Princess Jewellery's Guide to Making a Rainbow Crystal Bracelet.
Difficulty level: Level 2 - Quick & Easy (For explanation of ratings please see bottom of this guide)
Time: 60 minutes
This beautiful rainbow bracelet made from Swarovski crystal and sterling silver is a super-sparkly stunner! Works well in any colour scheme so if rainbows aren't your thing, try it in a different colour combination. With all my instructions, I'm simply describing how I do it. There may be other techniques and you may find that another suits you better - there's usually no right or wrong method, only how comfortable you are using it.
This tutorial assumes that you know how to use crimp beads, jump rings and are able to close clamshells - all easy :-)
Sparkly Rainbow Bracelet.
What you will needI use the following which made up an 8 inch bracelet. 4 beads and 1 spacer is equal to half an inch so to shorten or extend just adjust the number of beads and spacers you use!
52 x 6mm Swarovksi Crystal Bicone Beads - 4 of each colour
13 x 2 String Spacers (I used my D96 Spacers )
4 x 3mm Stardust Sparkle Beads
2 x Clamshell with Loop
2x 2mm Crimp Beads
24 Inches Fireline (or the stringing material of your choice)
2 x 5mm Heavy Jump Rings
1 x Lobster Clasp
I also needed the following basic jewellers tools:
Flat pliers (I used two pairs - I prefer two to open and close jump rings)
Chain nose pliers
Making Your BraceletBefore starting, I find it useful to arrange the beads and spacers loose on a tabletop so I can see which beads go in which order. It makes it nice and easy when it comes to stringing the beads.
Slide a crimp bead onto your stringing material and crimp flat at at the half way point with flat nose pliers.
Thread both ends of the string down though the clamshell and through the hole until the crimp bead prevents you from pulling further. Close your clamshell with your pliers.
Thread a stardust bead onto each string and take them as close to the clamshell as you can. Then start stringing your beads and spacers (with a string going through each side of the spacers)
Continue stringing until all the beads and spacers are in place. Add the final two stardust beads.
Thread the two ends through the clamshell from the bottom (so through the hole in the bottom, up through the 'shell' part).
Slide a crimp bead onto one string down into the clamshell. Don't crimp it.
Tie the two strings together using an overhand knot (like the knot you use to tie shoelaces, before you do the looped bits!). You want the knot to close over the crimp bead while keeping the bottom of the clamshell as close to the stardust beads as possible - the tension of the beaded string is really important - too little and your beads will slide around leaving ugly gaps. I use a spare bit of wire to help push the crimp right down while I'm tying. (I've shown the wire in the picture - the hand I'd be holding it with is, of course, holding the camera instead!)
Repeat this overhand knot two more times, keeping the bead string tense. If you wish, you can use chain nose pliers or tweezers to crimp your crimp bead at this point (although it's not neccessary). I dab the knot with the tinyest bit of clear nail polish to help fix it before trimming away the excess line with my wire cutters and closing the clamshell.
Fit a jump ring through the loop on one clamshell, and a jump ring attached to a lobster clasp through the loop on the other clamshell. Et voila! Your bracelet is finished.
Final Tip - If you want to stick to the spacer pack size, you could thread both strings through single bicones for 2 or 4 beads before splitting off into two, and again, add three bicones at the other end in a single line. Obviously you'll need to reduce the number of bead doubles to compensate.
Note from the Author
I hope you found this useful. I'm writing new guides all the time so don't forget to sign up for my jewellery making techniques newsletter (link for newsletter signup is at the top of any page in my eBay shop ). I do write these free of charge, for the benefit of anyone who wishes to read them, however should you feel like checking out my ebay shop next time you're buying jewellery making supplies, it would be very much appreciated!
Explanation of Difficulty LevelsI rate my designs by four difficulty levels for non-soldering or sawing jewellery making. They're rated by a number of factors including time taken to make, whether you need to make some of your own components and whether they need basic tools or 'specialist' tools.
1. Beginner - Anyone should be able to manage this, even if you've never held a pair of jewellery pliers in your life.
2. Quick & Easy - Fast project, basic techniques only. Should be confident with pliers, cutters, jump rings, basic beaded links - anything else will be explained in easy steps.
3. Needs confidence - Longer project that includes some trickier elements including but not limited to using more complex wire manipulation (e.g. making wire bails, using a jig or pliers to make wire components) and more time consuming projects that involve lots and lots of small steps.
4. Tricky - Projects for the terminally insane. Whether I'll put anything here is up in the air. The vast majority of what I make is 2 or 3 - simply because I don't have the patience for long projects
Copyright NoticeI am happy for designs to be copied where I've given instructions to do so :o) (i.e. this guide!). However if you're producing for commercial use (i.e. resale) credit for the design (e.g. 'A Stephie Hall design' or 'a Princess-Jewellery design'), and a link to my ebay shop would be appreciated.
Text and pictures may not be reused without my express permission.