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Topic: cluster / charm bracelet -- my first jewelry attempt  (Read 1403 times)
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« on: November 15, 2009 07:39:06 PM »

EDIT: Ok I caved and I did redo all the headpins. The wrapped headpins just didn't like uniform enough. Here's the new pics.

I do a lot of sewing but since joining Craftster, I have been lusting after some of the handmade jewelry. Here's  my first attempt using an online tut. Overall, I'm happy with the results of my first project. It's fun, sparkly and totally wearable. However, I know there's got to be an easier, neater way to attach the headpins than wrapping the wire--which is what the tut recommended. Well at least I was able to practice that technique 50 times. Smiley Fortunately the sometimes less than perfect wrapped wire isn't noticable when wearing it.

Fellow crafters--share your secrets. How are you attaching the beads without wrapping. Do you buy certain kind of headpin or do you just attach it differently?


« Last Edit: November 18, 2009 04:45:45 PM by gigglygirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009 08:17:03 PM »

I don't have an answer to your question (though I'll be keeping an eye on this to see what others say!), I think your bracelet looks great.  The colors are fantastic!
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009 08:50:40 PM »

O.O Shiny!

The wire wrapped loop is the more secure way, but it is rather time/labor heavy. I do a regular loop (like the loop on an earwire hook) and make sure I close it as tightly as possible. I shake the piece to see if anything falls off. If you like the wire wrap for it's security you could try a slightly smaller gauge wire, it'll be easier to wrap.

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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009 09:11:03 PM »

The necklace is outstanding. The colors are striking. Great job!

« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009 10:04:16 PM »

That looks great! Especially for your first venture into bead-land! Smiley

As for your question, usually if you're using 21g headpins and beads that size (they look like 4-6mm beads with size 6 seed beads), a single loop should suffice. As was posted earlier, wire-wrapping is a lot easier if you're using craft wire vs headpins. Headpins / eyepins tend to be much stiffer than craft wire, even if they are the same gauge.

I've been working at a bead store for 5+ years, and I usually suggest to people to try their hands at wire-wrapping using 22 gauge craft wire. It's cheaper than headpins, you can practice making a bunch of links with wrapped loops on both ends of the bead, and once you're done practicing you can attach all of the links together using jump rings (or by making more links) and make a necklace / bracelet / whatever.

Another reason I suggest learning on craft wire is if you cut a 1 foot piece and start making links from that, it will really help you judge exactly how much wire you need to use to get uniform matching wraps every time (I usually shoot for anywhere between 2-3 coils per wrap), and it cuts down on wasted wire.

Hope this helps!

*edit: spelling mishap!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009 10:06:36 PM by effendog » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009 10:23:47 PM »

Thanks for the advice and keep it coming to anyone else with a good idea Smiley

The headpins are a bit stiff and all I could find at Michaels were 2 inch-long headpins hence the 4 loops. (At least I don't have to worry about losing a bead EVER! Smiley) After reading the advice, because I'm a bit nutty I debated remaking it but decided:
1. life is too short
2. we learn by experience and there's no shame in that
3. I am enjoying this bracelet as is and am excited to know the next one will be even better. Smiley
4. when I'm sick of this bracelet, I'll cut it apart and reuse the beads anyway.

I did redo some of the dangles though--the really messy ones.
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009 11:50:12 PM »

i love it..makes me think of a peacock with the colors!
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2009 01:04:02 PM »

wow that is so pretty

« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010 06:54:00 PM »

Could you share the online tut you used? I love how your project turned out. I'm interested in learning to work with headpins and charm/cluster type bracelets but I have no idea how to start a project like this. Very inspiring!

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