Thank you for 27 years!

BaublesAndBeads.com went offline permanently on November 1, 2017. For those of you who have been a part of Baubles & Beads history, we thank you so much for your decades of support and creativity. For all of us at Baubles & Beads life is about to change a lot. We all have to get “real” jobs now, kind of… Check out what we are looking forward to:

Lisa Kaufman, the owner of Baubles & Beads, has always been a master curator. Whether through the selection of beads and findings to display at her bead store or the eclectic bits and pieces she assembles in her jewelry line @ Korut Studio, Lisa has a fantastic eye for rich, subtle details. She is looking forward to focusing her attention on her jewelry line and extensive art practice. Check out her upcoming events & shows. Be sure to check out her work online or at one of the many retail boutiques that carry her line.

Lisa Claxton has worked with Baubles & Beads since 1997. Beside teaching, selling & designing beaded jewelry Lisa is also a great collector (aren’t we all) of beads & jewelry components. Not one to let beads slip through her fingers, Lisa is joining the team of one of her favorite sources: Nina Designs. Baubles & Beads was proud to sell Nina Designs components and we are excited for where the future will take her. Be sure to check out their website and if you are a new customer mention: “Lisa Claxton” in the comment section when making a purchase and get $5 off.

Thanks again to all of you! We look forward to the future but will always treasure the relationships build upon the Baubles & Beads Community.

Bead Well,

Lisa & Jim Kaufman, Lisa Claxton, Denise Daniel, Mary, Myra, Onna, & the dogs: Marley, Bonzai & Ella.

Baublesandbeads.com is Closing

When I picked up my first beading needle nearly 30 years ago I never would have guessed that very moment would shape my adult career. Ten years later I walked into Baubles & Beads in Berkeley, CA and decided that was the place I wanted to spend all my time, work with those people, and of course, buy all those beads.

Twenty years after first walking into Baubles & Beads in Berkeley, CA I find myself sitting at my desk in the back office for the last time. Beads strewn everywhere, piles of half finished blog ideas, and ziplock bags scattered around me like you wouldn’t believe all surround me. In September the owners of Baubles & Beads announced that they were retiring from the bead business. The owners, Jim & Lisa Kaufman, are woven into the fabric of my life. From professional to personal they have supported me throughout my adult life; Jim even officiated my wedding. For the past 20 years Lisa & Jim Kaufman have supported by quest for bead knowledge. How lucky I have been to work with them all these years.

But I also want to thank those of you who read this blog. BeadShopGirl has always been one of my favorite tasks. I love to teach, but motherhood prioritizes my time. This blog allowed me to continue working on projects for others and to break down the steps into easy to follow instructions.

The bead world has changed so much over the past few decades. In the 80’s my mother used to drive me to Native American Pow Wows in Tennessee. There, the old ladies would give me advice and ohh and ahh over my childish beadwork. In college I found Beadworks in Boston (I worked there for a while) and thought I found Heaven. In 1997 I moved to Oakland, CA and HOLY COW I had come to the right part of the country for a bead lover; so many fabulous bead stores all over the Bay Area! But most of them are closed now.

If you are lucky enough to live near a local bead store, please support them or you will lose them. Brick & mortar stores at times cost a bit more but you are paying for something that the internet will never give you: face-to-face community. In a world where technology continues to isolate us; community is worth every penny.

 

For the time being this blog will remain. I will keep an eye on it from afar. Maybe one day I will pick it up again and continue my work here. Baublesandbeads.com is currently liquidating their stock.Β  Many of the items I have linked to throughout this blog are no longer available through them. However, I hope the projects will keep you inspired.

Thank you all for supporting us over the past 25 years,

Lisa Claxton (BeadShopGirl)

DIY: Easiest Wrap Bracelet Ever!

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Samples1232Really this bracelet is so easy to make I feel a bit ridiculous making a tutorial on it. But I remind myself it is not always about the techniques but rather an introduction to materials and the development of design through the practice of making simple jewelry. So lets begin…

Materials Needed:

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Mats-1

Tools Needed:

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Step1-2Step 1.) Add a dab of glue both inside the cord end and on the end of the cord and insert the glued end of the cord into the cord end.

