1.17.2011

Beaded Bracelet

I wanted my daughter to have a matching bracelet for her birthday, but wasn't finding anything that really matched her dress. To a crafter that means one thing: make your own. Here's what I did:

What you'll need:
oil based clay- you can find these at any of the large chain craft stores. I used FIMO but any brand will do. Just make sure you keep like-brands together.
large needle
exacto knife
oven
glass dish
stretchy cord
optional: jewelry glue

First I chose the colors I wanted to use, but the gray that I had on hand wasn't dark enough.
So I ripped off a chunck of the gray and added a little black to it to make it darker.
I just kept twisting and smashing until it was completely blended.
Here's the difference:
So now that I had the three colors that I liked, I could begin. Remember that your clay will be really stiff when it's cold. Just keep working it in your hands to add warmth making it pliable. It will stay that way for a while, so feel free to put it down and come back to it if you need to.
Using the palm of my hand I rolled out each color into a skinny log.
try to make them as equal in size as you can, but you don't have to be scientific about it.
I then twisted all the colors together until I had it as tight as I wanted. I bent the long roll a few times and then rolled it out into a log just like before.
I then like to lay it out near a ruler. I'm sure all you quilters out there think I'm ridiculous for using my self healing cutting mat, but eh, it doesn't bother me. I rolled this log until it was about a quarter of an inch high and 6 and a half inches long, because I needed 13 beads.
I then cut the beads every half inch.
Check out the inside of the roll. This is always one of my favorite parts.
Using just my hands I rolled each piece into a ball. Be careful not to make extra marks in the clay, because once you bake them it will make everything permanent.
I then took my large embroidery needle and made a hole for the string to go through. Do this for each bead.
Follow the instructions on the package carefully, especially for white clay. If you bake it too long the white will turn brown. Trust me. I like to use a glass baking dish. Do not use a non-stick pan, it will make the clay too hot. My directions called for 25 min for every half inch of clay used, at 265 degrees.
When they come out of the oven they will still feel a little rubbery. That's okay, they are fully baked. Once they cool they will be hard (but note: not completely indestructible). When fully cooled (about 20 min or so) string the beads on your stretchy cord. Dab a dot of glue on the knot if you want extra security-good idea if  a child is going to be wearing it.

Trim the extra cord and you're done! Enjoy.

The 13 beads I needed were the perfect length for my 2 year old. Helpful tidbit: if you made your beads, and it doesn't quite seem long enough, sometimes getting filler beads and making a sort of pattern is easier than trying to make more beads that match.
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2 comments:

Tonya said...

Wow! Very resourceful and great tutorials. Thanks for sharing! Her bracelet is very cute. Good job, Liz!

Michelle said...

These are really cute! I love the color combo. Thanks for linking up with DIY under $5!