I was very excited when placing an order with Aunties Beads to learn that I qualified for a free grab bag. I opted not to request a specific color and was really looking forward to receiving my shipment.
The grab bag was full of beautiful shades of red beads of varying sizes and styles and a few components as well.
In my mind I could see all kinds of creations with these beads, but my skill level and patience wasn’t going to let that happen. So I hung onto the bag of goodies for a while.
As I started experimenting with jewelry making I discovered I liked making earrings and wire-wrapped cuff bracelets. So my decision was made. This is how I would use the beads from the grab bag. To help the red colors stand out I used a few smaller, darker beads that I had on hand.
For the earrings I used standard silver headpins to hold the beads, then attached each head pin to a silver earring component by threading the head pin through the hole at the bottom of the component. I then used small needle-nose pliers to bend the head pin to form a loop and wrapped the bottom of the loop a few times. I then used wire cutters to trim the excess.
Supplies for the earrings:
- Two head pins
- Two earrings components
- Six beads of your ch
oice, three for each earring
- Small needle-nose pliers
- Wire cutters
For the wire-wrapped cuff bracelet I used 14-gauge solid galvanized wire from the hardware department of a local store to make the bracelet frame. I cut two 7-½ inches of the wire.
Using medium-sized needle-nose pliers I formed a loop at each end of each length of wire. To get an initial bracelet form I wrapped each length around a soup can. I then used artistic wire (a larger gauge than 14) and wrapped the two lengths together, side-by-side, at each end. Once the two pieces were secure I put it on my wrist to form it just a little more.
After forming the bracelet I held it at the center and gently pulled each length of wire away from each other. This created the gap between the lengths of wire to accommodate the beads and wire wrapping.
It is important to start with the largest bead in this project because as you wrap the wire it tends to pull the two pieces of the frame back together. I thread a length of artistic wire through the largest bead and attached it by wrapping each end of the artistic wire around the bracelet frame. After that I cut a longer length of artistic wire and began wrapping and weaving it around the frame, adding beads periodically as I went along. I finished the piece by wrapping artistic wire around the sides of the bracelet that were too small for weaving.
Supplies for the wire-wrap
ped cuff bracelet:
- Two 7-1/2 lengths of solid yet manipulative lower gauge wire for the frame
- Spool of a thinner, more flexible, higher gauge artistic wire
- Needle-nose pliers
- Beads of your choice
- Wire cutters
I want to mention that after these two projects I still have lots of beads left in my grab bag and look forward to seeing what else I can make with them.
- Teresa Ann’s designs can be found at her website, AptToCraft.BlogSpot.com