Love Story 3 column

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Casual Pearls?

So, 6 months later...

Yikes! That's how long it's been since my last post. I got so busy with the holidays, planning and throwing 2 little girls' birthday parties, and just life in general. I fully intended to do a post on each girl's party, and still may. I think I got overwhelmed with it all and just did nothing.

Anyway! My mom recently took me to help her find some jewelry components for a necklace she's planning, and it kind of got me excited about making some things for myself. I have a ton of the supplies and tools, and haven't used any of it in probably 4 years. This past weekend I made 2 necklaces, 4 bracelets, and a pair of earrings!

Today, I'll show you some really easy bracelets and matching earrings.

When I was growing up (in the totally rad 80s!), pearls were always dressy and always paired with gold. But in the last few years, I've seen pearls with silver, and I kind of love it.

On a recent trip to Walmart, I found some glass pearls strung with silver spacers for only $4. They were packaged in 3 rows, just the right length for bracelets, so how to use them was kind of a no-brainer. I already had some clear stretchy cord and jewelry glue on hand, and that's all you need for 3 bracelets!

I started by cutting the existing cord the beads came on - one strand at a time. I pulled it out with the beads laid out on my bead design board. This is totally optional, but the board was not expensive at all. It's kind of velvety and keeps your beads from rolling everywhere. You can also lay out your design and check out the length as you go. Each of these strands was about 8 1/2 inches, and I wanted a slightly smaller bracelet. So I removed one repeat from each strand and my bracelets ended up being about 7 1/2 inches around. They fit me a little snugly, but not too tight.

I cut about 10 inches of the clear stretchy bead cord and put a clothes pin on one end to keep the beads from sliding off. Then I strung them all on and tied several knots with the cord ends. I intended to put some beading glue on the knot, but found out it was all dried up. Oh well, I'll just cross my fingers and hope my knots were tight enough!

Here's the finished three bracelets. I had originally thought to string them on jewelry wire and attach the ends to one clasp, but I decided three separate bracelets would be more versatile. I could wear just one by itself, or layer them with some other silver bracelets I already have.

And since I removed one repeat from each strand, I had a few bead left over. Hmmm...what to do? Make matching earrings, of course! (And I had no idea how hard it was to take a decent picture of my own ears. I guess this will do.)

I used 1 large pearl, 2 silver spacers, and 6 small pearls for each earring, pairing them with some additional silver spacers and silver-lined glass beads from my stash. I also already had the earring "clasp"??? and silver bead wire, so these were a free bonus from my original $4 purchase!

And as if it wasn't tricky enough to get a shot of my own ears, I just had to try getting the bracelets in the shot, too. Not the most flattering angle, but you get the idea. I wore these for church with a purple maxi dress and a chambray shirt tied in front with some wedge sandals. (Yes, of course I should have taken a picture of that, but my arm only stretches out so far, you know!)

I'm planning to show you some of my other recent creations soon. Until then, I hope you'll be inspired to try making something for yourself or to give away. It's really not that hard!

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