Featured Project by Barbara Lewis: Harem Bracelet
I can't decide if this is a bracelet or an anklet. It can only be an anklet if you're willing to break out into dance when you wear it! Whatever you decide, this piece is fun and easy to make. It's perfect for the hodgepodge of leftovers on your worktable--a "bench collection" of sorts. Don't dwell on planning your design; if you go with the flow, it will truly reflect you and your work.
- 1⁄4" × 7" (6mm × 17.78cm) foam tube
- 1⁄4 yard (0.23m)
- woven fabric
- 19-gauge annealed steel wire
- sterling wire
- assorted manufactured beads and flower bead caps
- eight 11mm solid jump rings
- four 12mm corrugated iron beads
- one copper-plated lobster clasp
- ribbon and fiber strands
- two 17mm iron flower bead caps
- Clover, opaque (1715)
- Lime yellow, transparent (2230)
- Pumpkin, opaque (1850)
- Turquoise, transparent (2435)
- White, opaque (1055)
- Chain-nose pliers
- Iron and ironing board or mat
- Round-nose pliers
- Spray adhesive
- Wire cutters
Preparing Fabric for Cutting Bias Strips
Establish the straight of grain: Use scissors to place a snip into the selvedge edge of woven fabric, about 1" (2.54cm) from the cut edge. (The selvedge edges are the two finished edges of the fabric as it comes from the factory.) Tear the fabric at the snip.
Establish the bias grain: Place the fabric on a flat surface. Pick up one corner of the fabric and bring the end diagonally across the fabric so that one torn edge of the fabric will rest on top of one selvedge edge of the fabric. Press the fold with an iron.
- Use the directions at left to establish the straight of grain and the bias grain for 1/4 yard (0.23m) of woven fabric. Cut through the ironed fold in the fabric.
- Measure and mark 1" (2.54cm) from the cut edge along the length of the fabric. Cut a 15" (38.1cm) bias strip.
- Spray adhesive on a 1⁄4" × 7" (6mm × 17.78cm) piece of foam tubing. Starting at one end and working across, wrap the bias strip around the foam.
- Enamel four 12mm corrugated beads: one in white with lime yellow on top, one in white with turquoise on top, one in pumpkin and one in clover. Enamel two 17mm flower bead caps in pumpkin and clover.
- Thread a 4" (10.16cm) segment of 22-gauge sterling silver wire through a solid jump ring and make a wrapped loop. Thread a bead cap, an enamel bead and another bead cap onto the wire.
- Make a wrapped loop flush against the bead cap, but before finishing it, attach a small rhinestone dangle link. Wrap the loop with the excess wire. Create six dangles. You can choose to add different enamel and manufactured findings to the dangles as desired. Go wild!
- Wrap a bundle of ribbon and fiber strands around the tubing, starting 1" (2.54cm) from the end. Tie the ends in overhand knots to secure.
- Slide a dangle onto the bracelet. Wrap another ribbon and fiber bundle after the first dangle to keep it from sliding on the bracelet. Continue sliding on dangles and wrapping bundles on the bracelet, stopping 1" (2.54cm) from the end and ending with a ribbon and fiber bundle.
- Pierce the end of the foam bracelet with 3" (7.62cm) of 19-gauge annealed steel wire. Fold the ends up, keeping one end longer than the other. Wrap the shorter wire end around the longer wire end.
- Thread an enamel bead cap onto the wire. Trim the excess wire and make a simple loop flush against the bead cap. Attach an 11mm solid jump ring to the loop.
- Repeat Steps 8 and 9 on the other side of the bracelet, but attach a lobster clasp before closing the simple loop.