One of the better gifts I made this year was my Mother - Daughter Bracelets. My nieces fell in love with the idea that they had bracelets just like their mother's. The great thing about bracelets is that they are easy to make and that there are beads out there for just about everyone!
Items I used:
Clasp - Toggle
Flexible Measuring Tape
Semi Flush Cutters
Round Nose pliers
Bent Nose Pliers
Step 1: Measuring Wrists
The first thing I had to get was the size of the wrist for the individuals that I was making bracelets for. Most of my family live far away from me so I had them measure their wrist using a flexible measuring tape. If they didn't have that, they were able to use a piece of string or paper and measure it against a ruler to figure out their actual wrist size. For adults I added an extra 1" to 1.25" (depending on bead size I was using) and for the younger girls I added an 1/2" to 3/4". These values were their bracelet size. On worse case for those who were being difficult, I used the chart below to guess their bracelet sizes.
6-12 months 4-1/2" to 4-3/4"
1-4 years 5" to 5-1/2"
4-7 Years 5-3/4" to 6"
8-12 Years 6" to 6-1/2"
Step 2: Crimp Beads
To start the bracelet, I used a piece of beading wire and a crimp tube to make a small loop. Crimp tubes can come in a lot of different forms include ones with wire loops or different diameters for the inside of tube. The crimp tube I used were 2x1mm and made of Sterling Silver. The easiest way to crimp the tube is by using a pair of crimping pliers especially if you are going to fold the crimp tube over. I would be lost without mine!
Step 3: Add Beads and Crimp!
Here is the fun part. I like to design my bracelet patterns on the actual wire. Most people like to use bead boards instead. I strung my beads until it was the length of the actual size of the persons wrist (or a little longer). Keep in mind the larger beads (especially beads larger than 6mm) you use then the smaller the bracelet will actually be. Also the clasp will add length to the bracelet (usually at least 1/4 to 1/2 depending on the clasp size). Once done stringing the beads on, I used a crimp tube to hold the beads in place and create another loop. I like to curl my bracelet in the a loop before finally crimping the crimp tube to make sure that the beads have enough room to "move" so that they will not break or be too tight against one another.
Step 4: Add a Clasp
The last thing to do is attach the clasp. I used the jump ring to secure the clasp to the loops. Then I repeated all the steps for the smaller bracelet using smaller version of the beads that were in the adult bracelet. Finally the bracelets were all done and ready for new homes!
Step 5: Variations of the Mother Daughter Bracelets
There are a lot of different ways to do the bracelets even if someone has more than one child. I like to do the birthstone bracelets where the mother has all of her children's birthstone in her bracelet and each child gets a bracelet with their own birthstone.
If you would like to make a child bracelet that they can grow with then you can use a lobster clasp with an extension chain instead of a toggle clasp
Not ready to make a bracelet with a clasp? Try out memory wire but you will need a heavy duty pair of cutters. Memory wire bracelets are one size fits all for either adults or for children. You can get loops that are 2-1/4" or 1-3/4".
Hope you enjoy and Happy Beading!