Your Skill in Jewelcrafting has Increased!

I’m not yet in full panic mode about these Mario Party DragonCon costumes; at the moment, I’m still much more in the mood for any crafting project that allows me to lounge on the comfy couch downstairs with the dogs while I watch TV.  So last Friday, amidst watching Season 4 of Scandal on Netflix, I did a small jewelry side project.  I won’t tell you how many beads I dropped between the couch cushions …

My mom sent me a bracelet she received as a gift that she really liked … but she doesn’t wear bracelets at all.  I don’t either, so I can’t blame her – I have unusually small wrists, and assume she does as well.  Bracelets never fit right, always dangling way up my forearm or halfway down my hand.  Anyway, she asked me to turn the bracelet into a necklace for her, which I’ve never tried, and it sounded fun.  Here is the bracelet.

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The beads are really pretty.  It was an elastic bracelet, threaded with some stretchy wire, which I cut easily to get ahold of the beads.  Mom decided she wanted a y-shaped necklace.

My biggest challenges were:

1. Finding beads to match the colors of these beads correctly.  They used a very unique shade of turquoise, much lighter than most.  And it never matched the straight light blue beads either.  I wound up with some oddly shaped turquoise beads that matched well, and two different shapes of a darker blue color to accent with.  Also grabbed a bag of assorted silver / chrome colored pieces to tie in the outside of the original beads.

2. Each of these beads has four holes in it – two on each side – and must be threaded through both for them to work best.

I began with the Y part of the necklace.  Just started with a simple pattern of beads, with one of the original elaborate beads at the very end.  It was a bit of a struggle to get the wire to work properly with the double threading on the large original beads.  My original plan was to just use two wires the whole way up the piece; however, both wires would not fit through all the bead holes 🙁  Instead I wound up starting at the bottom with a single wire, creating the loop end with a crimp bead, and I put a small accent bead at the bottom.  At the top of the accent bead, I attached a second wire via a crimp bead so that I could thread it through the fancy original bead.

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In the photo above, you can see it would not be very possible to get the original bead to sit tightly above the crimp bead, so I removed it and added in some tiny turquoise filler beads.  I did this at the top of the original bead as well, then threw in another crimp bead, and cut the second wire again so that I could fit the rest of the beads on one.  I liked the way it looked when it was all done.

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Then I added more beads to finish the Y piece at the top with a loop.  Back when I made my necklace for Fluttershy, I mentioned that it is important to make all the small pieces of your design first.  This necklace didn’t have a lot of pieces to it the way Fluttershy did, but the principle was the same.  I made the Y piece, and then the slightly larger piece that it connected to.

I began at one of the sides with a loop and a crimp bead, then a silver bead followed by another crimp bead to connect a second piece of wire.  I once again threw some of the tiny turquoise beads on the wires near that v-shaped area, and followed it with a pattern of larger turquoise beads on each wire, with some accents.  Once the first original bead was threaded, I had to figure out the best way to do the center part.  The bottom wire got some accent beads, a few turquoise beads, and the Y piece in the center.  The top wire just got three turquoise beads in an attempt to force the wire to have a bit of a shape to it.  Then I repeated the same pattern on the other side of the Y piece.  I could have designed something with two wires the whole way and used more of the original beads, but I thought that might be a little much for Mom, and I didn’t have too many beads of the right turquoise color!  So this central piece was quite ornate, but the rest of the necklace would be single stranded.

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The most complicated part of the necklace was done!  I made single stranded pieces to connect to this central piece, and added clasps at the back.  Mom and I were concerned that the Y piece might be a bit too long, so I tried it on for her and took a picture.

TooLong

 

Turns out it was a bit long.  Rather than undo the entire necklace, I cut the Y piece near the loop at the top, and removed the top tree beads.  Then I created a new loop around the appropriate place in the necklace, which was a bit challenging.  The final result was much better.

Final Necklace

Not too shabby!  I was worried the contrast beads might look funny, but I think they work well.  Final comparison of the original bracelet to the final necklace:

Compare

 

 

2 comments for “Your Skill in Jewelcrafting has Increased!

  1. July 1, 2015 at 6:10 am

    This is so pretty! I need your jewelry-making advice soon – I have some beads that I want to use, but I have no idea what I’m doing.

     
    • July 1, 2015 at 6:11 am

      Happily! It’s fun, and I’d be glad to help!

       

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