Zap Gel vs E6000: In this project I tested both Zap Gel glue and E6000. Zap glue is great because the whole process of gluing is over in about 20 seconds. The con of Zap is that it is super glue and accidental gluing of fingers or excess glue squeezing out of the cap can be annoying to clean up. E6000 on the other hand takes about 24 hours to completely dry and when it comes to quick jewelry designs is itself a con. However, E6000 allows you to re-position the cord in the cap exactly how you want it with time to remove any excess glue.Β  My conclusion: if you are going to make a bunch or sell it use E6000 and if it’s for you or a gift use Zap Gel.

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Step2-2Step 2.) Once the glue is dry use chain nose pliers to connect the toggle clasp bar to the cord end using two jump rings. (Two jump rings are needed on this end of the clasp to position the toggle bar correctly. The extra ring also provides the length needed for the toggle bar to clear the toggle when clasping the bracelet on and off.) If you are new to working with jump rings, check out a previous posting: Jump Ring Techniques and Tips.

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Step3-2Step 3.) Using chain nose pliers, connect the toggle clasp to the other cord end using the final jump ring.

Step 4.) Cut the cord to length. Whoa! Not so fast. First we must determine what the proper length is. At this point you need to decide how many times the bracelet will wrap around your wrist. One, two, or three it is up to you. I find four times around looks messy.

Once I have decided my length I go ahead and cut, insert the opposite end of the cord into my final cord end and carefully try the bracelet on as a double check of my length. Once you are satisfied move on to Step 5.

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Sample1-2.jpg

Step 5.) Glue the final end of the cord into the remaining cord end, wait for the glue to dry and admire how easy that was!!!

But wait, there’s more… EMBELLISHMENT

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Sample2-2Beads with large enough holes to fit this cord can be hard to find. On this sample (because yes, I have made all of my friends this bracelet) I added 2 brass slider tubes for a bit more heft.

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Sample3-2My friend Mayra liked this design and she loves charms. On this piece I added a Swarovski crystal heart charm and two black tassel charms. I connected the tassels with 21 gauge/6mm jump rings.Β  The heart charm is connected with a 13 gauge/12mm jump ring.

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-Sample4-2Still not satisfied with the piece I made in the beginning of this tutorial; I decided to use scrap 26 gauge wire (thread will work too) to make beaded rings that move freely on the cord. I also added a ring in the channel of the cord end. I used 3mm hex spacers but I would probably use the 2.25mm hex bead next time so that the embellishment doesn’t overtake the overall design.

And finally, the scrap pile….

 

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-ScrapSample

A bit of my cord split at the seam. Always curious of “what if” I decided to use a seam ripper to cut the tapestry cord open to make my daughter a flat wrap bracelet.

BaublesAndBeads-Tap-ScrapBinAfter ripping out the seam I flattened the cord by putting a dictionary on it for a few hours (any heavy flat object will work :). The inside of the cord isn’t beautiful but my kid is 5 so she won’t judge. On each end I slid on a 20mm slide tube end cap. If this is the first time you have encountered this finding let me direct you to a recent project using them, you will see them again in future DIYs I publish. I used a bit of glue to secure the ends and made a big mess (again, no judgement this is how we learn).

And there we have it: one design, a bunch of different bracelets. I have to admit this is why I love designing jewelry. Each piece leads to the next and on and on until you become master of the universe, or in the very least, I’ll make my daughter happy with my final scrap project.

If you enjoy this be sure to share it and support BaublesAndBeads.com who graciously pay me to write tutorials for you.

DIY: Art Deco Swing Earrings

Staying in the summertime groove of lightweight, slinky and sparkly is a must for jewelry projects this season. These earrings have so many possibilities that I couldn’t limit myself to only providing the pattern for one design, I also included the pattern for a pair that uses rhinestone chain. They are so simple (okay, one step is kinda frustrating) you will be inspired to customize the pattern yourself.

I’d love to see what you make from this DIY. Post your pics on Baubles & Beads Facebook page by August 2017 and I’ll hook you up with a coupon code to help you purchase more supplies.

Materials Needed (for the gold pair)MaterialsArtDeco-BaublesAndBeads

Preparing the Chain

Counting ball links is the least wasteful method of cutting the chain. It’s not so great for those of us with lacking 20/20 vision. Keep this technique chill by starting with each chain the longest length and then cut the rest down to size.

