Pink and olive tones can be combined to create really beautiful jewellery. This bracelet shows what a perfect match they are together. The gold really brings out the shimmer and sparkle of the silver-foil beads - especially in the olive coloured beads! And while the wire-working looks complicated, it is a actually a lot simpler than it looks.
I love this bracelet design! I first made this bracelet about 8 or 9 years ago when I first tried using wire-work techniques so it is a relatively easy project for a first-timer. If you've not done any wireworking before and want to give it a try, this is the perfect project to start off with.
I have never really liked gold because I used to find it really gaudy but in recent years, gold jewellery has made a bit of a comeback and instead of the heavy set jewellery designs that were previously associated with gold, it is all so delicate and elegant now that I've found myself falling more and more in love with it. While most of the jewellery I own are not gold, I have decided to use gold wire for this particular design and it's turned out looking really beautiful. It really reminds me of summer – although I can’t quite put my finger on why...
This bracelet was inspired by a similar one I found from a book a long time ago when I first started playing around with wire-work techniques- I remember doing what felt like a lot of digging around because there were not as many ideas around at the time and most of the books involved mallets and soldering irons and sheets of metals and tin-snips...ah, how did we survive before Pinterest! :)
Anyway, I really wanted my first 'Project' blog to be this bracelet because even after all these years, this bracelet is still so gorgeous and stylish! Also- and I am really tooting my own horn now- this bracelet design was my very first completed project made using the wire-work techniques that I learnt and I was so proud of myself when I finished it; I would love for you to feel the same when you make this.
I want to mention the book and the author who inspired me to create this bracelet but for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the book or where I came across it; I guess it was almost a decade ago but I have spent the past couple of weeks trawling through all the beading books I own and revisiting all the craft books I could find at my local library and bookshops but I cannot find it! If anyone has seen a similar design in a book, please let me know - If it is the book I read all those years ago, I would really like to update this post with credit to the author.
The original bracelet I first made before this recent pink and olive version had the same beads but with a different colour scheme of teal and clear silver-foil beads. I've only managed to get a photograph of it when I had a small compact camera and it's a bit old and weathered now but here is what the original Spiral Bracelet looked like:
With the wire spirals facing outwards on the bracelet as part of the design, there is not much metal that comes in contact with the skin when you wear it which I like about this design because I can get a mild allergic reaction with base metals and the metal would tarnish a lot faster if there were any skin contact. However, because the only component of the bracelet that has any contact with my wrists when I wear it are the glass beads, I find it really comfortable to wear.
The wire is important because not only is it part of the design with its spiral detailing across the face of the bead, it does have a practical element of holding the bracelet together so it is important to not choose a wire that is too thin. I used 1.0mm soft wire but you can also use 0.8mm wire although I wouldn't recommend using anything thinner than that. There are also different wires available with different levels of malleability (due to a heating process called Annealing which affects how soft the wire is) and it is important to choose soft wire for wire-working. Any wire that is not soft (fully annealed) can be quite difficult to work with- especially when you are making the spirals.
The charm or beads on a headpin at the end of the extension chain is optional. If you are using an extension chain though, it will look better with a small counterweight at the end of that chain. I have used some Czech crystals that I have put on a headpin. This project does assume that you are able to use headpins - I’m not going to go into too much detail on how to use headpins at this point as I will be writing about that later in another post. If you don’t know how to use headpins, you can always bypass that by using a small charm and attaching it using a jump ring. Another alternative is to use a different clasp altogether – I would recommend using a toggle clasp or a hook clasp if you’re not using the lobster clasps although any clasp will do the job really.
If you have all the correct tools for wireworking, you can use them. I have mentioned the Flat Nose Pliers in the tools list for when you create the spirals but you can also use the Nylon Jaw Pliers too if you have that. However, if you don’t have those tools, you can just use the Needle Nose Pliers which is what I’ve used in the step-by-step photos for this demonstration. The only things you shouldn’t use to create the spirals are the Round Nose Pliers or any pliers with teeth or ridges on the jaws as they will leave marks on the metal wire.
To prevent scratch marks on my work, I’ve wrapped tape around the jaws of my pliers which works perfectly at stopping my pliers from damaging the soft metal wire while I work with it. Once I’m done with the tape or if the tape wears down, I just rip it off and reapply if I need to.
So here’s how this bracelet is made. The design is pretty flexible so please feel free to change the colours of the beads and wires to create this bracelet if you prefer a different colour scheme.
|121cm x 1.0mm Soft Wire - Gold||Cutters|
|1 x 12mm Gold Lobster clasp||Flat Nose Pliers (optional)|
|2 x 5mm Gold Jump Rings||Needle Nose Pliers|
|6 x 16mm Silver Foil Coins (I used Pink and Olive)||Round Nose Pliers|
|30mm x Gold Mantel Chain|
|Small Gold Charm and a 5mm Jump Ring(optional)|
|Small beads and a headpin (optional)|
1) Cut out 160mm of the soft wire using cutters.
2) Measure 70mm in from one end of the wire and make a 90 degrees bend to mark it. Thread one of the silver foil beads on the longer end of the wire.
3) Then bend the wire at the top of the bead to lock it in place.
4) Create a loop using the round nose pliers.
5) Do the same on the other side of the bead.
6) Using the round nose pliers, create a loop at one end of the wire – this is the start of the spiral detailing in front of the bead
7) Now, using the flat nose pliers or the needle nose pliers, coil the wire around the loop you made in step 6. Keep rolling the wire until it reaches the loop at the top of the bead.
8) Do the same with the other end of the wire. When you’ve created both coils, you can just position them to sit next to each other on one side of the bead.
9) Repeat steps 1-8 six times to form all the beads in the bracelet.
10) To create the links that will join the beads together, cut 50mm of the wire.
11) Create a loop about 5-8mm in from the tip of the pliers. Once you have created the loop, continue turning the wire on the same spot along your pliers until all the wire is used up; this will create the coil of wire that will form the link for the beads.
12) Lift up a loop on either end of your coil to finish the link.
13) Repeat steps 10-12 five times to create 5 of these links.
14) Once you have created all the links, use the links to attach the beads together by alternately joining a bead to a link.
15) Create a small drop for the end of your extension chain (aka the mantel chain) by putting a bead or some beads on a headpin and creating a loop using the remaining wire on the headpin.
16) Attach the drop onto the mantel chain.
17) Attach the other end of the mantel chain to one end of your bracelet using a jump ring.
18) Attach the lobster clasp using the remaining jump ring to the opposite end of your bracelet to finish.
If you like, you can add a few more beads to make a longer bracelet or use less beads to make a smaller one. You can also replace the beads with different size and shapes too, although you may need to play around with the amount of wire you need to create the spirals on the beads.
Lastly, you can simplify this design if you liked. If you don’t feel confident making the entire bracelet out of a reel of wire, you could just use eyepins to join the beads together. Alternatively, you can simply string the beads on nylon or tiger wire and finish with crimps and a clasp although you would lose the gold spirals across the beads which I think is what makes this bracelet design so special.
I hope you like my first ‘Projects’ blog. Please feel free to add a comment, I’d love to hear what you think. If you have any questions too, just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.