How to make a multi strand bracelet:
Create this multi strand bracelet with a selection of beads you love. I’ve used different colors of pearls, gemstones, crystal beads and silver spacer beads. This bracelet leans itself to the use of almost any kind of bead up to 8mm. I’ve added two sizes of chain to the bracelet for that extra chunky look. The large chain is Belcher chain with links of 6mm, and the small one is curb chain with links of 2mm. See the
jewelry making chain
page for more information regarding buying the right type of chain for your projects.
You will learn two techniques while making this multi strand bracelet. The first is to open and close jump rings properly. This might sound straight forward, but it is crucial to open a jump ring the correct way, otherwise the round shape of the jump ring will be distorted. The second technique is learning how to use crimp beads to attach a clasp, and in this case a toggle clasp.
Getting the right bracelet size is the most common problem when making bracelets. See the
bracelet size guide
for getting the right measurements for your multi strand bracelet.
What you need:
- a good selection of beads no bigger than 8mm
- different shapes and sizes of silver spacer beads
- 49 or 19 strand Beadalon or Soft Flex beading wire (.018” 0.46mm)
- crimp beads or crimp tubes
- silver toggle clasp (bar 2cm)
- 2 heavy 5mm jump rings (make sure they will fit the holes of your toggle clasp)
- 2 thin jump rings (3 or 4mm)
- curb chain with links of 2mm, (the length of your bracelet size)
- belcher chain with links of 6mm (the length of your bracelet size)
- 2 cord ends (also called coiled crimps)
- crimping pliers (you can also use flat nose pliers if you don’t have crimping pliers)
- round nose pliers
- chain and flat nose pliers
- wire or side cutters
- safety glasses (optional)
Read the page
how to open and close jump rings.
You need to know how to open jump rings properly for this step. Take the thin 3 or 4mm jump ring and open it with your chain and flat nose pliers. Once your jump ring is open, slide the 2mm curb chain onto it.
Open the heavy 5mm jump ring the same way, and slide the ring of the toggle bar onto it. Now slide the thin jump ring with the curb chain attached to it onto the jump ring as well. Next, slide the last link of the 6mm belcher chain onto the jump ring (on the other side of the ring). The result will look like the photo on the right.
Now you need to attach the beading wire to the jump ring using crimp beads and crimping pliers. Follow the detailed explanation on the page
how to attach a clasp using crimp beads.
This will give you a fairly good idea of how to attach the beading wire to the jump ring. Cut off two pieces of Beadalon or Soft Flex wire, each measuring 10” (25cm) long. It is better to have a longer piece that you can cut off, rather than having a too short piece which would cause you to start all over again! Use two crimp beads for each wire, and attach the beading wire to either side of the chain. Do not cut off the little tail of beading wire that is left. You are going to string a bead onto it to hide it.
Arrange your beads into the order you would like to string onto the wire, before stringing it. A beading board is useful, but not necessary. This will save you from restringing your beads for your multi strand bracelet over and over again.
When you have the right order you can start stringing them onto the beading wire. The first two beads must have holes, big enough to allow two beading wires to go through. Slide the first two beads onto the beading wire, and allow the little tail of wire that is left to go through the beads as well. To determine the size of your bracelet, see the
bracelet size guide
to get the correct measurements for your multi strand bracelet (just remember to include the toggle clasp which will measure approx. 1 inch). When using a toggle clasp, I always make my bracelets ¼ of an inch longer than usual. It is quite difficult to fasten the toggle clasp of a bracelet that is too tight.
When you have strung the right amount of beads onto the beading wire, use a coil end/cord end as a bead stopper. (The bead stopper is the little coil on the end of the beading wire, next to the last bead). Do not cut the beading wire now.
Follow step 4,and do exactly the same for the other beading wire. Make them exactly the same size, and use a bead stopper at the end of the beads.
Cut both chains to the size of the strung beads, using your wire or side cutters. Always protect your eyes when cutting wire and chain.
Now you need to attach the four strands to the bar of the clasp. First, open the other heavy 5mm jump ring and slide the toggle bar onto it. Next, slide the chain onto the jump ring as well on either side of the bar. Close the jump ring. It will then look like the photo on the right.
Remove one of the bead stoppers and slide two crimp beads onto the beading cord. Make a loop and string the end back through the crimp beads. Pull the end to make the loop smaller, and tighten up the beads. Follow the same steps for the other beading wire.
When you’ve pulled the beading cord tight enough you can use your crimping pliers (or flat nose pliers) to flatten your crimp beads onto the beading wire. There will be a little tail of beading wire left. String the tail back through the last bead, and use your wire cutters to cut off the excess tail. Repeat the same process for the other beading wire to finish off your multi strand bracelet.
Congratulations, your multi strand bracelet is now ready to wear!
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