Red coral bead chips are the focal point of this eye-catching wire crochet bracelet. This design is on the dressy side, but it could be worn for either business or pleasure. The bracelet is versatile enough to wear on many occasions throughout the year; it'll go from day to evening easily, and will become a cherished part of your wardrobe if you choose to make one for yourself. It's a quick and affordable project, so why not make some of these for friends too?
You'll need the following materials to make a bracelet like this one. Feel free to substitute materials if you like; if you want to use different beads or different colors, your bracelet will turn out to be a unique, one-of-a-kind creation.
- Beads: My sample bracelet is comprised of red coral chips by Bliss Beads, plus 6/0 glass beads in a color that looks like a frosted, opalescent butter yellow. Bead chips come in many different colors and materials; you can obtain interesting stone chips in color combinations that are simply stunning. I do love the red coral chips pictured, but would also love to try this design again using other types of bead chips. Feel free to experiment.
- Wire: I recommend 26 gauge wire for this project. I used colored copper wire by Darice. This wire was purchased in a multi-pack so I don't know the exact color name; it's a color that looks like a deep, orange-y gold.
- Jewelry Findings: I used a goldtone lobster claw clasp. If you can find a closure that's an exact color match for your wire, that would be ideal, but if not just use the closest match you can find.
- Crochet Hook: I used a size B / 2.25 mm aluminum hook to crochet my sample bracelet. Be sure to choose a sturdy hook, and one you don't care too much about (it's possible that it could bend or break while you are crocheting.)
How to Make the Bracelet:
Measure your wrist, or the wrist of the intended wearer. Add an inch or two to this measurement to allow for some "ease." If you're using large, chunky beads, go for two inches; if you're using small beads, an inch is probably sufficient. You can add more ease than that if you'd like a loose-fitting bracelet, or less ease if you want a tighter-fitting bracelet. The number you decide on here is going to be the length you make each beaded strand.
You are going to crochet 3 separate beaded strands, then braid them together to form the bracelet.
Make one strand at a time. Begin by stringing your beads onto your wire in the order you want them to appear in the finished bracelet. Leave a length of wire unworked at the beginning -- at least 4+ inches long. (Do not count this length in your finished measurement.) Make a slip knot. [Slide a bead right up close to your crochet hook. Reach around the bead with your hook and grab the wire; pull a loop through to make a chain stitch with a bead caught inside.] Repeat the sequence noted in brackets until your strand is the length you decided you want to make. Leave another 4+ inches of wire at the end. Cut the wire and pull the end through your active loop. Set the piece aside while you make the other 2 strands.
For my sample bracelet, I made one strand using just the red coral chips; I made another strand using just the seed beads; and then I made another strand alternating the red coral chips with the seed beads, every other bead. For all three strands, the crochet instructions are the same; it's only the stringing and type of bead used that's different. You can see a picture of my individual strands if you click the link for "more images" above.
Align the strands so that you are holding them with the starting slip knots all in the same place. You should have 3 ends of wire poking out; braid these together as tightly and neatly as you can. Then shift the bracelet so that you can comfortably braid all three strands together. You'll want to braid slowly and manipulate the strands as you braid, so that the beads all sit nicely and look good where you put them. When you are finished braiding, braid the other 3 ends of wire together, again making the braid as tight and neat as you can.
Attach your closure at the ends and cut off any excess wire. The bracelet is now ready to be worn, or given as a gift. Enjoy!
References and Further Reading:
I viewed many of the designs linked from this page of wire jewelry patterns prior to creating this bracelet.