Do you ever plan your jewelry projects around a particular component or tool? I definitely do.
Today, I made a triple strand moonstone bracelet. I've been dying to use more of these moonstones - but mostly, I need to test out the holding power of crimps secured using my new Om Tara Crimp Pliers.
And there's one more thing.
I love these triangle multi-strand connectors. I'm a little disappointed, because I could have sworn I bought them at Fire Mountain Gems - but I just checked my orders and I can't find them. That means I got them at the swap meet last weekend. Ugh - I probably can't get any more! They are so simple and pretty - and right away I thought they would be perfect to join a bracelet and for drop earrings.
So, I decide I am going to make this triple strand bracelet (free tutorial), use my new Om Tara crimper pliers, wear the bracelet everyday, all day and see how well the crimps hold. Yes - very scientific.
I haven't done any bead stringing in quite a while, so I got to dust off all sorts of things in my garage. The little bead springs to hold the strands in place are from Harbor Freight Tools - one of my favorite place to buy jewelry making tools.
And then there's the bead board. Even my daughter just walked through the kitchen and said she hasn't seen one of them in ages!
Since I'm out of practice with stringing anyway - I decide to pretty much stick with the pattern of the beads like they are on the strands when I bought them. I do this fairly often. If it's good enough to make you buy the strand - it should be good enough to make someone buy the bracelet - no? Especially after you swap in some nicer beads for the so-so ones? You can poke holes at my theory of basic bead stringing - but sometimes I think it works.
So, here's the thing about this bracelet. I did a lot of things right, but I also purposely did a few things wrong.
I didn't use the right size crimps (they are larger than suggested), I used beadalon silver plated crimps, which many people swear are less durable than sterling silver because they are more prone to cracking. And I didn't fold my crimps - which I'm not sure matters.
And last - I didn't use crimp covers - which I pretty much always do. I want to see how the crimps are holding during my wear test.
Luckily, I really like the bracelet because I'm hoping it will hold for a long time and that's how long I'll be wearing it.
The bead strands are parallel, not twisted, but by giving the bracelet a twist before I clasp it, it gets this layered, twisted look. Very cool!
The bottom (turned to the top of my wrist), is really pretty with a flat profile. I looooove that since it means it won't hurt my wrist while I am writing or typing.
So, there you have it. My multi-strand bracelet with six crimps that I will use to test my new crimp pliers.
As far as making the bracelet goes - it was definitely easier to make using the Om Tara Crimper. I didn't worry about the size of the crimp, the beading wires crossing inside the crimp, folding the crimp, covering the crimp - and I've got to say - the crimps aren't bothering me being uncovered. They look neat enough (a big surprise).
Will the crimps hold? How long will they hold? Stay tuned!!
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