Seed Bead Bracelet Making Project: Adding Seed Beads to DIY Crystal Cup Chain

One of my favorite finds at this year’s Bead Fest Philadelphia is this fun DIY crystal chaton bracelet-making projects from Sew On Crystals. I purchased two of them, one in vintage opaque colors that reminded me of something I might find in my grandmother’s jewelry box, and a second bracelet in deep, rich jewel tones that I can wear all through the fall and winter.

While I was choosing colors for my second bracelet and talking about these fun projects with a colleague, she suggested that one could easily add seed beads to these bracelets! The thought was intriguing: I’ve yet to add crystal cup chain to my bead embroidery projects, but maybe this would be a fun way for me to experiment with adding seed beads to crystal chain?

I decided to capture my crystal chaton bracelet with two layers of right-angle weave, no doubt influenced by the jewelry I saw portrayed in a BBC documentary about Hampton Court Palace, the favored residence of King Henry VIII. The elaborate jewels and clothing inspired me to add some heft to this lovely crystal bracelet, and I wasn’t disappointed with the results.

Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet by adding seed beads to a DIY crystal cup chain in this exclusive beading blog that contains step-by-step instructions and more!

Materials:

  • 1 Sew On Crystals DIY crystal chaton bracelet
  • 15 grams size 11 seed beads in color to match or contrast with bracelet
  • 6 lb. test braided beading thread in color to match seed beads

Tools:

  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors or thread cutter
  • Chain-nose or flat-nose pliers (Optional, but useful for pulling needle through tight spaces)

Step-by-step instructions:

Before you get started, I recommend using as long a length of beading thread as you’re comfortable with, or about 8 feet. I found it difficult to add new thread as I was stitching the right-angle weave layers on the back and front of the crystal bracelet.

To get started, pick up 24 seed beads and pass through all of them again to form a loop. Pass through the first 6 beads strung. Because some seed beads may be different sizes depending on manufacturer or finish, check to make sure this unit will fit around one of the crystals on your bracelet.

If you need to adjust the number of beads, make sure you have a number divisible by 4 so that you’ll have the same number of beads on each side of your right-angle weave units.

Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet with this step-by-step tutorial: Step 1.
Continue to stitch in right-angle weave, adding 3 sides (or 18 beads, if you’re using 6 beads per side) to each unit until you have a total of 16 units, one for each crystal in your bracelet. Place the right-angle weave over the top of the crystal bracelet, gently snugging those seed beads down between each crystal.
Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet with this step-by-step tutorial: Step 2.
After you’ve added the last unit, work your thread so that you are exiting the 6 beads on the outer “wall” of the last right-angle weave unit. You’ll now be in position to add a series of bars across the back of the bracelet to secure the beadwork.

Pick up 8 seed beads, and pass through the same 6 beads that you exited in the last step. Your beads should form a little loop around the clasp end of your bracelet.

Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet with this step-by-step tutorial: Step 3.
Weave through the right-angle weave base until you exit the next 6 “in between” beads around the chain of the bracelet. Pick up 8 beads and pass through 6 beads to form another little loop or bar around the back of the bracelet.

Repeat until you have worked your way down the whole bracelet for a total of 17 loops.

Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet with this step-by-step tutorial: Step 4.
To connect the loops and make frames along the back of your bracelet, stitch through the first 7 beads of the first loop. Pick up 6 beads. Skip the first bead of the next loop, and pass through the next 6 beads.
Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet with this step-by-step tutorial: Step 5.
Pick up 6 beads. Skip the first bead in the loop that you exited at the beginning of the previous step, and pass through the next 6 beads.
Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet with this step-by-step tutorial: Step 6.
To get into position to connect the next two loops, weave through the beadwork, and pass through the first 7 beads of the next empty loop.

Repeat until you’ve created little frames around the back of each crystal in the bracelet.

Learn how to make a seed bead bracelet with this step-by-step tutorial: Step 7.
Once you’ve framed the backs of the crystals in the bracelet, flip the bracelet over, and add 8-bead loops to the front of the bracelet, connecting them in the same manner as you did on the back.

If you had to change the number of beads in each side of your right-angle weave units, make your loops by adding the number of beads you used for each side of your units plus 2 beads. (So, if you used 8 beads per side, you’d pick up 10 beads for each loop.)

Adding seed beads to this DIY crystal chaton bracelet-making project resulted in a substantial piece of beaded jewelry that feels wonderful on my wrist! I can’t wait to get my hands on another one of these bracelets so that I can continue to experiment with adding seed beads to finished jewelry! After the seed beads were added, the bracelet was slightly less flexible, but still curved elegantly around my wrist, almost like a bangle bracelet.


Want more great bracelet-making projects? Check out the October/November issue of Beadwork magazine. You’ll find innovative and artistic bracelet-making projects using all your favorite beads and beading stitches, fun projects from the Designers Of the Year, plus new products, book reviews, and artist profiles! Subscribe to Beadwork magazine today and don’t miss out on the evolution of beading and jewelry-making!

Do you have a favorite way to incorporate ready-made or finished jewelry into your beading projects? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

Learn how to make bracelets the right way in this free seed bead bracelet tutorial as well as in the exclusive beading magazine Beadwork!

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