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Old 01-31-2006, 12:00 PM   #1
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How to make one of them thar bracelets

This is a rather lengthly tutorial on how to make the gayest bracelet that ever existed. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it's in the right forum! I don't post a lot but I no longer have the excuse of being a newbie . Anyway, this thread is documenting with my humble Concord 3340z my adventures with the latest project. After this you will have an entirely new, creative, edifying way to waste time under your belt. And that's "you'll have a way to waste time" and not "you'll have a way to waste time under your belt." I don't need to tell you how to do that.



One of my favourite things to make is "cha cha" bracelets. Yes, the name is gay, I know. I'm going to show you the basics of making one that's not only incredibly sturdy, but better than the ones you see demonstrated in the beading magazines, which I'll explain later. As far as I know, you can either make these out of stainless steel, or gold-plated steel. Stainless steel is the better choice as it'll actually stay silver-coloured.

Ingredients

You need a bracelet base, which is like a watch-band with loops on it. Here are the cheapest I've found. If people want more than $5 for any kind of bracelet you're paying too much. You can get one with one, two, or three rows of loops.

You need headpins, which are like tiny nails. You have 44 loops in each row, I believe, so get one or two 100-pin packages of these things. These are the silver colour ones. As the demonstration bracelet has two rows of loops, I'm going to want one bag.

You need some pliers. If you don't want to pay the $8 bucks for each, camp out in a bead store and hog their pliers. Make sure it's a bead store than actually has tables that you are supposed to sit and work at, because they don't like it when you tear open a package of pliers and sit on the floor to make things. Don't feel like you have to memorise these terms but you'll want to have: "Needle nose" or "round nose" to bend the headpins, "Side cutters" to chop the headpins, and some "Chain nose" to mush the severed ends of the headpins so they don't catch on your clothing and tear it off. (Hey, that's a great id-) No.

You need beads. Craft stores, bead stores, online stores, even Wal-Mart. You can make your bracelet out of any combination of gemstone, glass, metal, plastic, crystal, or natural things like shell and wood. Collect at least a hundred beads for a two-row bracelet, but the more you have to choose from and to stack, the better. Some good places to look are here. Keep on hand some small spacer beads like these.

Here's a picture. I've got my main bead box, my main findings box with the headpins, and the main pliers. I'm ready to make a Mainly Green Monstrosity Of A Bracelet.



Preparation

A short poor quality video of how to do this. But at least it has Van Halen.

Take a bead and put it on your headpin. If the headpin goes right through, put a smaller bead on first, or a spacer bead like the ones I just linked you to. The point is to have a bead sitting at the bottom of your headpin.

Now you'll want to bend the remaining pin over the bead, then wrap it back, closely as possible, over one part of the needle nose pliers. So I can't describe it; look at this picture and squint at the video and if all else fails, get thee to a bead store and ask someone how to use headpins.



No, you don't hold the pliers like this, stupid. I was taking the picture with my right hand.

Anyway, do this until you run out of headpins. You can put as many beads as you like on each pin, according to what's practical (I wouldn't stack them more than an inch high). You should have a nice pile of beadstacks that look like this.



If you're not very good at making these half-loops, don't worry. No one cares, really. Liz Claiborne has/had cha cha bracelets and they were incredibly sloppy. Which means you should make your own jewelry because then if you look sloppy, you still get homemade points.

Make the stupid bracelet already

Hook the hooky part onto the loopy thingies. Not as hard as it sounds. Hook it, wrap it, chop it, mash it, bop it.



I make sure that the point at which I use side cutter pliers to cut off the wire is facing towards the middle of the bracelet, and then I use chain nose pliers or something to squish it into place just to make sure it's not sticking out. Be rest assured that the person you are selling or giving this to will not have their dress torn off or their sweater slowly unravelled, as this actually is considered inappropiate in most societies.

Grab your stacks of beads by type and make vague plans for where they're going to go on the bracelet.



Also pay attention which row they're going on, as you want to spread out your different beads as much as possible. You want to make it fairly even so you can wear the bracelet upside down and it won't make a difference. Keep plotting before you attach it, because if you have to take it off, you have to nip the whole thing with side cutters and start over and waste your three-cent headpin.



Just keep adding these things on until you run out of loops on the bracelet. Keep the beads and pins within reach in case you need more. Be careful what you do with the bits of metal you clip off the end of the headpin; this hasn't happened to me, but if you stepped on a shard of glass or metal, it could be nasty. I drop the ends of the headpins onto the farthest corner of my bead mat and they're safe there until I dump them into the trash.



The reason these are better than the ones in the bead catalog -top of the line company Fire Mountain Gems catalog at that- is that we wire-wrap. That's the looping around part that you do right before you cut off the end. They just hook it and chop it and make sure there isn't a big enough gap for it to fall off. This is cheesy because it CAN fall off if you drop it, throw it, breathe on it in a vigorous fashion, exist in its general direction, look at it, or fail to use protection against gravity.

Worse, if gravity rubs it the wrong way the bead will fall away from the end of the headpin, sliding closer to the bracelet base than the end of its pin, leaving a nail-type pokey thing poking up. Unless you're hanging a picture, or planning to rip off your clothes so you can waste time below the belt or do an interpretive dance to a Weezer song, you don't want any pokey things poking up above the bead. (As opposed to non-pokey things poking up.) Inspect carefully the outrageous travesty that is TWO MILLEMETERS OF PIN POKING UP in this bracelet scanned from my catalog. Also, it's ugly, but I hear the colour "barf" is in this season.



