Katie's Craft Corner: Chain bracelets

Mixtures of style, texture and size are all ways to make jewelry more interesting. A chain-link bracelet threaded with satin ribbon and chunky pearls makes the most of a ladylike and trendy juxtaposition.

This bracelet will take about 15 minutes to make, and the supplies at the craft store will make lots of bracelets. The medium-size chain link retails for about $3, the beads around $2.50 and the ribbon $1.50 – a great deal that allows you to have a “signature gift” to give your friends for birthdays or even to sell for fundraisers.

Find the chain in the jewelry making aisle at a craft store like Michael’s, or even try a hardware store, especially if you want a thicker chain. If going the hardware store route, be sure to get a safe metal, like stainless steel (many metals contain nickel, zinc and lead which run the gamut from skin
irritation to dangerous skin conditions).

There’s lots of room for variation with this project. Try silver, gold or rose gold chains in various sizes (thick chain with a thick ribbon is cool and bold), leather cord or raffia instead of the ribbon or crystal beads instead of the pearls.

Make this a charm bracelet easily by using pliers to separate links to add in a dangling charm. Look online for interesting beads and charms – Etsy has very cool handcrafted pieces, and Fire Mountain Gems sells large quantities of beads and other jewelry supplies so you can stock up.

How many times you weave the ribbon through the links determines how far apart the beads are spaced. Make fewer weaves to space beads closer together.

You’ll need:

enough chain to fit comfortably around your wrist (to cut chain, use needle-nosed pliers to pull a
link apart – you’ll see a little seam where the link was pushed closed)

piece of ¼ inch wide ribbon 6 inches longer than chain

assortment of wide-holed beads, such as pearls

embroidery needle with wide eye

Project steps:

Thread ribbon through eye of needle. Tie end of ribbon to end of chain, leaving a 3 inch tail. Using a back-and-forth motion, weave ribbon through desired number of chain links. Thread bead onto needle with ribbon and firmly slide it up against chain. Feed ribbon through next desired amount of links and thread on another bead. Repeat to end of chain and tie ribbon onto last link. Tie ribbon ends together in a bow, adding a drop of fabric glue if desired to really secure the bow.

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