I visited the local library recently and had the pleasure of borrowing a giant stack of beading books to read. Among them was a real gem; “Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads” by Stephanie Sersich. The divine photos of multi-beaded jewelry were very inspiring and some of the projects looked like a great way to use up some of my large stash of beads.
All of the projects in the book looked so enticing I wanted to make them all! I finally settled on making the “Spiny Knotted Bracelet”, which is a bracelet that is knotted (a bit like macramé) with lots of beads attached for colour.
The pattern was surprisingly easy (a little fiddly but do-able, even for beginners). With a bit of patience and more importantly, no false starts needed or materials wasted, I managed to follow the pattern well and create one of the most beautiful bracelets I’ve ever made – in one afternoon.
Stephanie Sersich recommends using waxed linen, which is perfect for knotting, however, the nearest waxed linen I could find was AU$30 from the UK on Ebay, so I settled for a purple matt crotchet cotton from Spotlight in place of both the waxed linen and the perl cotton.
I had a nice flower button to add for a clasp and lots and lots of assorted glass beads in my stash to use up (it can do your head in trying to work out which ones can be used for what projects – so this was a great project to just go for it and be arty without too much planning).
I did follow Stephanie’s advice on working with a “theme” in mind and my theme was “Carnival Purple”. Next time, I might try working on a “Spring Garden” or "Wintery" theme.
Other theme ideas include:
Summer Beach Theme
Orange/Pink/Lime Green Theme
White Minimalist Theme
Naval (Red/White/Blue) Theme
Native American Indian Theme
Fairy Crystal Theme
Sea Creature/Ocean Theme
Hungarian Bright Colour Theme
Making The Bracelet
The initial wrapping was a little tricky (this would be easier with waxed linen) but I settled on making the wrapping by knotting each “wrap” in the same place all the way around the loop. This sat nicely with the crotchet thread.
I continued the pattern as per the instructions on page 87 of the book and found that initially, the beads were bunchy but eventually spread out as the bracelet progressed.
A bit of movement of the beads and a bit of patience with the way you knot around the bracelet spine means that the beads sit very nicely and the bracelet is strong and consistent.
Ending the bracelet with the button was very easy as I followed Stephanie’s instructions to the finish.
I was very happy with the resulting bracelet as it is very strong and looks well made. All of Stephanie’s projects are well thought out – there are no loose ends poking out or “weak areas” on the jewelery.
A Great Beading Book
I liked “Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads” so much I bought it on Amazon and I’m looking forward to making more projects out of it.
The book is full of projects I want to do (many beading books only contain one or two projects you’d actually do) so I was very pleased with this and wanted to share it!
If there’s one really inspirational beading book you’re looking for in colourful jewelry beading projects, this would be “the one”.
“Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads” by Stephanie Sersich is published by Interweave Books and is available at Amazon.
© 2013 Suzanne Day
Susan from India on November 30, 2013:
Wow... These Bracelets looks awesome. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.
SolveMyMaze on November 08, 2013:
Interesting hub, this is ideal for people that are into arts and crafts. The book you've suggested looks as though it's the ideal companion to your hub, especially when you've laid out all the materials and tools you'll need to make the bracelets.