Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chain and Crystals

A friend received some Swarovski twist beads in a grab bag, and asked me to make her something with them.  Besides the Swarovski beads, I had no direction.  I thought they would look good with gunmetal findings and stardust beads.  I had a gunmetal multi strand clasp, so I took some inspiration and decided to make some beaded links and connect them with gunmetal chain.  First I decided to make all of my beaded links.  This made the process faster as I didn't have to keep stopping to create more links.  I created them all ahead of time so that I could just connect them to the chains and make the process more streamline. 

Once all the beaded links were made, I started taking random lengths of chain and connecting the links and chain to make strands.  The clasp was a three strand clasp, so I did one complete strand and tested the length on my own wrist to determine what length I would need.  Once I got a length that I thought would work, I was able to get started on the other two strands.  I tried to make it completely random, so that the spacing of the crystals and stardust beads changes on each strand. 

I didn't want the strands to become twisted, so I did have to be careful when attaching the chains to each side of the clasp.  What I finally ended up doing was connecting the strands to the first half of the clasp, but then before attaching the other side I secured the clasp together.  With multi strand clasps I have the tendency to turn around the clasp and attach them the wrong way, so I found attaching it while the clasp is together really worked well for me. 

And voila, all the strands were attached and the bracelet was done.  Thankfully the bracelet was a perfect fit for my friend, but if it hadn't been I could have added or taken out links of chain to make it fit properly. 

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