Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Resin Floral Bracelet - a Simple but Timeless Design

I've been playing around with dried flowers and resin in the studio lately and one of the pieces I made is the pretty floral focal in the bracelet below. You can learn how to make pieces like this in the Resin Jewellery Workshop (held monthly in my studio).

The flower-on-flower look is rather sweet and it only needs a simple stringing design to highlight how pretty it is. I chose watermelon pink glass pearls and just a hint of green to play up the floral nature of the bead.

Whilst you most likely don't have a similar resin component on hand, don't let that stop you from recreating this simple design - just choose a focal bead with WOW! factor and beads that complement it. Here's what you'll need:
  • a knockout focal bead of your choice
  • 6 coordinating 8mm beads (I used 4 rounds and 2 bicones from Cousin Corp) 
  • 14 #8 seed beads
  • 68 4mm glass pearls 
  • 2 3mm metal spacer beads. 

You'll also need:
  • 7 eye pins
  • 2 #2 crimp tubes
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire guardians
  • 0.012" beading wire
  • 2 split rings
  • a magnetic clasp

Start by threading an eye pin through the focal bead and bending the pin at a 90° angle right above the hole.

Then trim it to about 1cm (3/8") and turn a simple loop.

On another eye pin, string two seed beads, an 8mm round, and two more seed beads. Turn a simple loop and then make a second component to match. Create two more components consisting of one seed bead, a bicone and another seed bead. And finally, make two components using just a round.

Cut two 30cm (12") pieces of 0.012 beading wire (you need to use fine beading wire in order to pass both wires through the wire guardian). Place the ends together and thread them through a crimp tube. Thread the wires through one side of the wire guardian and then the other. Thread the wires back through the crimp tube making sure they do not cross over each other and then crimp securely in place.

Cover the crimp tube with a crimp cover and use a Mighty Crimper to carefully close the cover around the crimp tube.

Keep the two short wires together with one of the long wires and string a 3mm spacer bead and a seed bead. Repeat on the other long wire.

String eight 4mm glass pearls on each strand. Thread the wires through the eye loops of a short "round" component. String two more pearls on each strand followed by the bicone component, two pearls and the long round component. String five pearls and then the eye loops of the resin focal. String the other side of the bracelet to match and finish the stringing with a crimp and wire guardian.

Use split ring pliers to open a split ring.....

.....and attach one half of a magnetic heart-shaped clasp to one end. Repeat for the other end of the bracelet and you're finished!

The secret to making a stunning focal bead like this work is to make sure you don't have other beads competing with it. Keeping the design simple and highlighting an attribute of the bead is what makes the bead shine. In this case the green in the coordinating beads almost behaves like leaves around the flower.

So keep this design principle in mind the next time a stunning bead crosses your jewelry making table - let the focal bead do the talking and the coordinating beads be the support act!

'Til next time.....

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