Arte Es Vida


Birthstone Bracelets by arteesvida
November 26, 2006, 12:34 am
Filed under: Beading

Austrian crystal beads have long been a favorite for making birthstone bracelets. The colors are beautiful, fantastically durable, and very inexpensive. Simply purchase one birthstone bead to correspond with the birth month of each family member you are representing on the bracelet. Another option for this bracelet is to replace the birthstone beads with silver letter beads and spell out family member names. Or use both! The design is simple enough to be very accommodating!

Supplies:

Austrian Crystal Beads (6MM Bicone shape is most traditional but there are lots of other styles available!)

Sterling beads (I used a mix of plain and Bali silver)

Toggle clasp

Two tube crimps

Tiger tail or monofilament for stringing

Needle nose or crimping pliers

The only real trick to this project is designing around the number of birthstone beads you need to include. A bead board can come in handy if you have one, but if you don’t you can cut your stringing material a few inches longer than your final bracelet will be and then string your birthstone beads and their spaces in the middle to give you an idea of how much design you can incorporate on the sides of the bracelet. It is an easy way to design on the fly, just make sure you don’t drop either end since neither end will be knotted!

Once you have strung enough beads to meet your desired length, you can finish by attaching the clasps with tube crimps on each end. If you aren’t used to using crimps, check out the tutorials listed under “Related Links” to the right of this article. Make sure you choose a clasp that can be attached one handed. If you don’t like the look of toggle clasps, then magnetic clasps and lobster clasps are great alternatives!

Many places that sell the Austrian crystal birthstone beads sell them in packs of twelve or greater, including local bead stores. If you can’t find them for sale locally in smaller numbers, and you only need a few, one great web source I have found is Auntie’s Beads. They also have a variety of shapes and sizes that you won’t find in most bead stores.


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