The pearl bracelet above was made using similar techniques but I substituted an
ample supply of headpins for the wire. Place a pearl bead on a headpin, bend the
headpin a few millimeters above the pearl, slip the bent headpin through a
bracelet link and proceed with the wrapping as shown in figure 2.
first part of this article I taught you how to make adorable 1Ē copper charms.
Iím sure youíve made several by now and youíre wondering what to do with them.
OK, youíre right, they do take a lot of time, but arenít they fun?
project was born from my practical desire for a secure bracelet without the
long-term commitment of soldering a hundred jump rings. Working with copper can
present some interesting challenges when looking for a clasp, wire attachments,
chain, etc. My solution was to make each component myself, except for the chain,
and to build security into each step.
are the exact materials I used to make my bracelet but you can substitute so
many things and using different wire gauges and chain sizes affects the look of
the bracelet in surprising ways. Putting just a few beads on your bracelet makes
it look like stars cast across the night sky. One caveat about using varied
beads; they often have different sized holes and the hole to wire gauge ratio is
critical to prevent the bead from falling off the finding. From elegant pearls
to funky chunky turquoise, any style is possible and youíll feel comfortable
that youíll never lose your bracelet or the beads.
image to see if there is a larger view.
Purchased Copper Chain
14 Gauge Copper Wire
20 Gauge Copper Wire
4 mm Round Onyx Beads
Fabricated Metal Charms
1 Purchased or Fabricated
Charms and Beads
At first your findings may
be crude but this is an excellent piece for practicing consistent and elegant
wirework. On the other hand, one artistís crude may be another artistís funky.
The important thing is to gain control over which result you get. As you work
youíll get a feeling for when best to reposition your pliers for more efficient
movements and where to place your wire on the pliersí tips in relation to the
chain. Iíve found that this bracelet doesnít take long when you use a production
line method, for instance cutting all the wire at once, and then making the
findings exactly the same way each time.
An old trick I learned from
doing chain maille is to save hand motions by holding both my flatnose (dominant
hand) and my roundnose pliers (non-dominant hand) at the same time. I even go to
the extreme of not putting my pliers down when using the nippers. It takes some
practice to hold 3 pairs of pliers at the same time but it makes the work go
Cut several pieces of 20
gauge wire to 1Ē.
Bend one piece in half
using the roundnose pliers.
Slip the wire to the
midway point through one of the links in the chain (see figure 1).
Slip 1 tip of the
roundnose pliers through the bend in the wire, adjacent to the chain (see
Use the roundnose pliers
to tightly wrap one leg of the wire around the other leg, close to the pliers.
Use at least 2 full twists. Youíll find that keeping the wire parallel to the
pliers makes it much easier to wrap. Itís a lot easier to have a slightly long
piece of wire and trim some off than it is to struggle with a short piece.
Use the flush cutters to
cut the wire tail off very close to the upright leg.
Place the bead on the
upright leg of the wire.
If necessary, trim the
wire to about 1/16Ē beyond the bead (see figure 3).
Use the flatnose pliers to
squeeze the end of the wire and then test it to insure that the bead cannot
pass over it. If the paddle youíve made is sharp, rub it a little with a piece
of 400 grit sandpaper.
Repeat with remaining wire
and beads until your bracelet has the look you want.
The beads and findings are built right onto this bracelet, making it strong
and good looking.
Wrap the wire around the tip of the roundnose pliers.
Unless the wire gauge wasn't big enough, there's no way an unbroken bead can