I bought myself a subscription to Martha Stewart Living last week. It was on sale--I don't usually buy magazines. After I rolled my eyes at Martha's calendar for March (which listed her plans for starting her garden and throwing birthday parties for her grandchildren), I came across a little project for a bracelet that I could do (and had all the stuff to make). Then, I went into my craft stash and got the things I needed and actually made it. Seriously, how often does that happen (and from a magazine no less and not the digital wonderland of Pinterest)? The answer--I can't remember ever making something I saw in a magazine.
Well, there's a first time for everything. I started by fishing some charms out of my bins of jewelry making stuff. I found some skeleton keys, an owl, an Eiffel Tower, a shamrock, and a little blue circle that says "Happiness." I started by using some jewelry pliers to attach jump rings to the charms. If you've never made any jewelry, jump rings are one of the first things you master.
They are just little rings that you can pry open and pinch closed to attach beads and charms to chains or necklaces. They are pretty easy to work with if you have some small pliers. If you don't have a set of jewelry pliers, a needle-nose pliers will work, but it may leave marks on the jump ring.
After I put rings on all of my charms, I strung one onto about a foot of faux suede cording. The magazine suggested a foot, but I found out later that if you have a bigger wrist (as I do) you'll probably need more.
Then I made a loop (the bracelet) and tied one of the free ends in a regular overhand knot over the other side of the cord. Then I repeated it on the other side. (Picture of overhand knot below if you can't see it in the picture above.)
Then you have a bracelet. Just trim off a bit of the extra cording and you can slide the knots to adjust the size of your bracelet. This first one I tried to make turned out tiny. I am not tiny.
So to get a better idea of how big I needed my bracelet, I tied one knot and then slide it onto my wrist and had my husband help me tighten it to about the size I wanted. Then I could tell how much cording I needed, etc... Once you have one made that's about the right size, the rest are easy peasy. I ended up needing about 18 inches (I did not measure, so I'm guessing it was about 18 inches) of cording to make my bracelets (I have a large wrist--7.5 inches tight, 8 inches for a loose bracelet).
After I knew how long to make them and about how far apart to space the knots, the rest took minutes to make. These should be a lot of fun to wear and easy to stack with each other and other bracelets. Maybe I should try more projects from magazines. :)