Mother’s Day is right around the corner and here at Auntie’s Beads, we are all about celebrating this special day. The owner of our company, Susie Henderson, has three grown children (two of whom work for dear ole mom and dad), Kelly has a 14 month old son who is a joy and delight to us all and I am expecting a baby boy in July. What better way to celebrate our children than with beaded jewelry that becomes a special memento and keepsake and reminds us of our greatest gift in life? Whether you are celebrating your own mother, grandmother or that special friend who is a mom-to-be, we have a variety of gift ideas you can give to that special mom in your life.
Traditional Mother’s Bracelet
To make a traditional mother’s bracelet, you only need a few things: letter beads that spell out a child’s name, Swarovski crystals in birthstone colors, a toggle clasp and some beading wire. You may also want to dangle a charm from the clasp and you might want to incorporate some silver pewter spacers and/or round beads. To make a traditional Mommy bracelet, you should center the letters on your beading wire. If you are using 5.5mm block letters, use 6mm Swarovski bicones or 6mm Swarovski rondelles between each letter. (If you are using 4.5mm block letters or TierraCast pebble letter beads, use 4mm bicones instead.) After the name is strung with beads between each letter, alternately string your bicones and rondelles on each side of the name, adding silver heishi beads or spacers between each crystal to tie in the metal from the beads. Check out the bracelet I made for Kelly to celebrate Sawyer. I used the traditional technique, but with a twist: I spelled his name next to the clasp for a little drama and interest. From the side, it looks like a simple crystal beaded bracelet, but then you see the name and realize it is actually a precious keepsake. This bracelet is like the baby himself: full of fun and surprises! If you are new to beading, watch this basic beading instructional video to learn all you need to know to make a bracelet like this. If you aren’t sure what birthstones to use, the American Gemstone Society has a nice chart listing stones by month.
Memory Wire Mother’s Bracelet
As I said earlier, Susie has three children: Adam, Clint and Courtney. There is a traditional way to do a mommy bracelet for women who have more than one child and it involves spacer bars and multi-strand clasps and can be a bit of a headache, especially if each child’s name is a different length (as Susie’s are). I came up with what I think is a fun solution: a memory wire bracelet! This way, you can cut the number of coils you need and have the colors flow around the coil with the names being highlighted in the front so mom can glance at her wrist and see her pride and joy spelled out for her. I did Susie’s bracelet in birth order because the colors flow nicely, but if you have a mom whose kids have odd color pairings, it might be nice to arrange the birthstone colors and names so there is a bit more color flow and it is not so jarring. To do this fun project, you just need 4mm and 6mm bicones, TierraCast letter beads and memory wire. You will start adding 4mm and 6mm bicones in the first birthstone color to be used and, when you reach the front and center where there could be a good starting point for a name, start adding letters with 4mm bicones between each letter. Keep stringing the same color crystals until you have reached a central point in the back and then start with your next birthstone color. You may have to unstring and restring your beads several times – not always fun on memory wire –to get the alignment just right, but it will totally be worth it! If you have never worked with memory wire before and need some help, watch this memory wire instructional video.
Leather Mother’s Bracelet
While I appreciate the sentimentality of the traditional mommy bracelet, it’s not quite my style. I tend to be a little more modern and a little more subtle; I am not really the type to wear my heart on my sleeve. One of our former employees actually showed me a leather bracelet she was working on to show off her grandkids’ names and it gave me the idea to do this fun bracelet. I took 3 strands of leather and, using techniques from my Gone Green Bracelet project, I used TierraCast spacer beads to both separate and consolidate the strands of leather, which served to hold the letter beads somewhat in place. I chose to use a variegated leather that fades from ruby to tan because he will be born in July (hopefully!) and ruby is the birthstone for that month. This project is a little more on the intermediate side as it requires knowledge of working with leather and knotting techniques. Really, the best advice I can give is to keep a ruler handy. Ezra is a 4-letter name, so it was short and worked out that each hammered bead holding a block letter in place was spaced an inch apart, but you may have to do some math before you begin adding spacer beads and crimping them into place to hold your letters. Of course, you can always string them on and play with placement before you begin crimping to make sure you get it just right. Once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy making these unique modern Mommy bracelets.
We would love to hear from you. Do you have a Mommy bracelet? Do you wear it every day? Do you make this kind of jewelry for others? What kinds of gifts have you made that moms enjoy? What has been your favorite Mother’s Day gift to receive?