February 4, 2010
Make It : Live from Tucson!
Posted by Kristin St. Clair
It is bling month in Tucson right now and the area is sparkling with jewelry, gem, mineral and bead shows! Crystallized Swarovski Elements is out here for the occasion and I am participating in a few of their workshops.
Yesterday, in just 3 hours, I learned a couple new beading techniques and finished the class with a completed piece of sparkly jewelry that is, needless to say, a statement piece! The DIY master of the session was the fabulous Valeen Hirata of CBY Sparkle (the CBY stands for Creations By You), who owns a bead shop in Hawaii and designs DIY kits that just tickle us at-home-crafters! She beautifully illustrated and directed the class in making a piece she called the Secret Garden Bracelet.
Click through my step by step photos to see how I easily accomplished this spectacular piece, all before I ate lunch!
1 The beaded flowers.
2 Creating the large flower step 1: using a 12" piece of 26 gauge wire, string 4 large petal beads.
3 step 2: loop back around through all 4 and pull tight.
4 step 3: feed one end of wire through 2 petals, one at a time, so the each end of wire are opposite each other.
5 step 4: with both ends of the wire, criss-cross through 10 mm round crystal.
6 step 5: pull center round crystal tight and twist ends together to create a stem.
7 creating small flower step 1: string 3 small petal beads through 28 gauge wire, loop back around through all 3 and pull tight.
8 step 2: take a 9" piece of 26 gauge wire, string 6 mm bicone bead at center on wire length, fold ends down and place over center of small petals. Bring all wire ends to back side and twist tightly, the entire length of wires, creating a stem.
1 The branches
2 Creating a branch step 1: start out with 1.5 yards of 26 gauge wire (this will make a big and small branch). String 1 leaf sew-on bead, leaving 9" of wire as a tail on one end. String long end of wire back through leaf, to secure in place on wire.
3 step 2: Twist wire about 3/4" to 1" down and string leaf #2 on long end of wire.
4 step 3: repeat step 1 and step 2
5 add a leaf #3 and twist wire down as well. For small branch you only need 2 leaves.
6 step 4: randomly start to twist different shape and size crystal beads. Twist each to secure, creating a branching effect.
7 Try not to create too much space between each random bead. Add a cute butterfly shaped crystal!
8 A big branch should resemble this.
1 Assembling the bracelet is very similar to wreath making.
2 step 1: Bundle a large and small branch together, positioning the smaller branch about an inch down on the large branch stem.
3 step 2: twist the branch stems together.
4 For this bracelet you need 3 sets of branches, 2 large flowers and 3 small flowers.
5 Making the foundation of the bracelet: 1. With a 5 foot long piece of 18 gauge wire, coil the wire, creating 2 loops, around a pen, leaving a 2" tail. 2. coil wire 2 times again, creating a bigger loop, around a sharpie. 3. repeat coiling, alternating around a pen & sharpie until you are left with a 2" tail. 4. lightly stretch coils out and flatten the loops, alternating their direction up & down. 5. fold entire length in half, bringing straight ends together. 6. twist straight ends together & with flat nose pliers, create a hook. 7. at folded end, twist once to create a ring for the hook.
6 step 3: like a wreath, position the branches opposite each other and wrap stems around the foundation.
7 step 4: for the 3rd branch, split the branches & wrap stem around base.
8 step 5: trim off excess "stem" wire with wire cutters.
9 step 6: using the same wrapping techniques as the branches, place the flower on the foundation, starting in the center and wrap wire stem to base.
10 step 7: trim off excess "stem" wire with wire cutters.
11 step 8: secure all the elements by wrapping another length of wire around the entire piece.
12 step 9: try on the bracelet and adjust any sharp ends that may be poking. If the bracelet is to large, simply scrunch the elements together, so the length becomes shorter.
The beaded flower and branches can be used to embellish and create endless pieces. A single flower and branch makes a beautiful brooch (maybe for Mom on Valentine's Day) when attached to a pin back or attaching flowers to a glittered real branch for the holidays... really there are many ways you can incorporate some sparkle into your next DIY project! I would love to hear some of your ideas!
Thanks to the Swarovski
team and all the instructors (of course Val for sharing this amazing project) for giving me this great educational and inspirational experience! ox
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