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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Threads and Rhinestones: Mixed Media Bracelets {Tutorial #2}

 Yesterday I showed you how to make the Thread and Rhinestone Bangle so today I'm going to show you how to make the Braided version! This is the second bracelet I made for my audition on SYTYC This bracelet is a little more difficult to make than the bangle maybe, but you can still do it!! I seriously love these bracelets. They are so fun and pretty.
Materials Needed
Four different, but coordinating colors, of chenille embroidery thread, about 2 1/2 times the length of the diameter of your wrist (depending on how loose you want the bracelet) I used about 24 in. and it was a little long, but it can always be trimmed.
Rhinestone chain (I bought mine when it was 40% off and I had a coupon at Hancock's Fabric), 8-12 in. 
Gold chain and antiqued bronze chain, 8-12 in. 
Large and small jump rings
2 solid (not like jump rings) connecting rings
2 crimp connectors (see larger picture below)
and gold wire (22-24 gauge)
eye pin and large pearl or bead (not pictured)
You'll also need all tools above minus the crimp tool.

(All measurements are approximate. I usually eyeball. And often I have to fix it because I don't properly measure. The measurements above may be overshot a little, but you can always trim the thread as needed)
Ok first you'll do the same technique to get the colors all mixed together like in Thread and Rhinestone Bangle Tutorial. This is optional, but I think it looks really cool. 

First you want to cut about 24 inches of embroidery thread from each color. Then you are going to separate the threads into 2 strands each. Each thread comes with 6 threads twisted together so you'll separate it into 3 sets with 2 strands in each set. Once you do that to both sets from the same color you'll have 6 sets with 2 strands in each set. Do that with the rest of the colors and you'll have 24 sets with 2 strands in each set. 
(please email me if you have questions. I know that's confusing!!)  

I don't know if my way is the right way to separate embroidery thread, but I always hold one end of the thread between my knees and pull the threads apart slowly. This keeps it from tangling so much. If it tangles, let it untwist some and be patient. If you pull too hard, it will knot.
After your thread is ready you want to put the threads together by alternating colors. On every thread you add, run your thumb and index finger along the entire length of the joined threads to keep them together to reduce tangles and knots.
When you're done adding all the thread it should look like this. See how the colors are all mixed together? 
 Cut each end for a clean edge to work with. 
Slide the embroidery thread through one of the solid connecting rings so that there is an equal amount on each side. These will make up two parts of your braid.

To make the third part of your braid you're going to put all chains (rhinestone, gold, and antiqued bronze) on a large jump ring. Before doing that you have to create a connector from the rhinestone. 
Here is the crimp connector. As the picture above shows, the flat parts that stick up are going to be folded down between the rhinestones to hold it in place. The loop will be under the rhinestone and it will help you connect the rhinestone chain to the large jump ring.
Fold one end down first using your (patience) and bent nose pliers.

Then fold the remaining flat part on top of the other. 
The back of the rhinestone chain should now look like this with the loop behind the rhinestone. 

Use your  bent nose pliers to pull up the loop a little so it's useable and place a small jump ring onto the loop. This step just makes the rhinestone chain a little easier to work with so it will lay flat like it's supposed to. (step not pictured)
Then slide the two chains and the small jump ring connected to the rhinestone chain onto the large jump ring and close the jump ring around the large connecting ring between the two embroidery threads. The chain cluster will act as the third part of the braid. 
Now you're ready to braid!
Braid as you normally would being super careful the settings on the rhinestones don't snag the embroidery thread. Make sure the braid is tight enough that it won't fall apart! Try to fit the thread in between the rhinestones when you cross over the chain cluster so you see as many rhinestones as possible and to help keep the braid tight.
When you have your braid done to the desired length, push all the embroidery thread to one side and run the thread through your fingers to get it nice and even and looking like a cohesive piece. 
Slide your cohesive embroidery thread through the other solid connecting ring and see where you need to cut the chain so that they'll lay be tight enough and not have any slack in them. Cut them with your wire cutters
Add a crimp connector to the rhinestone chain again as described above, then add all chains to your second large jump ring and close the jump ring around the solid connecting ring. 
Loop your embroidery thread around the solid connecting ring and pull tight. Use the wire to wrap around it once and twist the end around itself once. Do this very close to the solid connecting ring so you can work your way down. 
Here you can see the wire wrapped around itself once.

