Making your own jewelry and accessories can be a highly rewarding and highly relaxing form of recreation, as well as a nice way to earn a little bit of funding for your projects from time to time. Whatever your motivation may be, whether personal accessorizing or professional craft, there are several ways to create beautifully unique, pendant-centered pieces of jewelry that will attract loads of positive attention and interest.
Step One: Supplies
The whole beauty about working with pendants is that your options are wide open. You can make a bracelet, an anklet, or even a necklace with a pendant. Each one needs a different basic material (either chain, hemp, or cord), all of which pendants work easily with.
For this how-to, I’ll be focusing on making bracelets with pendants, though the guide can be easily modified by substituting a different material and changing the general measurements.
To make your own pendant-centered bracelet, you will need beading cord, your choice of various beads and, of course, whatever pendant you have in mind.
For beading cord I prefer Stretch Magic in 1mm diameter, but anything between .7mm and 1mm will work satisfactorily. This can be found at any craft store like Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft.
I encourage beads in the creation of your jewelry because they, for one, fill the space of the bracelet, but they also counterbalance and complement the beauty of whatever pendant you choose to include. Beads come very cheap and your local bead shop or craft store boasts a trove of beads in varying colors, shapes, sizes and prices. I encourage you to peruse the shop closest to you and find those beads that strike out at you and complement the pendant chosen to be included in your jewelry.
For pendants, making jewelry can be a great way of putting a pendant that you’ve had lying around to use. I know I have a growing collection of pendants from necklaces and other sources that have broken, but the pendants are still good and just need to be put onto a new piece of jewelry. It’s resourceful to put those old pendants to use, but if that isn’t your situation, you can just as easily go out and buy a pendant. Jewelry stores and craft stores always have interesting offerings as far as pendants go.
Step Two: Measuring
Measuring is hardly a step, in that you don’t need to literally measure the cord before you cut it from the spool, but just eyeball the length. The Stretch Magic cord is resilient and stretchy, which is preferable in making bracelets with pendants because you can easily slip it on and off, and the weight of the pendant won’t outdo and eventually snap the cord. Just give yourself cord measuring about twice the circumference of your wrist, to start off. You can trim the excess off at the end.
Step Three: Arranging and Placing the Pendant and Beads
When it comes to actually putting your jewelry together, a lot of people like to dive right in and put the beads and pendant on the cord straightaway. I actually prefer to pre-arrange the beads and pendant in a line, though, as this allows me to find out what works and what doesn’t and fix it without having to completely disturb the arrangement.
Typically, the best way to arrange your bracelet is to put the pendant in the center and let the beads surround it symmetrically. This is the way I prefer my jewelry; it emphasizes the pendant’s prominence but also allows the beads to enhance the entire bracelet’s beauty.
So, start with your pendant, and then, out of your selection of beads, begin to place them around the pendant. Again, symmetry is an artistic aesthetic that tends to work well with bracelets and jewelry, so think symmetrically. Whatever you do on one side of the pendant do on the other.
Proceed in this manner until you have between 4 and 8 inches of beads in length (depending on your wrist size). The goal is to have the beads scrunch together compactly once you are all done. Ideally, you wouldn’t want any gaps in the bracelet, so put enough beads into the bracelet to comfortably wrap your wrist without stretching. For example, for me (with a wrist circumference of about 9 inches), it takes about 30 beads plus the pendant to ideally fill the jewelry. So, arrange and place the pendant and beads accordingly, fitting to your own wrist.
Step Four: Tying and Trimming
Once you have the beads and pendant arranged and placed on the Stretch Magic cord to your satisfaction, it’s time to tie it up and secure it. You should have plenty of excess, even after the beads and pendant are put on, so grab the two loose ends and tie them in a simple knot, the same knot you would tie when you begin tying your shoe laces. Just the simple cross over, cross under, and pull tight. The knot will naturally tie down to the beads, making the bracelet ideally tight and compact. Repeat this tie at least three times, pulling it tight each time. This will guarantee that it doesn’t come loose at some point.
After that, cut the excess cord off the knot and, if you want, add a dot of hot glue on the knot to secure it further. Wait for the glue to cool, and you’re done. Enjoy your new bracelet and enjoy all the comments you’ll get on your homemade accessory, with your prized pendant dangling proudly.