Shiny!

When I was at an airport recently (for one who hates travelling, I spend a lot of my time at airports), I saw a leather and platinum bracelet in one of the high-end jewellery concessions. It was lovely, but not several thousand pounds or euros of lovely, so I decided to make a cheaper version for myself.

I’m quite pleased with it — what do you think?

It cost less that £5/€5 and only took about 10 minutes, so it’s ideal if you need to make a last minute gift for someone or simply need a new accessory and don’t have time to get to the shops. I did mine in black and silver, but the cord is available in just about every colour you can think of and tube beads come in gold, rose gold, and gunmetal as well as silver.

If you’d like to make one yourself, this is what you need and how to do it.
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  • 8 to 10 x curved noodle tube beads (3mm x 50mm, 2mm inner diameter). I used Amazon to get mine as they seemed to be offering the best price.
  • 2 x crimp ends (to fit 1.5mm cord) with lobster clasp. I bought mine from Tanith who goes by madcatwoman74 on eBay or has a shop at http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ContentedCatz
  • 1m x round leather cord (1.5mm diameter). I got mine from sculptorpaul on eBay.
  • Pliers for crimping the ends. I already had mine in my silversmithing box, but you can pick them up easily. They don’t need to be the bent nose type.

You can, of course, make a shorter, chunkier version of this bracelet by using thicker cord and larger tube beads — just make sure their inner diameter is 0.5mm larger than the cord you choose — and that the crimp ends are sized accordingly.

 

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First, attach one of the crimp ends to the leather cord using the pliers. I’d advise you to leave the other crimp end and the lobster claw clasp attached at this point — they’re very small and fiddly and likely to get lost if you separate them, and besides it gives you something extra to hold on to.

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Next, thread the tube beads onto the cord. The leather is stiff enough to go through easily without needing anything to help it along. Add the required number of beads.

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Space the beads roughly 5cm apart and test the bracelet for length. Trim the cord if it’s longer than you’d like or wraps around your wrist too many times.

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Attach the other crimp end.

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It should look something like this (although more in focus, obviously 😉 ).

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Now you can undo the lobster claw clasp. Wrap the bracelet around your wrist and…

voilà!

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