tension wrong and having one strand stick up - but it just takes a little fiddling. I find that no one notices once it's done.

Make sure your beads aren't too wide for the spacing on the separator too. That will cause bunching as well! I find that 4 mm Swarovski rounds or Bicones work best.

Why is the separator even necessary? Well, it is functioning as a connector in this case, and if you don't use it - the strands will flop apart and again, ruin that smooth illusion.



The easiest way to get everything smooth and lined up is to do all the stringing first, then secure the strands with crimps.

Start with 3 separators, and start threading and laying out your design. Use some tape or bead stoppers to prevent frustrating unstringing accidents!



















Secure one end with the crimps, and then slide up the beads and do the other end.





















And the finished bracelet! I used 3 separator connector bars - which you can use either sterling or silver-plated. The silver-plated is way less expensive! The clasp is a magnetic tube clasp. You'll need crimps and Softflex (I used the Extreme silver.) The space between the loops on the clasp is fairly small - so you might need to get in there with the micro-tipped pliers or smaller style crimpers to get those crimps properly squeezed.

This one was inspired by some turmaline gemstones that I had. The colours I used are (2 of each):
  • Indian Sapphire
  • Turmaline
  • Khaki
  • Olivine
  • Lime
  • Lt Topaz
  • Indian Red
  • Fuchsia
  • Burgundy
I used 20 beads per section (between the connectors), per strand, so it was 20 x 2 x 5 (which includes the Sterling Stardust beads - adjust if you are not using those.)











It also rocks when made with 4 mm crystal bicones, in which case, I used some small sterling rounds as well. In this case the number of crystals was also 40 x 5 + 10 x 5 2mm rounds. Adjust as required for your preferred length.



If you click on this Siam AB (red) one - you can get an image large enough to count the beads and see them clearly.














And this last one is the Jet AB crystals. Is this awesome or what?

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