Step1ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 1: Cut the following number of chains into 1 3/4″ lengths: 8 black pieces, 4 silver pieces, 6 gold pieces. Repeat this step for the second earring and set them aside.

Securing the Chains into the End Cap

Step2ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 2: Feed one ball link of each chain into the slot of the end bar in the following pattern: 2 black, 2 gold, 2 silver, 2 black, 2 gold, 2 black, 2 silver, 2 gold, 2 black. Repeat this step for the other earring and set aside.

Step3ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 3: Using chain nose pliers gently fold the open end of the end cap closed while making sure no chains fall out of the cap (this is the tricky part). I usually use the tool to get the end to fold downward and then secure it tight by pushing the end against the edge of a table or hard surface. Make certain the end is closed enough that the chains can’t fall out. Repeat this step on the other earring and start to get excited.

Cutting the Fringe Pattern

It is inevitable that even though I measured each length of chain they are are different lengths. I like to count the ball links of center two chains so that I am certain the two earrings are a match. (I will also admit I counted them, all 32, by taking a picture of the earrings and zooming in on my phone so I could easily see the ball links.) I have made a lot of these earrings and every time I cut the fringe a bit different, usually because I make a mistake.

Step4ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeads.jpgStep 4: Each length of fringe decreases by two links from the center two chains. Cut each chain, one by one, starting from the center and working toward the ends. If you make a mistake simply repeat it on the other side and call it a custom design. Repeat the same pattern on the opposite earring.

Attach the Ear Wire

Step5-ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 5: Using chain nose pliers, attach the open loop of your ear wire to the loop on the end bar.

Designer’s Musing: If you are a keen tutorial reader you may have noticed my picture of materials includes a lever back ear wire while my list of materials uses a post. When I connected the lever back to the end bar I discovered the loop on the lever back was too small to allow the earring to dangle freely so I opted for the post earring instead. To keep my ears from reacting to the metal I always use precious metal ear wires on my designs even if the other materials are base metal, unless of course they are for someone who always loses the earrings I give her πŸ™‚

But Wait There’s More…

When I decided to write this tutorial I had a hard time decided which earring to make. Why not both? Check out this hottie… (recipe ingredients are included below). Same technique just different chains.

Art Deco Sparkle Earrings

ArtDecoRhinestone-BaublesAndBeadsMaterials Needed (silver pair)

Win one of the samples by commen ting on this post before May 29th, 2017. We will choose one lucky winner and contact you for shipping details, good luck, & most importantly enjoy!

DIY: Adjustable Tassel Charm Bracelet

Summertime calls for jewelry styles that put one at ease. This bracelet design features string-on clasps to keep the design simple and bracelet size adjustable while the snake chain base allows the beads fluid movement during wear.

Stringing the beaded design

Step 1: String your desired design onto the snake chain reserving two of the charms for the finishing tassels. Ideally the design length should equal the exact measurement of one’s wrist. (Example: If your wrist measures 6 inches you should string 6 inches of beads.)

Feeding the clasp through the chains

Step 2: Feed one end of the snake chain into the String-on clasp. Feed the other end of the chain through the opposite side of the clasp. The fit should be snug. It is helpful to slowly rotate the clasp between your fingers while coaxing the second side of the chain through the silicone fitting of the clasp.

Determining tassel length and securing chain ends

Step 3: Before securing the cord end onto the chain determine the desired length of the finale chain tassels. Long tassel tails may get in the way while wearing the bracelet. Always test that the chosen length is long enough to fit the bracelet over one’s hand before cutting excess chain. Use wire cutters to remove any excess length.

Step 4: String a couple of beads onto the chain before positioning one of the cord ends onto the end of the chain. Using chain nose pliers gently squeeze the center section of the crimp so that it secures the chain in place. Repeat on the opposite chain end.

Attaching the finale to the chain tassel

Step 5: Using chain nose pliers, attach the remaining two charms to the loops on the cord ends with jump rings. Make certain the jump rings are completely closed. (I usually use two pairs of chain nose pliers to secure jump rings closed.