In case you haven't gotten the point, poorly explained bracelets > poorly made bracelets. (This is the only thing I can do better than the catalog people can, and I'm milking that for all it's got.) Also, people just hate it when they pick up their new bracelet and half of it falls onto their foot and then their cat nabs a bead and bats it across the floor and then they step on it later and they hop around in pain and get dizzy and bang into their stove and pour their boiling spaghetti sauce all over themselves and instinctually jerk backwards and impale their skulls on the corner of their counter and their death throes knock over the ceramic jug of spatulas and the jug falls onto the floor and the cat walks across the shards and bleeds to death. Think of the cats, man, and if nothing else the pottery! That or tell people not to take out their bracelet in the kitchen.

What to do with it

1) Wear it and be the divaest diva on the block. Or if you are male, make one red and one yellow and one blue and one green and wear them all together; chicks will think this is so masculine. When I wear one of mine I get compliments from just about everyone I talk to, and they always want me to hold it up so they can turn it around and look at all the different beads.

2) Give it to someone and they'll be thrilled knowing that you made this huge and clanky thing which probably cost you $25 is ALL FOR THEM. Actually, these would make awesome gifts, providing they are brave enough actually wear it in public.

3) Sell it. Which brings me to something I want to ask you about: How much should I sell these for? I'm about to put five of them in a store, and I want to ask more than the $30 I've been asking of the people in my community.

Miscellany

You do know that these things are huge?
Yep, they're big and they make noise and I put a few bells on mine, and if you wore them you'd either get pecked to death by jealous magpies or shot at by German people in tanks even if you're mostly hidden behind a big rock. With anything creative, you get to use the excuse that there's something for everyone. Except when you're cooking, because there's probably only three people in the world who would enjoy mushroom and beet Jell-O. My cousin is one of those three.

How long do these take to make?
This green bracelet here, my 7th one, took six or seven hours to make. It also takes a while to get together all your supplies, especially when the owner of the bead store calls the police because you won't come out of your makeshift tent in the swarovski crystal aisle. Take it from me: whether or not you're creating beautiful jewelry with beads you bought from this very store, they just don't like it when you barricade the entire aisle and shout "What's the password?" every time someone wants to come through.

What kind of things SHOULDN'T I make these bracelets out of?
Pearls are pretty fragile. I don't care what kind of gemstones you use but if you get rubies and sapphires etc they'll likely come way too small to be noticed and it'll be a general waste. Also, it would be silly to use sterling silver headpins, because I doubt you can find the actual bracelet bases in anything but steel.

*section removed by Bonochick*

... No, this thread is not at all a thinly veiled advertisement, because I wouldn't have shown you where to find the best supplies, or talked about the spaghetti sauce and the impaling and the spatulas flying everywhere. Flying spatulas are such a turn-off for customers.

Did you make that bracelet on your floor?
No, it's called a bead mat and it's soft and quite useful because beads are way less likely to roll around. You can get them for, like, a dollar.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:06 PM   #2
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Don't know that I'll ever attempt to replicate one of these (which are lovely, by the way!), but I will freely admit that I have never enjoyed reading directions as much before.


(And flying spatulas really do suck. )
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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^^^ Eek, what does that mean?

Quote:
Originally posted by BluRmGrl
Don't know that I'll ever attempt to replicate one of these (which are lovely, by the way!), but I will freely admit that I have never enjoyed reading directions as much before.


(And flying spatulas really do suck. )
hehe, thanks
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:54 PM   #5
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Re: How to make one of them thar bracelets

Quote:
Originally posted by Elsie
No, this thread is not at all a thinly veiled advertisement
You still can't offer to sell your wares like that. It's not allowed here. Sorry.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:01 PM   #6
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Re: Re: How to make one of them thar bracelets

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Originally posted by Bonochick


You still can't offer to sell your wares like that. It's not allowed here. Sorry.
Oh, I forgot! I'll take that away right now. Or not, since I can't edit the post, can I? I should know this. I am so sorry
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:03 PM   #7
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I already edited that part out. It's okay. The rest of the thread is fine. Sorry to be a stickler, but we try to be fair.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bonochick
I already edited that part out. It's okay. The rest of the thread is fine. Sorry to be a stickler, but we try to be fair.
Nah I'm just an idiot. I remember making some htdaab-themed earrings and posting them and mentioning that I'd sell them or give them away or something... I have a mind like a sieve.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:17 PM   #9
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Very cute! You know I made beaded necklaces and bracelets for a while. I even tried to sell them on ebay, but honestly there are so many out there it was nearly impossible to make a profit on them.

You also might want to not keep referring to them as 'gay' and 'gayest' as these terms may offend some here.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sicy
Very cute! You know I made beaded necklaces and bracelets for a while. I even tried to sell them on ebay, but honestly there are so many out there it was nearly impossible to make a profit on them.

You also might want to not keep referring to them as 'gay' and 'gayest' as these terms may offend some here.
Cool. What did you make them with (glass, stones, etc)?

Ah, okay. JUST SO EVERYONE KNOWS, I think gay people rock and I apologise for stealing your word and using it flippantly!

VVV that's really cool, do you have a picture?
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:22 PM   #11
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A woman I work with makes these, and even made me one for Christmas. Now my mom's into it, too, after she saw how cute mine was.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elsie
Cool. What did you make them with (glass, stones, etc)?


Plastic, actually.. lol.

My cat actually stole them... I dunno where they are now





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Old 01-31-2006, 01:35 PM   #13
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Hehe, he's probably studying them and making his own, as he has opposable thumbs. NOT a stalker, I was just cruising through the cat pictures thread and saw his pic . Those are pretty- fimo centerpieces?
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:40 PM   #14
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I think they're just plastic.. or clay.. yknow I have no clue lol. That hobby didnt last long for me.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:42 PM   #15
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Sicy your cats are so beautiful, and they have great taste in jewelry also!
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