Bead Your Heart Out: Wire Crochet Bracelet
Have you ever noticed that when a child pops into your life, your crafts start becoming less about you, and more about the cute things you can make for them? Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I made something that was self-indulgent. But it doesn’t bother me, because now I’m that weirdo mom that goes to the seasonal fabric section and makes a turkey dress for her daughter, with a matching shirt for her son. AND I’M DARN PROUD OF IT.
The most recent thing I taught myself to do was crochet wire. It’s slightly challenging, and kind of hurts my fingers a little, but totally worth the effort. Once you get into the groove, it takes little to no time at all to make something adorably fashionable!
To make this bracelet you will need:
· Beads. I used some really pretty sodalite beads, paired with some cute glass skulls.
· Jewelry Wire – 26 or 28 gauge have worked the best for me. You can try something thicker if you’re feelin’ it.
· A 5 Strand Slide Clasp
· A crochet hook – Anywhere between sizes F to H would work. It depends on the spacing you would like between your stiches.
· Needle Nose Pliers – There are tools that are specifically for jewelry making, but I just went into the garage and sifted through my fiancés tool bag.
· Wire Nippers – For, ya know…nipping the wire.
· A sandwich bag
· Measuring Tape
· Yarn (I will explain why)
· A piece of cloth/folded t-shirt/dish towel/beading mat that you can set your beads on so they won’t roll away.
Here we go!
Measure the circumference of your wrist. The circumference plus an extra half an inch or so is the length you will be aiming for while making the bracelet
- Take your wire and pull then end out of the center of the spool. You’ll notice that once you have the end free, the rest of the wire will want to start unraveling. This is where the sandwich bag comes into play. Put the spool inside the bag, with the end of your wire sticking out through the zip-lock part of it. This will keep the wire under control. Make sure to leave a good amount out and available for use, because you’ll be stringing beads onto it.
- String your beads, in whichever pattern you’d like, onto the wire. Use as many or as few beads as you’d like, just make sure you have a plan as to how you will be spacing them out so you’re not left with nothing to work with half-way through.
- Typically to start a chain, you would need a slip knot to build on. Since we’re working with wire, just fold it over your crochet hook, and twist it a couple of times to form the beginning loop. From the loop, chain 7.
- After you’ve finished your chain, begin your first row of single crochets by skipping the first chain to your left and starting in the second. I know what you’re thinking. “Wow. This looks like garbage.” Yes. It does at the beginning. To keep it from becoming more confusing, regularly stretch your stitches so that you can keep track of the amount you have.
- When you’re ready to add a bead to your bracelet, slide one up from your bead queue, and simply single crochet around it. It’s kinda tricky, but once you do it a few times, it begins to feel a little more natural.
- Now, I can’t tell you the pattern in which you place your beads, but an easy way to keep track is to single crochet, single crochet with a bead, single crochet, and so on. Simple patterns are best when you’re starting off. With more practice, you can start doing more intricate beading patterns.
- Continue with your single crochets and your bead pattern until you’ve reached your desired length. Remember to stretch and mold your bracelet along the way.
- Now that you’ve reached your desired length, it’s time to cut the end of the wire. Make sure to leave a long tail to work with, as you’ll be using it to attach your clasp. Create a small knot at the end of your last row of single crochets to secure your work.
- To attach your clasp, you’ll be weaving the tail end of your wire through the loops on the clasp and the last row of single crochets you made. Because the clasp is shorter that the width of your bracelet, I would recommend wrapping the wire around just the single crochets until you get to where the clasp starts. Wrap the wire around each loop 2 or 3 times to prevent any breakage later on. Be careful when you are wrapping. Because the wire is thin, developing kinks happens rather easy, which could lead to your wire breaking.
- If you do break your wire, you can cut yourself another length of wire and pick up where you left off.
- When you’ve finished weaving the tail through the clasp and bracelet, take your needle nose pliers and press the end of the wire flat to prevent it from poking you when you wear it. Align the clasp on the other end of the bracelet and repeat the process.
If you’re not a huge fan of the lumps and bumps that tend to happen when you’re crocheting wire, have no fear! This thin wire is very forgiving, so you can mold, stretch, and squeeze it afterword as much as you need to until you’re happy with your finished product.
You did it! You reached the end of the tutorial! I hope you are pleasantly surprised with how your bracelet comes out. Maybe you’ll make a mommy/baby set like I did (because like I said, literally everything I make is for my kids in one form or another). Take this new skill and apply it to other things! Maybe try making a cool, multi-tier necklace next time. Or maybe you can make a slimmer bracelet with a different clasp. You could probably even make some miniature chain mail for dolls. The world is your oyster!