Do you love making beaded bracelets? Me too! From stretch cord beaded bracelets to more intricate bead woven ones, my motto is “more is more.” There are so many reasons why they’re popular to make and wear. If you want to learn a new stitch, bracelets work up faster than necklaces while giving you plenty of opportunities to get it just right. Plus, you can practice your technique by making a stack or stitching up several gifts. (Your family and friends will thank you!) Summertime is the perfect time to learn a new technique while making bracelets you’ll love to wear and share.
ABOVE: Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Here are some of my favorite bracelet-making videos in the Interweave store. Whether you treat yourself to an educational weekend at home or work these classes into your everyday schedule, you’ll make amazing designs while learning from the best.
When I first met Julianna Avelar, she was creating and selling custom seed bead mixes. Looming was one of her first beading loves. She went on to patent the Jewel Loom and inspires people to embrace their creativity. In her Friendship Bracelet, Julianna weaves beads with the intention of creating a lovely bracelet and entering a calm, meditative state. She makes you feel like you’re beading along with a good friend.
Julianna leads you through looming in this step-by-step guide. From how to get started with your new loom, how to measure your wrist for a properly-fitted bracelet, the best beads to use, and how to finish your one-of-a-kind design, you’ll learn everything you need to know. Read 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Bead Looming for a taste of bead looming.
Smooth & Spiky
Former Beadwork editor Melinda Barta presents the Line ‘em Up Bracelet by Christina Neit, with tips as you stitch peyote, right-angle weave, and netting. I love the color palette and the style–spiky triangle beads on the outside and smooth seed beads on the inside. Melinda is a master instructor and she makes it easy to follow along, stitch by stitch as well as providing helpful tips along the way.
I’m not the only one who’s intrigued by triangle and pyramid beads. Former Beadwork editor Tammy Honaman went in search of triangle-shaped beads at Bead Fest a few years ago and she included this Line ‘em Up Bracelet in her inspiration. See the other designs that caught her attention in Two-Hole Triangle Shaped Beads and How to Weave Them.
Brick Stitch Mastery
Pharaoh’s Finery Bracelet by Michelle Gowland features three of my favorite things: beads, button, and leather cord. This cuff is a gorgeous alternative to a wrap style–and you use brick stitch to stitch the rows. The center uses pyramid-shaped beads that create a studded effect. You could easily change the look of this design by changing the color palette. Black and silver or red and turquoise would both be good options.
In this video, Melinda leads you through the steps to make your own beautiful version of the Pharaoh’s Finery Bracelet. Discover tips for adding your own flair with bead substitutions and get Melinda’s useful trouble shooting ideas. With up-close shots, detailed directions, and helpful hints, you can perfect mixing brick stitch with luscious leather to complete this Egyptian-inspired design. Meet Michelle Gowland, self-professed 2-hole bead junkie, and learn about her inspiration.
Play with Shapes
This gorgeous ThreeDee Bracelet by Penny Dixon is a feast for the eyes. I haven’t tried making it yet, but it seems like it would have the dual rewards of giving great satisfaction in weaving it and wearing it. You’ll use four-hole tiles, crescent beads, peyote stitch, and netting to make this luscious bracelet.
Join 2015 Beadwork magazine Designer of the Year Penny Dixon for this video workshop. Penny includes a helpful section that will teach you successful techniques for stitching with shaped beads that will give your beadwork flexibility. Then, get Penny’s helpful tips for successfully beginning, embellishing the middle, and zipping it into a stunning three-dimensional accessory. To discover more about Penny and this design, read Behind the Scenes with Bead Weaving Artist Penny Dixon.
More Bracelet Inspiration
Bracelets are easy ways to try a new beading stitch or technique on for size. They’re typically less of a commitment than a necklace so you have the opportunity to experiment and see what you like before creating a larger piece of jewelry. Plus, who doesn’t love wearing bracelets for a touch of beaded joy? I hope you’ll give some of these projects a try. If you do, I’d love to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more ideas for making bead-woven bracelets, read Bead Weaving: Summer-Inspired Beaded Jewelry Designs by Lavon Peters.
Katie Hacker, Editor of Beadwork and host of Jewelry Artist podcast