Be As Fancy As You Wanna Be: Make Wire and Gemstone Crown Cuff Bracelets
Princess, Queen, or Wonder Woman? Make Wire Crown Cuff Bracelets and Find Out!
I think I’ve been waiting for this day since I became the editor of Jewelry Making Daily. I admit to being a wee bit fascinated by royalty, especially their crown jewels, and I’m particularly passionate about crowns and tiaras. It’s best if I don’t tell you how many crowns and tiaras I may or may not have, made of wire or metal and gemstones or seashells or paper or twigs or any combination of the above.
Now Janice Berkebile has a video that teaches us how to give basic wire the royal treatment and make our own crown cuff bracelets! Naturally my inner princess is all aflutter and I’ve already started planning which gemstones I want in my new crowns after watching Crown Cuff with Janice Berkebile.
Janice modeled her crown cuff bracelets after life-size crowns she made for a friend’s wedding. (She shows the life-size crowns in the video and explains they’re made the same way, with heavier gauge wire.) Her crown cuffs are made of silver wire and genuine gemstones–as is befitting your own personal crown jewels–but you can also make more budget-friendly versions using silverplated wire (or brass if you prefer the look of yellow gold) and any beads you like.
Use Argentium wire if you want your crown cuff to remain bright and shiny without your lady-in-waiting having to polish it all the time. Brass wire and clear crystal beads (perhaps with some pearls, yes?) would make a beautiful bridal tiara or crown cuff fit for the prettiest princess or commoner in all the land! Since Mardi Gras is just a few weeks away, I can’t help but imagine a Mardi Gras design using brass wire for the main structure, purple and green anodized aluminum wire coils, and purple, green, and gold crystals. Amethyst, peridot, and citrine gemstone beads would be truly decadent and appropriate for Mardi Gras celebrations.
If your inner princess grew up as a tomboy who excelled at sword fighting and made the knights think twice before pulling her braids, try steel wire and dark or black beads. And if you’re feeling a little less like a princess and a little more like Wonder Woman, activate your superpower self with brass wire and red and blue beads. Turn the wire wraps and coils into green wire vines and add some leaf-shaped beads for a fairytale princess style, or use all the colors of wire and gems and beads you like if you’re feeling more like a gypsy queen. I love how versatile Janice’s crown cuff design can be, going from sweet and royal princess to butt-kicking bad girl (and everything in between) with the simple swap of some materials. And as Janice says in the video, “You can be as fancy as you wanna be!”
Janice’s video also has many little bonus lessons about working with wire and gemstones. For example, she wants a true circle at the center of her wire spirals, not a teardrop, so she shows how to modify the end of the wire to achieve the round circle. You’ll learn basic and not-so-basic tips and techniques for working with heavy-gauge wire, creating perfectly round wire spirals, hammering to texture and flatten wire, wire coiling, attaching gemstones and other wire components to a wire frame using a basketweave technique, squaring a round wire, adding patina, and more.
Once you’ve mastered the wire crown structure that Janice shows in her video, you can modify the size of the cuff bracelets as well, making tiara cuff bracelets for your little princess and a matching full-size one for you–then supersize them both to make real tiaras. Look out, Disney, there are going to be a lot more princesses in the land soon!