For the gold bracelet I used Turquoise Picasso and Canary Picasso Japanese size 6/0 seed beads.

For the silver bracelet I used the following supplies: 3mm silver plated hex cuts, hammered disc charms, Jade Picasso O-beads, and the same gold plate heishe as in the gold bracelet.

Win one of the samples by commenting on this post before May 15th,2017. We will choose one lucky winner and contact you for shipping details, good luck & most importantly enjoy!

DIY: 11 Fast, Fun, Easy and Done Designs

With the upcoming holidays we are all feeling the pressure to share a bit of our jewelry making talent with friends and family. What we often forget is that sometimes simple is the best expression of love. When it comes easy, it is meant to be. With that in mind we have created a dozen designs to help you finish your gift list. Each piece can be completed in about five minutes, uses only basic jump ring connections, and is easy on the budget. Keep it creative by customizing your selection of colors and materials. Check out our collections below and links to the supplies to make your own. At the bottom of this post are some tips to working with jump rings.

The Necklace Collection

The Fiesta Necklace

BaublesAndBeads necklacefiestachainMaterials Needed:

I love, love, love this chain! Use steel design stamps on the individual links to customize your creation. On this piece we cut our Fiesta chain in to 2 pieces; one measuring 10 inches and the other measuring 12 inches. Any chain can be used for the back of the necklace. Simply connect all pieces of chain and the clasp together with jump rings.

The Shag Necklace

BaublesAndBeadsnecklacebardropchainMaterials Needed:

This chain is so perfect that one doesn’t even need to add additional embellishment. Simply use jump rings to connect a clasp; makes a great bracelet too.

The Art Deco Fan Necklace

BaublesAndBeadsartdecofannecklaceMaterials Needed:

Originally I intended to only use 3 of the art deco festoon connectors in the front and fill the rest of the necklace with chain, but they looked so good that I changed my mind and used the connectors throughout the necklace.

The Charm Necklace

baublesandBeadsnecklacecharmcollectionMaterials Needed:

Quite possibly the easiest and most personal jewelry one can make for another. Simply find a charm that represents the person and feed it onto a finished chain or cord. Make a statement by stacking several different charms onto the same necklace.

The Bracelet Collection

The Chevron Bracelet

BaublesAndBeads braceletchevronchainMaterials Needed:

Another example of how a great chain is all one needs to make a great piece of jewelry. Simply cut the chain to size and attach a clasp with jump rings. Makes a great necklace too!

The Druzy Dust Bracelet

braceletdruzyconnectorMaterials Needed:

Any connector or link can be used to make a easy statement piece. As with all the designs featured here, jump rings are your friends.

Adjustable Bead & Leather Bracelet

baublesandbeadspicassobraceletMaterials Needed:

Okay, this one is super easy and is a great use for large hole beads. A few well placed overhand knots will keep your beads in order while the ingenious adjustable String-On clasp will give this bracelet great functionality.

The Earring Collection

Mixed Metal Ring Earrings

earringsmixedmetalringsMaterials Needed:

Any 2 link can make for a great earring and so simple all one needs to do is connect the links to the loop of the earwire.

Spike Drop Earrings

earringsspikedropMaterials Needed:

Any pendant or charm can be easily attached to an ear wire. Visually check to be certain the charm will face forward once connected to the ear wire. If not use a jump ring to connect the two pieces together so that the charm faces forward.

Filligree Donut Earrings

earringsfiligreediscMaterials Needed:

We just had to sneak in a bead, we are Baubles & Beads afterall πŸ™‚ Attach beads to any connector by stringing the bead onto a headpin and making a simple loop. We have a great tutorial on making simple loops here.

Edelweiss Earrings

baublesandbeads-edelweissearringsMaterials Needed:

The ever popular Swarovski Edelweiss pendant is always a winner. Simply feed a pair of hoops through the ample sized hole. Easily make a necklace by attaching a jump ring through the hole and feeding the pendant onto a finished chain.

