09 November 2011

Red Envelope Inspired Beaded Bracelet Tutorial (Plus Matching Necklace and Earrings!)

Okay, so I didn't restrain myself from starting my project until Craft Night.  But I realized that I wouldn't be able to finish this all in one night, and I wanted to share it with you today!

The other day, I found this bracelet (from redenvelope.com) on Pinterest:

Isn't is so pretty?  But what wasn't pretty was the price tag--$79.95.

So I made my own (in a different color scheme--I loved the rich creams and golds).  And mine only cost $10.01.  (Plus the headpins, which I already had.)

(Like the heart-shaped clasp?  I think it adds a little cuteness while still being subtle.  And it references the heart in the inspiration bracelet.)

Granted, theirs in made of semi-precious stones, silver beads, and freshwater pearls, whereas mine is made of glass beads.  But I love mine.  It's a lot more bracelet than I usually wear, but this time of year just makes me want to sparkle and shine a little.  (And the Christmas lights aren't even up yet!  I think I'm in trouble!)

I actually got too far ahead on my bracelet before Craft Night; I finished it long before my sister was ready to leave (or me, either, for that matter).  What to do...

I know, I'll make a matching necklace.

So I did.

I took more of the chain I'd used to make the bracelet, added another heart-shaped clasp onto one end, and beaded up the other.

Well, that necklace didn't take nearly as long as the bracelet had, and I got it done, too, before the night was over.  

Hmm...I don't have any pearl earrings, yet.

So I made a pair of those, too.

(Okay, the earrings look kinda' funny hanging on the necklace chain...Oh, well.)

The earrings were done in the same method as these earrings, but with much shorter wires.  I used a small, medium, and large bead for each earring, and had the wires for the small and large beads the same length, with the other just a little longer.

And then it was time to go home.  But now I've got a complete set of matching pearl jewelry!

Okay, so now for the Pearl Bracelet tutorial.  Ready?  It's time consuming, but really easy.

You need:
A plain chain bracelet  {OR a length of metal chain (from the jewelry section, still) and a clasp.  This is far and away the cheaper way to do it.  I got enough chain for my bracelet and necklace with lots still left over for $3.  One chain bracelet was going to cost me $7 or so.}
lots of headpins {OR you could make your own, like I did for my Holiday Earrings, but you'd need so many for this project that I think it's more worthwhile to just buy them.  I don't remember how much they cost, but it wasn't too much.}
a lot of beads of your choice  
Round-nosed pliers
Wire cutters
Second pair of pliers {optional, but very helpful}

Plan out where you want your beads.  I started with a pattern at first, but by the end, I was just filling in beads wherever they were needed.  So this picture shows where I put my first round of beads--the pearls.

Thread a bead on to your first headpin.  Use your round-nosed pliers to make a loop in the headpin above the bead (as above), then thread the wire on to your chosen link of the bracelet.

Next, wrap the wire around itself just above the bead.  Cut off the extra.  Bend the loop so it comes out straight from the bead.

{You could also attach the beads like in my Holiday Earrings tutorial, it you like that better.  I like that the loop can't accidentally be pulled open with this method.)

Continue until your bracelet is as full as you want it.  

Wasn't that easy?  A few supplies, a simple technique, and a few hours and you can have an $80 bracelet for $12 (to include the headpins in the total).  

Happy crafting!

P.S.  Tomorrow is a special day for my blog.  Check back to see why...  :)


  1. You know I actually like yours better then theirs!

  2. do you have craft night on a regular basis? i'd love to come sometime! Let me know next time you're gonna have one

  3. Such an interesting story to read and I enjoyed reading it as well. Keep up the good work. mdma


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