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Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Gift of Metal & Thread

So, the latest copy of In Style magazine was pretty good.  Of course, I could hardly contain my glee I flipped past a page and discovered that the embellished bracelets that have been popular in French Vogue were now everywhere!  Yippee!!  'Cause, you know, we can do that ourselves!

I am speaking from a place of fashion authority, as the author of Amazon Kindle's #1 best selling fashion book, Crochet Dynamite: Gifts for Your Besties.  BAAA-hahahahaha!!!  How in world did that happen?!  My sincere appologies to #4 Tim Gunn...

Anyway, I had to make one for myself.



And then I had to do some more research.  I discovered something very interesting.  Aurelie Bidermann's Do Brazil line of jewelry is stunning.  It's also very, very pricey.  Have you seen it?

Go check out the line HERE
The clasp is a paper clip.  It's a $300 bracelet with a paper clip clasp.  My mom assures me that she would be furious if she spent $300 on a bracelet and it closed with office supplies, but it's grown on me, and now I'm digging it.  The bracelet above is clearly made with a braid, and not crochet, but I'm not super crazy about making exact rip-off copies of anyone else's work, and besides, I couldn't find that exact bracelet anyway, so I've done my own thing on this one.  Think of it as a tribute, and knock $50 off the price tag... ;D

I made 2 versions of this bracelet, a charm bracelet version, and a paper clip version.  Your friends will think you're so posh!!  My mom will think you're crazy for buying a paper clip bracelet...

Metal & Thread Mash-Up Charm Bracelet 
mine was about 7 1/2" long
Supplies:
Charm Bracelet (I got mine at Joann's in the jewelry making section)
Craft Cord (sometimes called Craft Thread.  It's like embroidery floss that doesn't split apart, and it's sold next to the embroidery floss in big bulk packs.  You could also use embroidery floss, or size 3 crochet thread.) I used 5 strands at a time for this project.
Size C crochet hook
Fabri-tac fabric glue (or other fabric glue)
Scissors
Jewelry pliers (optional, but helpful)


These bracelets are meant to sit a little more snugly than most charm bracelets do, so I took two links out of the bracelet chain using my jewelry pliers.  This isn't completely necessary, if you don't want to do this step.

Pick out the 5 colors that you're going to use for your bracelet.  I made this one in shades of purple, because I have a friend who's got a birthday coming up that loves purple.  (No worries, Crafty Pals, she's a Top Tier Handmade Gift Appreciator!)


I began by pulling a loop through the first link of the bracelet, and chaining 2.  Then I put 2 sc in each link across the top edge of the bracelet.  I think you can see in the picture that I alternated which way I held the links as I went, so that the bracelet wouldn't spiral when I was done.  So one link came to the front, the next link I brought up behind the first link, the third link I brought up in front of the second link.  It gives a little bit of a ripple to the bracelet, if you look closely.  When you get to the end, pull the loop through to finish the end.  Leave a 3" tail (just to be safe).


Now, pull out a 6" (or so) length of the threads.  Using your hook, pull one end of this strand through the ch 2 space at the front of your row of stitches.  Pull the end up so that the strand is centered.  This is going to bulk up the tassel that goes at the end of each side of your bracelet.   Wrap a few of the threads around the whole bundle of craft cord and knot it.  Put a few drops of Fabri-Tac on the knot to keep it from coming loose.


Repeat on the other side.  Trim the tassels to approximately 1" long.


Wrap it up and give it to a friend that you love for her birthday because she's awesome (not just because she wrote a beautiful review of your latest book on Amazon, but also because she's incredibly kind and generous too)!
...I'm pretty sure she's going to read this, so I'll leave it at that... Cough, Nyan has a package coming in the mail, Cough...


Metal & Thread Mash-Up Paper Clip Bracelet
Supplies:
Package of chain (I know, that's weird, but what are you supposed to call it?  It was a 42" length of chain, but the bracelet pattern doesn't require it to be that long, so I don't want to force you to buy the exact same thing as I did, especially since you only need about 7" of it...) I got mine at Joann's, but I've seen it in Michaels...
Paper Clips (I used 1" paper clips, but this could look really cool with one of those Jumbo clips)
Craft Cord (see above!)
Size C crochet hook
Scissors
Fabri-Tac fabric glue
Jewelry pliers *optional, sort of.  It would be hard to do this without pliers of some sort, but if you've got a pair that aren't specifically for jewelry you can totally use them for this, and just toss any links that get too damaged in the un-linking process.  DO NOT try to use your teeth to open the links, you will chip a tooth... Or, at least, that's how I chipped a tooth about 8 years ago...)


