Sunday, July 23, 2017
My grandmother had a ring with her children's birthstones on it and I always thought it was such a beautiful way to represent your loved ones in a piece of jewelry. Now that I have kids, I wanted to make myself a piece of jewelry with my birthstone and theirs. I decided to add beads in the birthstone colors to my favorite style of woven friendship bracelet, and I'm very pleased with the results.
You can make this bracelet for yourself, your mother, your friend, or anyone else who has kids or grandchildren. It would make a wonderful Mothers' Day, birthday, or Christmas gift. Since this bracelet has seven strings, you can use up to seven different colors. If you don't want to match the strings to the birthstones the way that I did, you could do as many beads as you like, just put more than one on a string.
I used three birthstone colors (mine plus two kids') and matched three strings to my beads. I used a silvery grey string for the four other strings. Here's a list of months/birthstones/colors for you to reference.
January = garnet = red
February = amethyst = purple
March = aquamarine = light blue
April = diamond = colorless
May = emerald = green
June = pearl = white
July = ruby = red
August = peridot = olive green
September = sapphire = royal blue
October = opal = colorless, white, yellow, red, orange, green, brown, black, blue, pink
November = topaz = brown/dark yellow
December = turquoise = turquoise/teal
- 7 strands of embroidery floss (or similar string) that are 26" long (or longer if you're adding more than 5 beads, you'll need the extra length for the knots)
- a circle of cardboard approximately 3" in diameter
1. Start with the beads and matching colored strings. Choose one bead to be the center of the bracelet. (I used my birthstone for the center.) Slide it onto the corresponding colored string and center it. (If you're doing an even number of beads, position the bead slightly to one side of center.) Using all the colored strings, with the ends aligned, tie a single knot on both sides of the bead. Slide the next bead onto the corresponding colored string, push it against the knot, and tie another knot on the other side of it. Repeat for the next bead on the other side of the center/start bead. Repeat until all the beads are added, separated by knots.
2. Align the ends of the "background" strings with one end of colored strings. Use the background strings to tie knots around each of the previous knots.
3. Visit this great tutorial for how to weave your bracelet: http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/make-a-friendship-bracelet.html. Pull the beaded section tight to the underside of the cardboard circle, with all the loose strings above. As you weave, the beads will get further from the circle.
4. When you're about 3" from the ends of your threads, pull the bracelet off the cardboard circle.
5. Tie a knot at the end of the weave. Trim the extra thread tails.
6. Repeat steps 3 - 5 for the other side of the bracelet.
7. Tie one end of the bracelet into a knot around the other end.
Pull the knot tight.
8. Repeat for the other end.
These knots will slide on the weave, allowing the bracelet size to be adjustable. DONE.