Monday, December 19, 2011

Another cuff.....

another tutorial! "How to Cover a Bracelet Blank". Are you ready?

Okay! I started off with this strip of 3-drop peyote, but you could start with anything, really. Fabric, bead embroidery...whatever. Measure your blank! You want to give yourself some room (1/8 to 1/4 inch on all sides is good) for stitching later...better too big than too small!

The color changes or blending that you see are fairly simple to achieve. As you can see by the tail, I start with the center color. I work that one for a while, then I make a mix of mostly the first color (bronze) and a few of the second color (turquoise). Work that for a bit, then make a second mix of a bit of the first color (bronze) and more of the second color (turquoise). Work that mix for a bit, then switch to all of the second color (turquoise). Work the turquoise until you are at the end of your bracelet blank, with the first color (bronze) landing in the center. Then we switch to the other end of the strip, and do the same sequence of mixes but with the third color (purple). First mostly bronze with a little purple, then switch to mostly purple with a little bronze mix, then all purple. It looks nicely blended, but if you got out a ruler and examined it closely, you could tell where the switches are. But no one is going to do that with your bracelet, so no worries :)

When your top piece is ready, you'll need a strip of interfacing, Lacy's Stiff Stuff....whatever. I do carry the interfacing that I have dyed to this neutral gray if you need some. Make the strip a bit bigger than your top finished piece. We are going to glue the strip of peyote to the interfacing. Just a light layer of E6000 will do the trick....put on too much and you'll have it oozing out the beads. Yuck!

When you have the piece glued down, give it a stretch over your bracelet blank, and hold it in place with clothes pins. Don't be afraid to pull just a bit. You don't want it to be wrinkly.

At this point, it is only glued down to the interfacing! Not the bracelet blank. When it's sat for a good half hour or so, un-clip it and it should curl a bit in this shape:

Now you can carefully cut the interfacing away. Be sure not to cut any of your threads! Then...glue it to the bracelet blank, and hold it with clothes pins. And more waiting.....

I am going to mention here that the glue is simply a method to hold the pieces in place. We're going to stitch it all together here in a minute. When that has set for a half hour or so, glue the leather onto the back of the bracelet blank:

And more waiting :) I usually use black leather, but in this case I went with a nice tan. (I also carry leather pieces if you need that :)) When that has set, trim away the leather. Be sure you are not right against the edge of the metal! You won't be able to sew it properly if you are. I like to give myself about 1/8 to 1/4 inch on all sides.

You're left with this:

Starting to look like a bracelet now, right?

Now comes the fun part. (Not really.) Sewing. Leather can be tricky. Get a stronger needle and a thimble. And maybe some pliers to pull the needle through the leather. You could use ultrasuede, but I much prefer the leather.

Do a little picot all the way around. If you do not know the stitch, you can Google it for some really great tutorials.

When stitching, make sure you get the beaded front, the interfacing and the leather. Take a good bit out of the piece with your needle.

Yes, I use black thread for everything. I don't mind seeing the stitches. My grandmother was a quilter....I think it adds a nice "I made this with my own two hands, one stitch at a time" quality that you just cannot get with mass-produced items. When you have gone all the way around with your're finished!

I have about 6 hours or so invested in this cuff.

Well worth it, don't you think?

Hope you like my little tutorial. If you have any questions, e-mail me! I am always here to help. Now I need to go make some beads!!!


Anonymous said...


Anne said...

I just love the idea.......and the choice for colors is perfect!
Thanks for this great tuto!

Anonymous said...

Totally awesome! I've done this with bead embroidery, but it never occurred to me that a strip of peyote could look so fabulous!

Sally Anderson said...

I love everything about this tutorial -- that you've made the whole thing so possible for me to do; that you used gorgeous beads; that your design is fantastic! I love it all! Thank you!

Pearl Blay said...

Your peyote strip is just awesome! Love the colors you used and how you used it.

lai said...

Great tutorial!! Also love the design. I recently made my first cuff bracelet from different instructions and was disappointed with all the ridges. Next time I will try yours. Thanks!

vs said...

Cool design. Love it lots. Thank you.

Jeanne Zimmermna said...

Thank you so much. I am gong to assume that this can be put on a metal cuff blank also? Although what if you don't want to cover the inside of the metal blank, what would you do in that case? Kinda stumped with this issue. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Carla said...

I think everyone has already said it all but I'll say it again. This is awesome and I can't wait to try it!

Mary Spicer said...

This is just what i have been searching for. As a newbie to beading in general I have been looking for different ways to finish any bracelets I have planned and your tutorial fits perfectly. Thank you sooooo much.