Friday, 24 June 2011

Fun & Friendship Bracelets - Mad Cow style

Grumble grumble - I've been mooching and looking and sniffing out bead project kits.

Chiefly to find some nice 'gifty type' things to stock at, but also, in a more general, nosey type way.

*sweeping generalistion alert!* I have to report that I found:
a) they're often not great value - cheap, badly finished beads is a consistent theme
b) the better quality ones are nice, but often unaffordable to mere mortals, wanting some prettiness to while away some spare time
c) more often than not, you need to buy tools & pliers. Which is fine if you're a beader already - but if you're an experienced beader, you probably don't need a ready to make kit... and if you're a beginner, it's becoming very costly to whip up that cute bracelet.

This got me thinking. Now, the obvious answer is for madcowbeads to produce a range of kits surely? Probably not - you see the small quantities you need for a kit mean that they're 'labour hungry' and this is what puts the price up. So - I decided to make a small 'thing' and set myself a challenge.

The 'thing' (finished and pictured above right) had to:

  • Need no tools - except things that a non beady person would have (like scissors)

  • Use no more than 5 different items - and each item had to cost less than £1

  • Be quick & easy to make

  • Look groovy

To save you time - I've put all the things you need together and called it 'Fun & Friendship Kit - madcowbeads style'. You can buy it by clicking here. The total cost is £3.07 and that makes a minimum of 3 bracelets, with heaps of hanger beads, grooved beads and about 5 metres of cord left over. If you buy another couple of packs of the lustrous focals here - you can get a total of 9 bracelets for less than £4. This will use up most of the things in the 'Fun & Friendship kit'

You could also add jumprings and charms - either directly to the cord, or using the loops on the hanger beads. A pack of jumprings & a bag of mixed old fashioned charms adds £3.49 to your total outlay - for 9 really different bracelets.

So - here's how to make the 'Fun & Friendship bracelet'

  • Cut 50cm of wax cord - a bit more if you like a looser fit, a bit less if you're a small person

  • Fold in half and cut so you have two pieces the same length

  • Tie both pieces together, wiggling the knot so it's about 8 cm or so from one end

  • Thread one bronze groove bead onto one cord

  • Pick up the second cord and tie a knot to secure the grooved bead - close-ish to the bead, but don't get too picky about that as if it's too close, your bracelet will be unbendy

  • Thread a hanger bead over BOTH lengths of cord

  • Tie another knot

  • Thread a large focal bead over ONE cord

  • Pick up the second cord and tie a knot to secure

  • Thread a hanger bead over BOTH lengths of cord

  • Tie another knot

  • Repeat the pattern so you end up with 2 focals, 3 grooved & 3 hanger beads, finishing with a simple knot at each end

  • Now... to make the sliding knot. I'm pretty good at explaining things, but not how to tie a double overhand knot (double fishermans knot, some call it.....) so, either find someone to show you - or teach yourself from this really handy & easy to understand picture guide here

  • Trim ends to suit

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Have just made two of the fun and friendship bracelets. I added charms to the hanger beads and they look great.I am still practising my sliding knot and don't feel very confident with it so used black elastic instead of cord