Like many beaders I stalk my local bead shop (online mostly) for any new and exciting beads to play with. I knew when I saw the new Swarovski Be-Charmed charms that I would soon be using them in a project. Also, however cute the others are, it had to be the cat charm for the nod to Halloween I wanted in this bracelet.
Not content with simply adding it to a length of chain and calling it done (absolutely nothing wrong with that btw) I wanted to find a way of beadweaving a charm bracelet because, quite simply, I love beadweaving.
How To Make A Beadweaving Charm Bracelet
You will need –
- Beading thread – I used Wild Fire in Grey 0.15mm
- 2 x Beading needles
- Size 11 Seed Beads in Iridescent Purple
- Size 8 Seed Beads in Iridescent Purple
- True 2 Pastel Purple Czech Faceted Glass beads
- 29 x 3mm Swarovski Pearl in Black (they are more like a very dark grey)
- 11 x 6mm Swarovski 5000 Faceted Fire Opal Beads
- 1 x Swarovski Cat Charm in Dark Grey
- 1 x Beadalon Small Round Quick Link
- 3 x 6mm Silver Plated Jump Rings
- 2 x Head pins (Optional)
- 1 x Silver Plated Toggle Clasp
- Cut an arm span length of beading thread, add a needle to one end and pick up the quick link. Leaving yourself a tail thread (about 7″ at the end without a needle. This will be weaved in later) take the needle through the link. Pick up 1 size 11 seed bead and take the needle through the link again (it’s like wrapping the thread around the link but with a bead on the top). Take the needle through the seed bead again and pull the thread tight.
2. With your needle and thread exiting out of the seed bead pick up another size 11.
3. Take the needle down through the link and back up through the newly added seed bead.
4. Continue with steps 2 and 3 all to add beads all around the quick link. Once the last bead has been added as in step 3 take the needle back down into the first bead we added in step 1. This closes up the circle.
5. Knot the thread by taking the needle and thread back around the beads, knotting before you pull up into the beads. This sounds a little complicated but is easier in reality – On each thread going around the link and into the bead add a small knot around the thread going up into the beads. The knot will disappear into the bead as you pull the needle through and give a neat finish. I did some of the quick link with my main beading thread and then finished off the rest with the tail thread. Cut off any excess thread.
If you are not sure how to know beadweaving threads then I explain the process a little at the bottom of this post.
6. Put your finished quick link to one side for a minute and cut of another arm span of thread. This time add a beading needle to each end. Thread on half of your clasp on and move it down to the middle of the beading thread. Take both needles through one size 8 seed bead and then on each needle pick up 1 size 11, 1 purple faceted bead, followed by another size 11.
7. Take both needles again into 1 size 8 seed bead and then pick up 1 size 11, 1 faceted purple and 1 size 11. On one needle only pick up a 6mm faceted fire opal bead.
8. Take the other needle through the same 6mm bead from the side where the other thread exited. Pull the threads tight and they will force the bead to sit with the hole side ways.
9. On each needle pick up 1 size 11, 1 faceted purple and 1 size 11.
10. Take both needle through 1 3mm pearl.
11. Pick up the beads as shown (the same as in step 7) and continue with steps 7 – 10 until there are 5 6mm fire opal beads added.
12. Once the 5th 6mm fire opal is added pick up 1 size 11, 1 faceted purple and 1 size 11 on each needle. Then, pass both needles through 1 size 8 seed bead.
13. Take both needles through 13 size 11 seed beads.
14. Take both needles through the beaded quick link and then back through the size 8 seed bead. This will pull the size 11 seed beads to form a loop around the quick link.
15. Take the needles through the size 11, faceted purple bead and size 11, one needle per side, and pick up a grey pearl, 1 per side.
16. Take the needles through the next size 11 along on each side. This will make the pearl fill the gap between the beadwork above the 6mm bead.
17. From there, on each side, pick up 1 size 8, 2 faceted purple beads and another 1 size 8 seed bead and take the needles into the next size 11 along. This will form a beaded bridge above the other beadwork.
18. Repeat steps 15 – 17 all the way down the beadwork until you reach the other end.
19. Take the needles up through the remaining beads to reach the clasp. Take the thread back through the clasp loop to reinforce it and then move back down through the beadwork, knotting as you go. Cut off any excess thread.
20. Repeat steps 6 – 19 all over again with the other half of the clasp.
21. Use a jump ring to attach your cat charm onto the beaded quick link. As added decoration thread some beads onto two headpins and turn loops. Use jump rings to add them on either side of your cat charm.
The finished bracelet will be just over 7.5″ long.
You could of course give the beaded quick link and charms a miss and just continue the beadwork all the way down the length of the bracelet for a super simple but effective piece of jewellery.
These colours and cat charm just say Halloween to me but this bracelet is very wearable all year round. If purple and orange and cat charms are not you them feel free to change the colours and add more relevant charms to suit your personality.
As ever, if you have enjoyed this then have a quick look around my other beadweaving tutorials that I have available – some even have YouTube videos with them because it’s sometimes easier to watch a video than it is to follow what I have written!
Don’t forget to tag me @theartisanduck on Facebook or Instagram if you have made any of my projects and are sharing them. I would love to see.