Jump Ring Techniques & Tips

Jump rings tend to be the weakest link in most jewelry designs but at the same time they are the work horse of jewelry connections. When selecting a jump ring we recommend using the thickest gauge (diameter of wire) that will fit through the pieces to be linked together. Ideally we prefer using 18 gauge jump rings whenever possible, but this size is often too thick to fit into small link chains.Β  When working with fine chain one often must use 22 gauge (the higher the gauge #, the smaller the diameter of wire). Jewelry using 22 gauge jump rings for connections are often considered delicate pieces and should be worn accordingly.

baublesandbeadsclosingjumpringsWhen closing jump rings it is essential that the two sides of the ring come together completely. Ideally one should use two pairs of chain nose pliers (many people prefer working with one pair of chain nose pliers and one pair of bent chain nose pliers. Hold one side of the ring steady and use your dominant hand to align the two sides of the ring together.

These are the steps I use to close rings although everyone seems to have their own personal touch to closing a ring:

  • Hold one side steady using a pair of chain nose pliers.
  • Feed on all links to be connected together by the ring.
  • Using a second pair of chain nose pliers, grip the opposite side of the ring and slowly bring the two ends of the ring together.
  • Often times when closing a ring I will perfectly align the two ends only to have the side I am moving spring back open. This can be corrected by slightly over-closing the ring so that when I release my grip the side will spring into perfect position.
  • Practice makes perfect when it comes to closing jump rings. Remember, they are the weakest link and care should be taken to properly align and close the ends snug.

DIY: Spider Pendant

baublesandbeads-spiderpendantsI love how the spiders begin to take over my garden with their webs every October. They serve to remind me that Halloween is just around the corner. Luckily my daughter has a good sense of humor and we often try to “scare” each other with fake spiders around the house. She was delighted when I brought home a couple of these beaded versions. Luckily, I am excited to make many more!!

Preparing the Wire Legs and Building the Body

baublesandbeadsspiderstep1Step 1: Cut 4 pieces of wire measuring 5 inches in length. Wrap the center point of each wire around a scrap piece of wire, tightly. This step will make a loop in the center of the wire so that it can later be strung onto the body of the spider.baublesandbeadsspiderstep2Step 2: Feed the following pattern of beads/wire onto the headpin: one 12mm bead, all four wire legs, one 10mm bead.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep3Step 3: Using round nose pliers, make a simple loop above the 10mm bead. If this technique is new to you we have a tutorial for that too, it will change you life (at least where earrings are concerned.)

TIP: If you are using coated wire and your pliers nick the finish simply use a Sharpie marker to hide the blemish.

For a Spider, It Is All About the Legs

The front and back legs of the spider are slightly shorter that the four middle legs. baublesandbeadsspiderstep4Step 4: String the following pattern of beads onto a front leg wire: 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep4-2Step 5: Cut the wire 1/4″ from the last bead. Secure the beads in place by turning the wire under, into a loop, with round nose pliers.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep4allStep 6: Repeat Step 4-5 on all four front and back legs.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep5Step 7: String the following pattern of beads onto a middle leg wire: 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 1 seed bead, 1 3mm bead, 1 seed bead, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads.

Step 8: Cut the wire 1/4″ from the last bead. Secure the beads in place by turning the wire under, into a loop, with round nose pliers.

Step 9: Repeat Step 7-8 on all four middle legs.

baublesandbeadsspiderfrontStep 10: Using your fingers shape the legs slightly to make the spider look more realistic.

And bam! you now have your first spider pendant. My favorite chain for this color combination is a black/gold cable chain or keep it simple and string this spider on a black leather cord.

Show off pics of your beaded spiders on our Facebook page. Our staff will choose a favorite and send that lucky winner a $25 BaublesAndBeads.com gift card! We will choose the winner on October 31st 2016. Good luck.

DIY: Summer Chain Stack Necklace

ChainStackBaublesandBeadsSummertime jewelry ensembles require simplicity both in assembly and wear. Designs that feature chain provide the best of both worlds. We love this simple stacked necklace design that incorporates colorful glass beads with charms & chain. Make the design your own my using mixed metals, changing up the chain styles, using different lengths of chains and charms to set a mood.

materialsChainStackBaublesAndBeadsMaterials Required

Assembling the Three Chain Strands

Baubles & Beads Summer Chain Stack Necklace Step 1Step 1: : Cut the cable chain to a 18” length (or longer if desired). This will be the shortest strand. If needed attach a jump ring to the charm so that when it is strung onto the chain the charm faces forward.

