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Make It : Live from Tucson!

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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!

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The beaded flowers.

1 The beaded flowers.

Creating the large flower step 1: using a 12

2 Creating the large flower step 1: using a 12" piece of 26 gauge wire, string 4 large petal beads.

step 2: loop back around through all 4 and pull tight.

3 step 2: loop back around through all 4 and pull tight.

step 3: feed one end of wire through 2 petals, one at a time, so the each end of wire are opposite each other.

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.

step 4: with both ends of the wire, criss-cross through 10 mm round crystal.

5 step 4: with both ends of the wire, criss-cross through 10 mm round crystal.

step 5: pull center round crystal tight and twist ends together to create a stem.

6 step 5: pull center round crystal tight and twist ends together to create a stem.

creating small flower step 1: string 3 small petal beads through 28 gauge wire, loop back around through all 3 and pull tight.

7 creating small flower step 1: string 3 small petal beads through 28 gauge wire, loop back around through all 3 and pull tight.

step 2: take a 9

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.

 
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The branches

1 The branches

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

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.

step 2: Twist wire about 3/4

3 step 2: Twist wire about 3/4" to 1" down and string leaf #2 on long end of wire.

step 3: repeat step 1 and step 2

4 step 3: repeat step 1 and step 2

add a leaf #3 and twist wire down as well. For small branch you only need 2 leaves.

5 add a leaf #3 and twist wire down as well. For small branch you only need 2 leaves.

step 4: randomly start to twist different shape and size crystal beads. Twist each to secure, creating a branching effect.

6 step 4: randomly start to twist different shape and size crystal beads. Twist each to secure, creating a branching effect.

Try not to create too much space between each random bead. Add a cute butterfly shaped crystal!

7 Try not to create too much space between each random bead. Add a cute butterfly shaped crystal!

A big branch should resemble this.

8 A big branch should resemble this.

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Assembling the bracelet is very similar to wreath making.

1 Assembling the bracelet is very similar to wreath making.

step 1: Bundle a large and small branch together, positioning the smaller branch about an inch down on the large branch stem.

2 step 1: Bundle a large and small branch together, positioning the smaller branch about an inch down on the large branch stem.

step 2: twist the branch stems together.

3 step 2: twist the branch stems together.

For this bracelet you need 3 sets of branches, 2 large flowers and 3 small flowers.

4 For this bracelet you need 3 sets of branches, 2 large flowers and 3 small flowers.

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

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.

step 3: like a wreath, position the branches opposite each other and wrap stems around the foundation.

6 step 3: like a wreath, position the branches opposite each other and wrap stems around the foundation.

step 4: for the 3rd branch, split the branches & wrap stem around base.

7 step 4: for the 3rd branch, split the branches & wrap stem around base.

step 5: trim off excess

8 step 5: trim off excess "stem" wire with wire cutters.

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.

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.

step 7: trim off excess

10 step 7: trim off excess "stem" wire with wire cutters.

step 8: secure all the elements by wrapping another length of wire around the entire piece.

11 step 8: secure all the elements by wrapping another length of wire around the entire piece.

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.

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!

Valeen Hirata
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

Comments (33)

  • This bracelet is simply beautiful! I love the colors mixed with the gold wire you used! Thanks for the instructions on how to make one for myself....or maybe for my Mom on Valentines Day! I need to get to work stat! Enjoy your workshops:)

  • Either my mother or my mother in law would freak at receiving this - it's given me a great idea for mothers day!! Thankyou.

  • Beautiful! The bracelet looks so luxe! Thanks for the step by step, I wish I did this for my bridesmaids when I was planning my wedding, such a good gift.

  • That turned out beautiful!

  • Great idea! Looks fun and somewhat simple, can't wait to make my own!

  • I love this bracelet!! I would have never thought I could make it, but seeing the instructions gives me hope ;)

  • Stunning! Jewelry statement pieces, just like this, are going to become the most important accessory in the coming season (last seasons bags and shoes). The bigger, the brighther, the more baubley, the better!

    Can't wait to create my own piece to get a head start on the trend!

    Thanks for the how-to instructions :)

  • I just stumble on this post, I really love the bracelet, so beautiful. You really explain the procedure well. You have given me a great birthday idea for my mom.

  • Really beautiful design and I love the colors also. Definitely eye-catching!

  • So Beautiful and elegant!

  • I am from Tucson and I can tell you that this gem and mineral show is HUGE! It literally takes over the whole city. This is an awesome project...I can't wait to make my own! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Gorgeous pieces! Thank you for sharing them. :)

  • so pretty! and your step by step photography is outstanding.

  • I just love everything about these beautiful jewels. You make it look so simple and I plan to put this on my list of must do's this month. My resolution this year is to craft something every week!!! MMMM maybe a Valentine present for my daughter and a little one for my grand daughter.

  • I want to figure out how to make this into a head bands. Might be my weekend project!

  • Simply stunning!
    Wow, such a beautiful project, and thank you so much for the step by step photos.
    I'm only recently starting out but I really think I can do this - and can't wait to try!
    Thank you :)

  • Hi Kristin,
    it was a pleasure to meet you and have you take my Secret Garden class you did an awesome job on twisting and making your pieces and you did a fabulous job on the photos and instructions.
    and to all of you out there ready to create your own secret garden,have fun making this and make kristin and I proud!

  • I live here in Tucson, I will have to get me someof these beads before the show is over! Thanks.

  • Gorgeous bracelet and the pictures are fantastic.

  • Beautiful bracelet! Each of the elements are stunning on their own and I could see them being used for other purposes as well. Put together into the bracelet is spectacular. I bet it really is dazzling in the sunlight!

  • I saw many of these on the wrists of some very, very happy ladies in Tucson this week. Thank you so much for showcasing this extremely talented designer and a wonderful teacher. Val's classes in Tucson fill up every year, and for good reason. She uses very simple, easy to learn techniques, so her students go home knowing they can create more stunning pieces.

  • Thank you Kristin, VAL is 1 of my fovorite designers...THANK YOU for this step-by-step....it is a beautiful piece....good job!

  • Congradulations Val! It's great to see your beautiful designs getting more publicity. Your talent continues to amaze me beyond words and this bracelet is simply stunning!

    It was nice to meet you in Tucson, Kristin, good luck with everything in the future!

  • This is GORGEOUS! I'm in love! You're so talented!

  • The bracelet is beautiful! And the directions are great! I can't wait to get in my studio and get to work on it!

  • Very nice!
    I'm loving the color combinations.

  • So, so beautiful!!

  • These are SO GORGEOUS! Thank you so much for the step-by-step tutorials also! Wow, this is great.

  • Oh my goodness--this is spectacular. Your sense of color is utterly lovely and what a vehicle for highlighting it!

  • Somehow my mother-in-law found this pic and now wants one, does anyone wish to sell one?? Pls.
    Garvinbev@yahoo.com

  • I was wondering how to make a floral and sparkly headpiece for a wedding veil... This is the answer! I'll use 3 tones of crystals (clear AB, light smoky topaz and copper shadow), dyed pearls, and wrap some skinny taupe ribbon into it, and place it atop a veil of champagne netting pinned at the back of her updo. Thanks a million for the idea and the directions!!!

  • SIMPLY STUNNING!!:)

  • Gorgeous! Love the way it's illustrated, easy to understand and follow.

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