You don't have to separate the entire length of chain into bracelets, you can just use what you need and save the rest for something else, if you'd prefer.  I was going to make a lot of presents, so I split mine up right away.  I got 5 adult sized bracelets, and one smaller bracelet for Mims.


Attach your very clever closure.



Now, follow the instructions exactly the same way as for the charm bracelet version!   I made this one for my mom because it will make her laugh every time she wears it.


You're all done!  Package them up in cute little gift baggies and tie them with ribbon!

xoxo


Psst!  You want to make gift baggies with me?

No Crochet Tulle Gift Baggie
Approximately 4"x 2"x 6" (or as high as you want, it's adjustable)
Supplies:
6" wide roll of tulle netting (in the wedding section at craft stores.  I got mine 50% off at Hobby Lobby...)
Sewing Thread
Sewing machine (or sewing needle, but it will take much longer by hand)
Card stock
Hot Glue Gun (and glue sticks)
Scissors
Ruler
Pencil



Start by sewing two 36" strips of tulle together along the long sides with a 1/4" seam.  This will make a 36" tube.  Turn it inside out, so that the seams are on the inside of the tube.  Cut the tube into 9" lengths, or whatever length you prefer.

Heat up your glue gun.

Cut your card stock into 4"x2" rectangles.  You need 2 for each baggie.


Slip one of the card stock rectangles into the bottom of a tulle tube.  Make sure that the tulle comes up evenly on each side and wraps across the rectangle to meet (mostly) in the center.


Squeeze a bunch of hot glue on the tulle and card stock.


Slap another rectangle of card stock over the glue to make a tulle/glue sandwich.  Add more glue to the corners to make sure that they're really stuck together.


Drop in a gorgeous handmade bracelet and tie with a ribbon!  These baggies also look amazing holding pairs of Semi-Handmade Gloves...  

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Renee! I really wanted one of the bracelets, but couldn't rationalize the price tag. And it's way more fun to make it myself!
      xo Jaime

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi Eve! Thanks! I am thrilled with how they turned out! I've been wearing mine for a couple of days now, and I love it!!!
      xo Jaime

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  3. Lovely bracelets! They remind me of a necklace I have that is made of large gold rings (not real gold, I assure you). I dress up the necklace by weaving a scarf through the rings in coordinating colors to whatever I'm wearing. It's stylish and very economical as the look can be changed with whatever scarf I use. One of these would look fantastic with it! You are so smart!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOh! Cool idea!!! Sounds like my sister needs a necklace like that!!
      xo Jaime

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  4. I have to say that I agree with your mom about the paper clips. But you should know that I'm a small town Michigan girl, so it takes some time for some trends to reach us. In fact, I'm sure there are many that completely passed us by. However, I did buy my chain bracelet at the store last night. I'll have to wait until after Christmas, but I'm looking forward to a fun, trendy paperclip-less bracelet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie!! LOL!! I think that the paper clip bracelet is probably not going to become a fashion staple anytime soon... Staple!!! Ah, office supply humor!
      xo Jaime

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  5. OMG! I just got it today! You are truly a sweetheart! Thank you so much :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and it was a total surprise since I didn't sit down and read this post till today.

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  6. Congratulations on becoming the best seller.

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    Replies
    1. xoxo!! Thanks Piper!! It's not going to be long lived, but it's funny for now... :D
      xo Jaime

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  7. Very nice diy project.I've also seen some jewelery around that are sooo expensive and I can't figure why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi angie! I think that any commercial item that includes a handmade element is always ridiculously expensive. Luckily, people like us have a way around the madness! Yippee for DIY!!!
      xo Jaime

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  8. Couldn't you use old bracelets you already have but don't wear? Is that upcycling or repurposing?

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