Baubles & Beads Summer StackStep 2: On one end of the snake chain use chain nose pliers to fold each side of the fold over crimp securely against the chain. For best results, fold one side down snugly then fold the second side down over the first side. If any chain protrudes at the loop end simply cut off the excess chain with wire cutters.

TIP: Securing one end of the chain before stringing on the seed beads will ensure the beads don’t accidentally fall off the chain later. πŸ™‚

Baubles And Beads Summer StackStep 3: Cut the snake chain 2” longer than the first chain. Embellish the chain by adding color with size 8/0 seed beads. The amount of beads you use and the pattern is up to you. For reference we strung on about 6 inches of beads. Secure a fold over crimp onto the unfinished side of the chain. This will keep the beads from falling off the chain during final assemble.

TIP: Traditionally when making a multi-strand graduated length necklace each strand should vary in length by 2 inches.

baubles and beads summer stackStep 4: Cut the rolo chain to measure 2” longer that the snake chain. This is the longest strand. If needed, attach a jump ring to the charm so that when it is strung onto the chain the pendant faces forward. String on the final charm.

Attaching the Chains Together

BaublesAndBeads.com Summer Stack Step 5Step 5: Feed one end of each chain onto a jump ring and close the ring with chain nose pliers. Repeat this step on the opposite end of the chains making certain that the chains do not twist around each other in the process.

TIP: Soldered chain links can be stretched larger by inserting a tapered beading awl into the end link and gently forcing the awl into the link. By stretching the link in this manner the jewelry designer does not have to compromise durability when using small linked chain.

Step 6: Attach a swivel lobster clasp to one of the rings used to connect the chains together. Swivel style clasps help keep multiple strands from twisting during wear. On the opposite side of the necklace attach one additional ring and close it tightly.

TIP: Using additional rings to attach the clasp keeps the chains out of the way when putting on or taking off the necklace.

BaublesAndBeads.com Chain Stack Brass

Let us know what you think by commenting below. On July 18th we will randomly select a winner from the comment list to win the Summer Chain Stack Necklace in Silver! Good luck and happy summer beading!! (UPDATE: Congrats to Elaine who rocked the party and won herself one of the samples.)

DIY: Beads And Leather Wrap Bracelet

BeadsAndLeatherBraceletTutorialMaterials Needed:
40 inches of 1.5mm or 2mm leather cord
1 card of size #2 nylon thread with a needle attached
1 strand of 3mm hex-cut metal beads
1 shank style button that measures 15mm-30mm

Tools Needed:
Light duty flush cutters
1-2 Big eye needles, 2 ¼” in length
G-S Cement glue
2 clamps (optional)
A wooden work tray (optional)

Chan Luu-style bracelets seem to allure all of us. Who can resist a bracelet that wraps around your wrist multiple times displaying your favorite beads. I hope this tutorial will get you started with a new wrap bracelet obsession. Be sure to check out the very end of the tutorial for great tips on changing up the beads, # of wraps & more!

Attaching the Clasp & Preparing the Bracelet for Some Bead Action

Attach the Button www.baublesandbeads.comStep 1: Center the button on the leather cord and tie an overhand knot to hold it in place. Make sure the button can move freely on the leather loop.

Step #2 Remove the entire length of the thread from the card. String the big-eye needle onto the end of the thread that does not already have a needle attached.

TraySetUp www.baublesandbeads.comOptional: Some people prefer working this bracelet up with the use of clamps and a wooden tray. Fasten the button to one end of the tray with a clamp. Then secure the leather cords to the opposite end of the tray with another clamp, leaving a bit of space between the two cords for easy access when adding beads.

Stitching the Beads to the Leather

Step2* The photos display two colors of thread to make each step of the bracelet a bit easier to understand. In real life we are using just one color of thread.)

Step #3: Center a bead on the long length thread and position the bead in between the two leather cords, against the button, with the thread resting across the front of the leather cord.

Step #4: Bring one side of the thread (black thread in picture) around the outside edge of the leather and up thru the center, between the two leather cords.

