Ya’ know how we often talk about gratitude, paying it forward and our genuine desire to share art because we love it and know it all returns full circle? Well lo and behold we had some proof for our pudding when the local news called and asked if we’d share one of our favorite projects for their afternoon broadcast. Hmmm, let’s think about it….OF COURSE WE WILL!! And we will share it here with you as well! I mean it all fits together so perfectly: art, sharing and gratitude for a Mother’s day segment–mothers being the pinnacle symbol of sharing and gratitude! And speaking of fitting together perfectly…without further ado let’s get to the nuts and bolts of the project, er, beads and wire that is…
This project is always a hit in our mommy and me classes so we trust it will be hit for you and your mom (no matter the ages) as well…
BONUS: Check out how Agnes (Dragonfly Design’s Studio Manager) walks the team at ABC 7 through this project in the video below.
Materials Needed to Make a Berry Bracelet:
– An assortment of beads (seed beads, pearls, glass, turquoise)
– Bead assortment trays
– Spacer beads to frame the focal beads in this piece
– Bead cups
– An assortment of clasps (toggle, lobster claw and extension chain)
– Beading Wire – this is a special wire made for jewelry making; we like .014 19 or 49 strands or similar
– Crimping pliers and/or chain nose pliers
– Flush cutting pliers
– Crimp beads
– Bead stoppers (optional)
– Measuring charts – you can download a free measuring chart below!
Download Jewelry Measuring Chart
– Bead Mats (optional) (velvet preferred as they keep beads from rolling around on tabletops)
– Bags to gift wrap the jewelry for mom or the special person in your life (we recommend organza bags)
PRO-TIP: It’s nice to color coordinate your beads into bead trays and if you are interested in getting started with Jewelry Making or want to throw a Jewelry Making Party with friends we offer beautiful Ready Made Kits that have everything you need; such as tools, findings, beads, measuring charts, charms & easy to follow instructions.
Steps to Make a DIY Berry Bracelet:
1. Measure the bead string around your wrist and lay the string onto the measuring chart – adding a clasp adds approximately 1” to the final length. Make sure to account for the inside diameter of the bracelet; using larger beads takes up more space once it’s closed around your wrist.
Download Jewelry Measuring Chart
2. Cut 3 pieces of beading wire about 3” longer than your finished piece will measure
3. Take a crimp bead and slip it over each of the 3 beading wires, add your clasp & loop beading wire back through the crimp bead only
4. Take your chain nose pliers and squeeze the crimp bead flat to secure the clasp in place
5. Start with your metal spacer beads over all 3 strands of beading wire
6. Then choose your large focal bead; place over all 3 strands of beading wires and frame that bead on the other side with another spacer bead
7. Separate all 3 strands and add your smaller beads – 5 beads on each individual string (smaller beads can be glass, crystal, pearl beads, fringe beads which make a “berry” style grouping that’s unique and pretty – see samples)
8. Now go over all 3 bread strands with the metal spacer bead, focal bead, and metal spacer bead – as you push them into the place you start to see the pretty bead clusters develop.
9. Repeat until the desired length.
10. Add another crimp bead over all 3 strands and the other side of your toggle clasp or extension chain and put 1-3 pieces of beading wire back through the crimp bead.
11. Before to crimp the clasp in place make sure to test that the fit is perfect; if so squeeze the crimp bead closed and voila!
Why We Love Jewelry Making!
Beading is a wonderfully relaxing activity; when we teach jewelry making to children as young as 5 years old, we notice how focused and engaged they become. It’s a wonderful activity to build fine motor skills in children as well as peaceful and calming for everyone to follow repetitive patterns. After you’re finished you have an automatic sense of accomplishment and pride in your tangible, wearable art.
We hope you enjoy this project as much as we do. Don’t forget to download your free measuring chart!
We so much enjoy sharing these projects with you, please share your thoughts and pictures with us! We want to see what you come up with, answer your questions and hear your ideas. As we have recently been recently reminded that what goes around comes around we are grateful you are here creating and growing with us.