Ever feel like you’re swimming in leftover supplies? If you’re an avid crafter, you probably know this setup all too well: A couple of stray chains, a scattering of random beads, an awkward segment of fabric. While the original materials have already served their purpose, we just can’t get rid of the leftovers when a project has been completed. They’re still supplies, after all! This is where a mixed-media bracelet comes to the rescue. With just a little elbow grease and experimenting, you can give those leftovers another chance to shine.
-Scrap leather or fabric
-Rectangle multi-strand end bar connectors (2)
-6-8mm jump rings (many!)
-10mm jump rings (2)
-3-in-1 jewelry pliers
The amount of chains, beads and fabric is totally up to you. The point of this project is to use what you have, so it will differ from bracelet to bracelet. It will also depend on the number of strands your connectors allow for.
Tip: Before starting, measure your wrist and deduct the width of your two end bar connectors. This measurement determines how long each strand should be.
1. For a chain strand: Using a jump ring, connect a long strand of chain to the end bar connector. The length of this chain should be the wrist measurement you obtained earlier.
2. For a beaded strand: Add several beads of your choice to an eye pin.
3. Using the round nosed tips of the pliers, create a loop.
4. Repeat with multiple groups of beads. Continue until the beaded eye pins are as long as your wrist length, when lined up next to each other. This is a perfect way to use up the leftover beads in your stash.
5. Connect the beaded eye pins.
6. Using the pliers, simply open up a loop and hook it onto another beaded eye pin. Bend the loop closed.
7. Attach the strand to the end bar connector.
8. For fabric strands: Cut a thin strip of material. At one end, cut the fabric at a pointed angle.
9. Add it to the end bar connector by tying a tight single knot.
10. For embroidery thread strands: Cut a long length of thread. Add a few beads, if you’d like.
11. Add it to the end bar connector by tying a tight double knot.
12. For mixed strands: Create a couple of beaded eye pins, just like you did in Step 2. Don’t be afraid to mix the random loner beads together for an interesting look.
13. Alternate the beaded eye pins with shorter strands of chain.
14. Using a jump ring, add the mixed strand to the end bar connector.
15. Attach the jewelry clasp components to the end bar connectors using the larger jump rings.
You can create a bracelet featuring any combination of strands. Maybe your bracelet will have an equal mix of beaded strands and chain. Or perhaps it will be made entirely of leather strips, with a beaded strand as an accent. It’s totally up to you and what you have in your stash. Each bracelet will be 100 percent unique!
Photo credits: Kirsten Nunez
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