Step #5: Using the needle, feed the same thread thru the bead hole and crossing over the front of the leather on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step #6: Repeat Step 4 & Step 5 with the other thread (purple thread in picture). Pull both threads to tighten the stitch.

Step4 Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #7: Bring one side of the thread around the outside edge of the leather, up thru the center, and resting in front of the leather on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step #8: String a bead on the same thread and position the bead in the space between the two pieces of leather.

Step #9: Feed the opposite thread around the outside of the leather, thru the bead hole, and crossing over the front of the leather on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step #10: Pull both threads to tighten the stitch.

step5 Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #11: Continue securing beads in place by repeating Step 7-Step 10 until the bracelet wraps around your wrist two times. For an ideal fit make the bracelet long enough that the starting bead and the ending bead touch when wrapped snugly around your wrist.

Securing the Threads & Finishing the Clasp

The threads are secured in place by tying a surgeons knot with the two threads. If the bead hole is big enough the knot can be hidden inside the hole (a good reason to use large hole beads at the start and finish of the bracelet). Small hole beads require an alternate finishing technique, read on for more details.

Finishing Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #12: Flip the bracelet over and feed one of the threads back through the bead. (black thread in picture)

Step #13: Wrap thread from the previous step around the needle of the other thread two or three times.

Step #14: Feed the needle thru the bead and slowly pull the thread through the bead.Β  The β€œwraps” around the other thread will tighten into a knot that will be pulled inside the hole of the bead. If the bead hole is large enough repeat Step 13 & Step 14 again.

TIP: Beads with small holes will not accommodate multiple threads to be passed through with this technique. An alternative way to finish this bracelet is to simply knot the two threads together on the outside of the bead. The finishing knot will be exposed but can be worn on the inside of the bracelet. Most people prefer this method as it is super (duper) easy and for the most part the maker is the only one who notices the exposed thread.

Step #15: Glue the knot and allow it to dry. When the glue is dry (yes, wait for it to dry) cut the threads.

Loop Closeure of Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #16: Tie the two sides of the leather into an overhand knot positioned the knot close to the final bead stitch.

Step #17: Leaving enough room to accommodate the size of the button on the opposite end, tie a second overhand knot with the leather cords. Check to make certain the button fits into the loop before tightening the loop.

Step #18: Cut the ends of the leather approximate ½” from the knot. Or string a couple embellishment beads onto the individual leather cords and make an additional knot to keep them in place.

TIP: Light-duty flush cutters are an excellent way to easily cut through heavy cording materials while providing for a clean cut. These light-duty cutters are traditionally used to cut through the silk cord through between knotted pearls. The flat side of the cutter provides protection from damaging the bead while the blades cut cleanly through the fibers. They are also excellent for cutting soft wire up to 18 gauge.

Beads And Leather Wrap BraceletTips & Tricks

Cutting Leather Cord for Additional Wraps: Additional wraps require using a longer length of leather cord, thread, and additional beads. A general guideline to cutting the appropriate leather length is as follows: 1 wrap: 24 inches, 2 wraps: 40 inches, each additional wrap will require an addition 12 inches of leather. Remember we all have different sized wrists; play it safe by using a bit more leather than required.

Using Small Hole Beads: Small hole beads are exciting and it can be hard to limit yourself to beads with large holes only. When selecting smaller hole beads a thinner thread is required. I like Superlon or Nymo Size D for their excellent color selection. You may also need to use a finer needle. We like to use a size #10 needle for Nymo and Superlon.

Adding a New Thread: When making bracelets with more than two wraps additional thread will be required to complete the project. If you are using large hole beads simply knot off the old threads, glue & cut. Add the new thread by feeding one end through the last bead stitched, centering the thread, and resume beading like nothing happened.

(Winner has been notified and Kathy was one lucky beader! Thanks everyone!)Win a kit of supplies to make the wrap bracelet pictured at the top of this DIY. Simply pen a comment below for your chance to win. Winner will be notified January 5th, 2016. Good Luck!!!

DIY: Leather & Chain Kumihimo Braid

KumihimoBracelets1 BaublesAndBeads.comAncient technique meet contemporary materials in this great Kumihimo braided bracelet design. Mixing leather and chain has never been so easy; add a flashy clasp and 30 minutes from now you will have yourself a new favorite bracelet. A bit of wire wrapping experience is helpful to get professional looking results but the braid itself is super easy when using the handy braiding disk.Kumihimo Braid Materials Baubles & Beads

Securing the First Side of Cords & ChainSecuring Cords Baubles & BeadsStep 1: Cut all cords and chains to length.

