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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fire & Water Beaded Slave Bracelets

More projects from that box of beads and wire I got = Fire & Water beaded slave bracelets. (For those who don't know what a slave bracelet is, it's combination bracelet/ring attached by a chain or combination of some other type of decoration.)

I started with one piece of wire about 20-24 inches long, in this case making the entire piece of jewelry out of one piece of wire. I measured approximately by wrapping it lightly around a finger, up my hand (doubling the as I used for this design), and around my wrist, leaving extra length for working on the twists and attaching the closures at the end. (Always make sure you have enough to work with, you can always trim off excess.)

Loosely fold in half. The halfway point will be approximately under your finger.

Start stringing seed beads to create a ring shape at the central point of the wire. (For the water colored one, I used a combination of blues and greens. For the fire colored one, I used a combination of yellow, red, and orange.) Measure around your finger as you go to make sure it isn't too small to go over your finger(s). A little big is better than too snug. When a ring shape was created I gave it a few tight twists (a pair of needle nose pliers to help get it tight). Then I used a slightly larger seed bead down over the twist, wrapping the wire up through the bottom, 'locking' the ring shape in place and making it easier to create the strand down the hand. Check again to make sure it fits your finger before going on. If it doesn't fit right, it's better to have to undo your work here, than later.

Now create a design of equal design down the two wires that will run the length of the hand. (I went for a twisted design, intertwining the bead colors and giving it twice the strength for attaching the bracelet and the ring.) Double check against your hand as you go to make sure it's the right length. (You can use a sharpie marker to mark length as you go. It will be covered by beads and not show in the final project.) Lock the end of each strand with a bead like from the ring shape to keep the beads from falling off the end while you are working.

Twist the two beaded strands together, giving a couple tights twists to combine them together at the end of the beads. Attach one or two of the larger seed beads down over the two pieces of wire and over the twists attaching the two strands. 'Lock' in place like with the other 'joints' to secure beads, shape, and to make it easier to work the next step.

Bead each individual wire from here to create the sides of the bracelet, using desired pattern. You want each of the sides to be about the same size so the latch is located on the central bottom part of the wrist when worn. Measure as you go. Counting and/or marking with a Sharpie to help. Always check, double check, and triple check as you go.

'Lock' the final bead like with the other transitions. (This strengthens the piece for wearing and makes things much easier to work with.) Attach the clasps to the wire, twisting securely with a pair of needle nose pliers, making sure to be mindful of sharp ends of the wire. You can use a short piece of chain on the end of one if desired to make the size adaptable or to give some extra length. (I used a short piece of chain for one and a small ring for the other.)

You can use any selection of colors of your choosing to create whatever design moves you. I love the contrast of water/air with fire. It's hard to say what they will get worn with, but I'm sure I will find something. (I always do!) I do know I love the look of this style and should have no problem finding ways to show them off.


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