A few months ago I bought some leather cord and was playing with wrap bracelets on my Mirrix. I was playing with the idea of using wire to string the beads and trying for really easy, fast projects. These were my results:
After that I warped my loom for a thicker wrap bracelet, but it was one of those projects that just sat on my loom. Yesterday I finally decided to re-warp and try a more traditional wrap bracelet. It was so fast and easy to do this on a Mirrix Loom! I chose some pretty 8/0 beads and crystals and tied off with a pretty glass button and that was it! And, hey, when you can buy an even simpler wrap bracelet for $200… this is a pretty good deal!
I have been busy. I have been knocking off three of these a day. The thing I love about bead weaving (besides the fact that I love bead weaving) is that it is not hard on my hands. Eventually, every other craft I do starts to anger my hands and so I have to stop. I can weave on a loom all day (with breaks of course to stretch, etc.) but my hands never get tired.
We plan to create an amazing kit that will include beads and basic instruction for a variety of cuff and wrap bracelets. I have run up the Mirrix credit card buying every bead and crystal I can find that I love and all these will go into the kit. So be watching for it.
Meanwhile, some eye-candy to get you inspired!
A stack of Cuffs: size 8/0 and 11/0 beads and 4mm fire polish crystals woven on a hand painted silk warp and attached to a brass cuff with an ultra-suede backing.
About twenty inches of beads and crystals woven on a hand painted warp with a button an o-ring finding. It wraps three times around your wrist.
I’m addicted to using SoftFlex wire on leather or suede! I’ve ordered some more supplies, but in the meantime did some playing with the concept of weaving a wrap bracelet. My next one (when I get more leather) will be woven further across (maybe 5 or 7 warps across) to make an almost cuff-like bracelet (which will be slightly stiff because of the wire). Can’t wait!
Weaving isn’t (usually) for the impatient (a trait which I more than occasionally identify with). A tapestry can easily take months to complete and even most bead weavings aren’t completed in an afternoon. But sometimes you need a bracelet to wear with your favorite brown wedges and your brand-new Kate Spade mint-green purse and you need it now. I mean, hypothetically… (ha).
Anyway, I’ve been playing with leather as warp on my Mini and found a partial tube of gorgeous fire-polished crystals that just screamed spring. I also dug up a tube of SoftFlex Econoflex very fine wire in a pretty blue (it was this). It was like the universe was telling me to create this bracelet. I’d never used wire on leather before and wasn’t sure how it would react, but the results were so much fun and SO EASY. Like, do-this-with-your-child easy (disclaimer: all loom work with children should be done under supervised conditions. Small and sharp parts can be a hazard).
And it was FAST. Like 20-minutes fast. You could, of course, bead a whole lot more of the bracelet (and that would be gorgeous) but it would take a little bit longer and require more than the amount of crystals I had on-hand.
Fold your leather piece in half and loop around the warping bar. Then bring the leather (keeping it flat) under the loom, around the front and tie the ends back around onto the warping bar. Then, tighten your tension. Make sure everything feels even.
This leather, looped around on one end and then tied on the other, to the warping
Make a slip knot with your warp thread. Here we used SoftFlex very fine wire in blue.
Take a crystal (we used 4mm fire Polished crystals), beads or gemstones and place it behind and between the two strips of leather. Then weave the wire through the front, securing the bead to the leather.
Continue to weave on your crystals, beads (in a few places I used three Delicas in place of a crystal) or gemstones onto the leather.
When you’ve finished (you can weave as long or as short as you’d like), discreetly double-knot your wire ends and trim then. Then remove the piece from the loom and tie on your wrist!
So easy and so cute!
I’m in love with wrap bracelets. They’re casual, pretty, simple and easy to wear. I realized this morning that it would be really easy to make an Affinity Bracelet into an Affinity Wrap Bracelet. I found some gorgeous gold iris Tila beads that were perfect for this experiment and got weaving.
I warped my 12″ loom with some black silk. I had a ten dent coil on the top (warped one warp thread, three spaces and the other warp thread) but it wasn’t necessary to have any coil on because the beads will set the sett of the warp.
Weaving this bracelet was very simple. I used Tila beads which have two holes instead of one. First, I picked up a bead.
I placed that bead behind my warp threads.
Then, I sewed through the bead in the front of the warp.
Next, I sewed through the second hole in the bead, behind the warp.
Finally, I sewed through the second hold in front of my warp.
Because these beads are so large, the weaving part is very fast (and fun!) I finished this just by tying off the ends of the silk and securing the bracelet with a nice little bow!
In total I think this took me about an hour, although I tend to do thirteen things at once so it was hard to tell. Another easy Mirrix project!