Saturday, May 4, 2013

Eclectic Daisy Chain Bracelet

I remember making daisy chain jewelry as a kid.  A really young kid, actually, because it's a pretty easy stitch.  I always used seed beads and made all the daisies exactly the same and that's what you usually see when you find a piece of daisy chain jewelry.  I wondered if a grown-up version of this kid's craft would come out looking cheesy or beautiful.  I am loving this bracelet...and would definitely go with beautiful!
Here's how the daisy chain stitch is done:

Look at me go!  I threaded through the wrong bead on step 4!  Follow my words below, not my illustration.  Sorry about that!
Thread 8 beads on a string [1].  Make a loop by passing down through the first bead [2].  Add a center bead.  Thread down through the 5th bead (directly opposite of the 1st bead) [3].  Add the first bead of next daisy.  Loop through down through the 5th bead of the previous daisy and up through bead 1 of the next (the one you just added) to reinforce it.  Add seven beads and loop the first.  Add a center bead and pass through the bead directly opposite the first [4].  Repeat.  Not that it matters a huge deal, but if you follow the arrows on the illustration regarding the direction you are passing the thread (down through or up through) you will get a nice and even and not-so-crooked appearance.

To get started, you will need these beading essentials:

Beads of various color and appearance. I kept my color palette to a, creams, browns, a little touch of green, pink and blue. I wanted the bracelet to look sophisticated and that's an easy way to do it.  I also wanted the bracelet to look eclectic, so I used a wide variety of materials and textures...pearls, crystals, stones and metals.

I use little tins to hold beads, needles, spacers and crimps. Spacers help to stabilize a double stranded piece of jewelry and are threaded on just as a single bead would be. Crimps are tiny metal tubes that you use to reinforce a knot at the clasp/end of the bracelet. Use a needle nosed pliers to smash the tube after dabbing the knot with clear nail polish. (I use my nail polish so little, it's aged to an amber color, but still works and dries clear.)

Good, strong beading thread is essential when making jewelry. Or more so, when wearing the jewelry, as regular thread will break easily. It's also waxed to prevent knots while you're working. Little manicure scissors are handy for snipping threads close to the knot at the clasp.

 To make this bracelet:

Measure how long you want the bracelet to be and plan how far apart your spacers will be.  Draw it out, if you like, so you can hold the bracelet up to it as you work.  Thread a thin needle onto a very long piece of beading thread (about double the length of your arm).  Tie one side of a clasp to the end of your thread.  Make the top row of your daisy chain, adding a spacer when needed.  Loop through the other end of your clasp and make another daisy chain going back the other way.  Be sure to thread through each spacer when you get to that point.

Pay attention to balancing your colors and the size of your flowers.  Round beads work best in the center of the flower, with the center bead being slightly larger than the petal beads.

When you get back to the beginning clasp, add a crimp to your thread before passing through the clasp a couple times.  Pass your needle thread and the end thread back through the crimp and tie a good knot.  Dab the knot with clear nail polish and use a pliers to smash the crimp, over the knot if you can, or just behind it to secure the thread ends.  Once it is dry, clip off extra thread.

Hopefully that is clear...sort of?  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section and I'll help if I can!

Enjoy your day!

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