originally posted June 15, 2009
Beaded charm bracelets are quick and easy to make. In this week’s project, I made my bracelet using black onyx beads, sterling silver beads, and sterling silver wire. Bead dangles are used as the charms in my example, but you can use anything – charms, beads, crystals, etc. This is a great project for reworking old jewelry, thrift store finds, or broken bracelets & necklaces you have stashed away in your jewelry box. You’ll need basic jewelry making skills to complete this project, specifically you’ll need to know how to make bead links using wrapped loops. As I said, I used sterling silver wire for this project, but you can also use artistic wire to make these bracelets. The artistic wire comes in a variety of colors, which allows you to be really creative with your designs.
Here are the supplies you’ll need to complete this bracelet:
Please note: The supply list and instructions are for a bracelet that has a finished size of 7-1/2 inches. Before adding the clasp, the size is about 6-1/2 inches. You may need to add more bead links or use less than I did depending on what size bracelet you normally wear.
• 20 or 22-gauge wire
• 6 and 8 mm beads
• 2-inch head pins
• 5.5 mm jump rings
• S-hook clasp or hook & eye clasp
• Round nose pliers
• Chain nose pliers
• Wire cutters
1. Make five 8-mm bead links and four 6-mm bead links using the wrapped loop method.
2. Make eight 6-mm bead dangles using the wrapped loop method on 2-inch long head pins.
3. Attach the links together with jump rings in the following manner: 8-mm bead link, bead dangle, 6-mm bead link. Close the jump ring. Continue attaching the bead links in this same pattern until all bead links have been connected to form your bracelet.
4. Add a jump ring to both ends of the bracelet and attach your clasp.
5. Add a bead dangle to your clasp. Do the steps you normally do to make a wrapped loop but don’t make your wraps. Open the loop a little bit, slip the clasp into the loop, then begin making your wraps to complete the dangle.
As you can see with the example below, I used a variety of bead sizes and I also have some bead links using the wrapped loop method and some links with just simple loops. Rather than attaching the links together with jump rings, I linked them directly together. Either way works well, it just depends on what your preference is.