One of my favourite on-line beading stores/websites is Ornamenta, in Raleigh, NC. The cost of shipping from the US to Canada means I’ve never bought actually anything from them, but the selection is both eclectic and comprehensive. Plus, the owner sends out regular newsletters that include both ideas and tutorials. Recently, I saw a tutorial for a funky memory wire bracelet with tassels, the Guitar and Bass Bangle, designed by Erin Siegel.
I love this bracelet, but I was looking to make a birthday gift for my niece and black and gold aren’t her colours. A quick visit to my local bead store (LBS) for purple and turquoise seed beads, 1.5 mm leather cording in contrasting colours and I was in business.
I (mostly) followed the directions for Erin’s version. I used 8mm seed beads rather than charlotte beads. Had I read the directions properly before I went to my LBS, I probably would have bought suede cord. But the leader cord worked fine. Rather than cutting it into individual strips and then tying it together (missed that step in the directions too), I folded a metre-long length of leather into approximately 2 inch sections until the tassel would fit tightly into the bead cap. Tip: I tied each tassel with matching waxed linen cord from my stash and used a wooden skewer to poke the cord under the bead cap as I was glueing it (the skewer is handy for removing excess glue too). I cut the tassels to the desired length as I was finishing the bracelet (a sharp pair of scissors will help cut the leather evenly).
The rest of the bracelet came together quickly. When working with memory wire, it’s important to keep the coils in order, rather than letting them get tangled up in each other. I used about 4 coils for the bracelet and eye-balled the half-way point to add the second colour.
While the original bracelet is really striking, I think my version is fun and bright – a perfect summer bracelet. Thanks to the Birthday Girl for being such a great (and patient) hand model.