Introduction: Stainless Bubbles (bracelet)
Hello! this is my first time here, so be gentle...and yes, I suck at photography...
This is a relatively simple bracelet I put together using stainless steel fishing swivels, 1/4 inch stainless double rings, bailing wire, glass crackle beads, a large lobster claw clasp and a carved bone fish pendant. For tools, you'll need one or two pairs of needle nose pliers, pair of wire cutters, and a 'ring spreader object' (I tend to use either a push pin and/or a guage spreader). You don't need a fancy 'bead board' - just use a tea towel, it stops escaping beads just fine.
First you'll need to find good quality fishing swivels - brass and stainless work the best because the oils in your skin can eat the coating off the blackened and plated swivels (they'll still look good if you wear them sparingly). I got my stainless swivels off of ebay, but brass swivels can be found everywhere.
I had thought of using a snap swivel as a clasp, but there was some concern that sharp wire ends might scratch you while you are wearing it. (Somehow, I don't imagine that many fishermen care that Mr.Fish is experiencing mild discomfort before the boning knife goes through him.)
I recommend using double rings instead of normal jump rings because of their added strength. You are much less likely to have your bracelet/necklace come apart if it gets snagged on something. (By this same token, be sure you make your necklaces long enough to escape or include a breakaway clasp so you don't choke.)
I have a spool of stainless bailing wire from my father's tool shed - so the wire is probably older than I am... The short of it is: I have no idea what the brand is, but it's stiff and about 18-20ga if I had to guess.
You'll need the wire to make the beaded links of the bracelet. You can use any beads that will thread onto the wire - I've even made a few necklaces with some cool pewter skulls I had found (I floated a red glass bead insides the skulls so you could see the reddish color through the eye sockets).
Using the pliers, make a loop for the link connections on one end and then wrap the tail of the wire at least twice around to keep it secure. Flip the link over and slide your beads into place, then make a matching loop out of the remaining exposed wire on the other side. Clip any wire tails as close to the wrap as you can and use the pliers to tuck sharp edges away. Links can be as long and have as many beads as you want - but I recommend keeping it relatively short since you want the links to lay smoothly around your neck.
Make as many or as few beaded links as you want in your design and then use the 'ring spreading object' to help you force the double rings open enough to connect pairs of links/swivels to your desired length.
Use the double rings to connect the clasp to the bracelet. If your lobster claw clasp is just the claw part and doesn't include a tab to clip onto, just use a double ring on the other side to make it easy to put on. If you are using this technique to make a necklace and it's too short - you can always add a clasp chain to the one side for the lobster claw to clip to (this also helps if you're making stuff for kids as they grow).
Once the bracelet itself is complete, you can use a four inch length of wire to make a link for your charm (my bone fish!). This link should be wrapped in much the same manner as the beaded links. I connected mine to the double ring that also is attached to the lobster claw (make the wrapped charm seperately and then use the spreader to add it to the existing bracelet link of your choice).
That's all there is to it! just don't forget to take your required kitty break.
I also included a photo of a necklace I made using the same process (I donated it to a local charity auction).
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