In between each wrap use your pliers (doesn't matter which one but I usually find I have more control with my bent nose pliers) to clamp the wire down flat. Be sure the wire is tight around the thread. 
A couple of wire wraps away from being finished, cut the excess thread off (not pictured) and continue wrapping the wire (and crimping it down) to enclose the loose thread ends. When you're done, clip the wire with the wire cutters so that the wire is in the middle of the bracelet and bend the wire in towards the bracelet with the bent nose pliers. The arrow above is pointing to the bent wire. 
Tuck the bent wire into the thread and up under the wire as shown above. I purposely made my braided part a little shorter so I could add that fun goldish pearl to the clasp. 

You could even wrap wire around the other side in the same manner and it would look pretty cool, too. I might do that next time.

To make the clasp like this, simply take the eye pin and slide the pearl onto it and create a simple loop above the pearl. See pictures below to make a simple loop.
Open the loop to connect it to one side of the bracelet.
 Connect the clasp to the other solid connecting ring with a large jump ring and use the other simple loop on the pearl to clasp the bracelet together.
All finished!!

And no, that bracelet is not made of hair like someone on Pinterest obviously thought at first.
See their comments here. I literally laughed out loud when I read those. Yikes. If I ever make anything out of hair you have my permission to call me seriously crazy and I'd hope you wouldn't read my blog ever again. HA! 

I'm really loving them. I wore one to school today. :)

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you missed it, be sure to go check out the Thread and Rhinestone Bangle Tutorial that matches this one!

Thanks for reading. I'll be linking to the parties on my sidebar!


Stephanie said...

These are beautiful! I actually saw them on Pinterest earlier in the week. Great job!

Tammy said...

And the craft to-do list just got a little longer! :) Thanks for posting this! They're lovely :)

Adrienne said...

These are quite pretty. Thanks!

The Beading Gem said...

Pinterest showed me the way to this awesome tutorial! I also liked the other one. I would love to feature and link to them so that others can come visit! Okay?

Sachiko said...

Those are so pretty! Great tutorial too. Thank you for sharing!

Janna Renee said...

These are AMAZING!! I can't wait to try them!! xoxo

Jenni said...

These bracelets are absolutely amazing! I would love for you to join my linky party, it just started today.
Hope to see you there!

Chamilia Beads, Chamilia Bracelets, Chamilia Charms said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bracelets strings said...

This bracelets look so great! I'll have to make some to get ready for our Spring..

jewelry appraisers said...

Great working on very valuable materials this awesome tutorial Thanks to know about this....

Anonymous said...

Awesome tutorial!!
I just have a quick question, for this step (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wKJIbYb1bYM/TlxHUIXcpQI/AAAAAAAABSk/g9K8EifYDik/s400/006+connector.jpg) did you use a regular crimp connector or is this the special kind for rhinestones? Also, when you fold it over, wouldn't the sides cover the rhinestone face?

I have been looking for the rhinestone connectors but found they are a lot more pricey than regular connectors. If you used the regular ones, I will give that a try!

Thanks in advance for your reply

Christine said...

Sooo sooo sooo pretty!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!!

Would you PRETTY PLEASE post this on my blog?

Cindy said...

I'm not sure how I was got so lucky, but I found this wonderful tutorial and just had to make one myself! I used a combination of embroidery thread and sari silk ribbon with the rhinestone and brass chains. Thank you for sharing this concise and beautiful tutorial!

unBELLElivable said...

I love this tutorial! In fact, i have it pinned on my pinterest board...hope to see and learn more tutorial. :)


Mitos Kosmima said...

great tutorial...thank you!

Dona Engman said...

Very good detail by detail. Just so easy to understand. Very simple to do. Nice job.


Lu Campisi said...

Please, what is the size of solid connecting rings? And where to buy?

Many thanks,


Alex said...

Some really useful slides here. I've been looking for something like this to help with a research piece I've been working on.
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