Step 2: Tie an overhand knot at the center point in each of the leather cords.

Step 3: Using a length of the wire, feed the wire through the center of the knot on the cords and the center link of the chains. Position the cords & chain about 3” from the end of the wire.

Step 4: Cross over the two sides of the wire directly above the cords and chain. Secure the cord & chain to the wire by wrapping the short wire end around the longer tightly, two times. Cut the short wire tail flush against the wraps. The ends are now secured.

Wire Wrapping the End Cap in PlaceWireWrappingEnds Baubles&Beads

Step 5: Feed an end cap onto the end of the wire, hiding the wire connection.

Step 6: Feed on a daisy spacer bead for embellishment (optional).

Step 7: Make a wire wrapped loop on the end of the wire. (Later we will connect the clasp with jump rings.) Cut the remaining wire flush against the wire wrap.

Preparing the Cords and Chains for Braiding
There are four large black dots on the disk. These dots signify the starting position of each of the cords & chains. Our braiding material will be split up into 2 pairs of cords and 2 pairs of chains that will be positioned opposite of each other. Notice how the braiding disk has little slots that are numbered, while braiding we will moving along the disk in a counter clockwise fashion.StartingPointofBraid Baubles & BeadsStep 8: Position the secured end into the center of the disk, pointing away from you, and divide the cords and chain into pairs.

Step 9: Position the cords into the slots beside the top and bottom dots.

Step 10: Position the chains into the slots beside the dots on both sides.

Braiding the Cords & Chains
When braiding, try to maintain a consistent tension. The resulting braid should be centered in the middle of the disk hole. The resulting braid will be very tight and will require loosening for accurate length measurement.Step11-12 Baubles & BeadsStep 11: Bring the top right cord downward and position it into the bottom right slot of the disk.

Step 12: Bring the bottom left cord upward and position it into the top left slot of the disk. Turn the disk one quarter turn to the left (clockwise).Step13-14 Baubles & BeadsStep 13 Bring the top right chain downward and position it into the bottom right slot of the disk.

Step 14: Bring the bottom left chain upward and position it into the top left slot of the disk. Turn the disk one quarter turn to the left (clockwise).

Step 15: Repeat Steps 11-14 until your braid measures approximately 2.5 inches in length. Always complete the braid with the chains crossing over.LoosenTheBraid Baubles & BeadsStep 16: With the braid still positioned on the braiding disk, gently roll the braid between your fingers to loosen it. It should nearly double in length depending on the tension of the braid. The clasp and findings take up a lot of length in this design. An 8 inch bracelet is made up of about 5.25 inches of braid, ideal for a 6.5 inch wrist. Adjust the length of the braid to fit your needs.

Securing the 2nd Side of the BraidSteps18-20 Baubles & BeadsStep 17: Keep the braid on the disk. Tie the top right cord and the bottom right cord together into a tight double knot. Tie the two remaining cords together in the same way. Apply glue to both of the knots and allow the glue to dry.

Step 18: Cut the ends of the leather cords against the knots. Apply a bit of glue to the cut ends for added strength. Give the glue time to dry.

Step 19: Remove the chains from the braiding disk. Gather all four chains upward, above the leather cord knots.Finishing2ndSide BaublesAndBeads.comStep 20: Using a length of the wire, feed the wire through one link of each chain directly above the knots. Cut off the excess chain.

Step 21: Position the chains about 3” from the end of the wire. Bend the wire in half where the chains are attached to the wire. Secure the chain to the wire by wrapping the short wire end around the longer wire tightly, two times. Cut the short wire tail flush against the wraps. All ends are now secured.

Step 22: Repeat Steps 5-7 to position the end cap in place.AttachTheClasp BaublesAndBeads.comStep 23: Connect the clasp to the wire wrapped loops with jump rings.

Hooray! You’ve made your first Kumihimo braid. For your next project may we suggest using all leather or all chain in contrasting colors.

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