Monday, 30 November 2015

Adjustable Sliding Knot Bracelet

A simple adjustable bracelet might keep your most meaningful memories right on your wrist. I made this adjustable bracelet with a cowrie shell focal bead. I found this cowrie shell at the Pangkor Island Beach some times ago. The lengthwise opening and the broken domed side of the shell happen to turn it into a natural focal bead. If you have many seashells in hand, try to choose the shell with a naturally-made hole or you have to drill the hole with a driller. Today, I'm going to show you how to tie sliding knots to make an adjustable bracelet.

1. cowrie shell focal bead (or other seashell with hole)
2. two cords / twines in different colors (same length)

Before we start making the bracelet, we have to determine the length of the cords. Measure the length of the desired length of your finished bracelet and double it (add more inches if you want more margin to slide the knots closely to the focal bead). Cut two cords in different colors and the two cords should have the same length.

Step 1. Pick the yellow cord and fold the cord in half at the midpoint and insert the fold through the hole of the cowrie shell.
Step 2. Bring the two cord ends through the fold and pull the cord ends until the head knot snug to the right of the focal bead.
Step 3. Repeat the steps to tie the green cord at the opposite side.
Now you should have two cords (yellow and green) in the left and right of the shell respectively.

Step 4. Line up the yellow and green cord ends side by side. Measure 3" from the yellow cord ends, fold it back on itself and underneath the other cords as shown in the photo number 4.
Step 5. Coil the ends around the two parallel cords 2 -3 times.
Step 6. Thread the yellow cord ends through the loops and draw the ends out completely.

 Step 7. Pull the yellow cord tight. The first sliding knot is done.

 Step 8.& 9. Repeat on the other side with the same method. Then, trim the ends. You can trim the ends to a desired length for certain styling purposes.

This is my finished cowrie shell bracelet.

A simple adjustable cowrie shell bracelet is so easy to make and it can fit almost every wrist!!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

How to Make a Paper Bead

Beads can be used for various types of artworks or crafts, so did the paper beads. Have you ever thought of making bracelet, necklace, beaded curtain or other crafts from paper beads? You might think that the paper beads are not durable.Yes, it is not so durable if you compare them with the wooden beads, stone beads, or plastic beads. Anyway, you can make the paper bead more sturdier by adding some paint or polish over the surface. You'd be surprised that some strips of rolled-up paper can create a series of fashionable and decorative crafts.

Usually, we use recycled paper such as old magazine pages, old calendars, leftover pieces of wrapping paper and etc to create colorful paper beads. To me, I like to making paper beads with old magazine pages. Let's go through the step-by-step instruction below.

1. magazine page
2. wooden toothpick
3. glue
4. clear nail polish (optional

Paper Strip Pattern 

[ click here to download the paper strip pattern ]
Step 1 : Draw the paper strip pattern on the paper. The picture above is an example of the pattern (long isosceles triangles). I marked a line of dots on the top and bottom edge of the paper before I drew the whole pattern. The dots should be evenly spaced apart. I made the dots 1cm apart but you can use your desired measurement. Connect the first dot at the top and the first dot at the bottom with a straight line, then, connect the first dot at the top and the third dot at the bottom to create a long isosceles triangle, after that connect the third dot at the top and the third dot at the bottom to create the second isosceles triangle and so on. Continue your drawing by referring to the example above until you have the desired number of triangles to cut out. By following the example above, you can make 20 strips and each strip can create a bead in 2cm long if you are using a piece of A4 size paper. Please excuse my poor computer artistry, you can probably draw up a better image. Anyway, you can download this pattern for your own use if you think it is useful.

**note : The area with brown color is the unwanted area.

Step 2 : Carefully cut out the strips.

Step 3 : Roll the wide edge of the paper strip over the toothpick. Continue rolling the paper strip around the toothpick. Try to keep the paper snug to the toothpick and the both sides even. 

Step 4 : Once you reach where about 2" from the end of the strip, apply some glue on the whole skinny part and continue rolling.

Step 5: After the bead is dry, you can use any kind of varnish or polish to coat the bead before you take it off the toothpick. This is the optional step. Usually, I use the clear nail polish to coat the bead and let it dry in somewhere it won't get stuck on anything for about an hour's time. When the coating is dry, remove the bead from the toothpick. Done.

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