Beaded Jewelry: 7 Ways to Get the Bohemian Look Now!
Do you love the layered look? Layered bracelets became all the rage a few years back, and I don’t know about you, but they’re still my favorite go-to accessory. And layers of dainty chain necklaces have been made popular by celebrities and millennials alike. But what do these looks have in common, and how do they influence the accessories we choose to make and wear? Layered jewelry, flowy or ruffled clothing, and a carefree attitude are all representative of the popular Bohemian style that’s easier to pull off than you may think it is.
The term Bohemian is used to convey a relaxed, free-spirited style and attitude. And with the popularity of the Coachella music festival in recent years we’ve seen a resurgence of the Bohemian look in fashion and in jewelry. And though there are no hard and fast rules for achieving the Boho look, here are a few tips for getting the look by choosing the right accessories.
1. Use earthy and natural colors.
Create jewelry that uses colors found in nature, like the chartreuse green and sky blues found in Jamie Hogsett’s Bohemian Revolutions Bracelet shown here. Jamie formed rounds of circular square stitch in a muted palette of seed beads, then joined them together for a modern bracelet design.
2. Add feathers, arrows, or chevron motifs.
You’ve seen feathers, arrows, and chevrons all over the place—from headbands, handbags, and shoes, to T-shirts and home décor items. I don’t see this trend going away any time soon! And the epitome of Boho style seems to embrace one or more of these fun motifs. Whip up a pair of the Swinging Chevron Earrings by Sue Neel using tubular peyote stitch in any combination of colors to suit your taste and your wardrobe!
3. Layer multiple necklaces or bracelets.
Layers! As mentioned before, it’s all about the layers! Pile on the bracelets or necklaces and see what looks good together. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Mix up leather cuffs with metal bangles, or combine charm bracelets with braided wraps. Start with a long chain necklace in bronze or gold, then add shorter necklaces with fringe or charms. I’m dying to make the Arizona Sunrise Bracelet by Venetia Perry (seen above) and then layering it with a few of my gold bangles and a wrap bracelet or two.
4. Make a choker-length necklace.
Cindy Kinerson’s Cellini Slide Necklace would make a fabulous Bohemian choker! This pattern applies the Cellini spiral technique, a tubular peyote stitch variation, in a beautiful combination of orange, green, turquoise, and copper seed beads on braided leather cord. Adjust the size of the leather as you wish.
5. Pair a statement necklace with a basic solid top.
Transform a basic solid-colored top into a Boho look by adding a statement piece with a pattern. Exhibit “A”: the Modern Mandalas Necklace by Beth A. Moser, which I am absolutely, unabashedly head-over-heels in love with. And though it may appear intricate at first glance, it’s actually much easier to make than it looks. Take a few sizes of brass filigree links, then add some good old-fashioned embroidery and a bit of bead embroidery in any colors you choose. Finish off with a brick-stitch edging, and voilà—you’ve got yourself one fabulous statement necklace!
6. Design with bright colors and patterns.
This one is a bit like number five. Transform any solid-colored outfit by pairing it with accessories in fun colors and patterns. The Inca Gold Bracelet by Carole E. Hanley would look lovely paired with a solid top, a flowy skirt, and some ankle boots. Add in some long and short gold necklaces and your chevron earrings, and BOOM — your look is complete!
7. Use nature motifs.
Adding butterfly or animal charms and floral motifs to your jewelry is another surefire way to get the Boho look. I love Christine Wilson’s Bohemian Rhapsody cuff, with its swirly floral fabric, embellished cabochon, and of course, a pretty laced-ribbon closure to tie it all off. Use a combination of bead embroidery, tubular peyote, and brick-stitch edging to create a show-stopping cuff using your favorite floral fabric.
You can also add a few other elements to your jewelry or outfit, like tassels and fringe. Remember, the Bohemian look is all about expressing your own individuality by combining styles, experimenting, and having fun! So unleash your inner artist, free spirit, and vagabond and try the Bohemian look for yourself!
Get all of these patterns and more in the new pattern collection, Beadwork Presents: 8 DIY Patterns for Bohemian Jewelry.
Incorporate the Bohemian look into your warobe, today!