Jeweled Wreath Bracelet
Use a this method to create a bracelet reminiscent of a wreath.
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Materials and Tools:
26-gauge craft wire
8mm or larger bead
flush wire cutters
tape measure or ruler
1. Cut a piece of craft wire about 3 feet long.
2. Slide your large bead (which will be your toggle bead clasp) on to the middle of your wire. Fold the wire in half, with the toggle bead in the middle.
3. Twist the wires 3 to 4 times to secure the toggle bead into your wirework. Now you have a bead securely twisted in place, with two wires branching out. Consider these two wires as branches and the twisted section you made as the trunk of your tree.
4. Now we will add one new branch. With one of the wires, pick up three small beads. Position these beads about 1/4 inch away from the trunk. Now secure this group of beads in place by twisting the wire down to the main twist, or trunk, of your wirework.
5. Twist your wires about four more times to extend the "trunk."
6. Now with the other wire, pick up one good-sized bead. Again, position this bead about 1/4 inch away from the trunk. Twist the wire down to the trunk to secure this bead.
7. Twist your wires about four more times to extend the "trunk".
8. Continue to alternate between the two pieces of wire when building branches so that both pieces of wire will remain fairly even. That way, the amount of branches will be evenly spread between both the left and right sides of your trunk.
9. To create more lush foliage, try creating a branch within a branch before twisting down to the wire. To do this, you would select one wire; then add some beads, whether it is one, three or more beads, and position them about 1/4 inch or more away from the trunk. Twist the wire a few times to secure the beads. Next, add more beads and twist the wires again to secure those beads in place. Keep repeating until you have added the desired number of branches or have twisted all the way down to the trunk.
10. Stop adding new branches when you have about 2 inches of wire left. Twist the remaining wire all the way to the end.
11. Depending on your desired length, you may run short of wire. Cut another piece of wire 3 feet long. With this new wire, pick up one or more new beads and position them at the midpoint of your wire. Twist both ends to secure these beads. Continue twisting until you have about 1/2 inch of twisted wire.
12. Now, connect the old wire with the new wire by intertwining them and twisting them together. You may twist around existing branches to avoid large gaps in your work. With your wire cutters, cut off the excess wire remaining from the old piece. Be sure to wear safety glasses or cup your hand over the wirework to prevent wire fragments from flying into your face. Continue adding branches with your new wire.
13. Stop adding branches when you are 1 inch away from reaching your desired length.
14. Twist the remaining wire and form a loop big enough for your toggle bead to pass through snugly. Secure the loop by twisting the remaining wire back up the trunk of your wirework.
15. Cut any loose ends. Remember to always hold the excess wire before cutting to prevent wire fragments from flying into your face.
16. Adjust your branches to reduce large gaps or to create thicker foliage in your wirework. That’s it, you’re done.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different beads and color combinations. Create leaves with small beads in groups of five or more. Round beads in groups of three could be clovers or budding blossoms. The possibilities are endless.
Small wreaths can be used to decorate wineglass stems or candlestick holders. Bigger wreaths can be used for bracelets or to enhance a flower vase. With this technique, you could create sprigs of sparkling jewels to decorate hair combs, packages or wear alone as a brooch. It’s all up to you.
Project designed by Mabeline Gidez.
Louise McClure of Raleigh, N.C., explains how to create a homemade beaded bracelet.