Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Butterfly Scarf
Today I'm back with another example of designing a coordinated DIY bracelet set with a mix of paper bead bracelets and stone/glass bead bracelets that you will love and actually wear again and again!
In December 2019, as part of a large order of secondhand scarves from ThredUp, I ordered an infinity scarf in a very lightweight synthetic fabric with an aqua background and butterflies (and a few dragonflies) in blue, navy, and golden yellow. I thought it would probably work for those summer days that are warm but not too hot for anything around the neck. It cost $5.60, and I have worn it 8 times so far for a current cost per wear (CPW) of $0.70.
It turns out that I really like this scarf! The somewhat de-saturated light aqua color is a good one for me to wear near the face, the butterfly motif is pretty (without being too sweet), and the color palette is great. So when I had it slated for an upcoming outfit, I decided to create a DIY bracelet set to coordinate with it. In that outfit, I had planned to wear the scarf with a long tassel necklace in silver, so I chose silver as the metallic in making the bracelet set.
To recap...as I make them right now, the paper bead bracelets are the core of the bracelet sets, to which I add glass/stone and metallic bracelets to finish them. My method for designing the coordinated set involves:
(2) Making the paper beads and creating stretch bracelets with paper + spacer beads (with a choice of silver, gold, or neither as the metal);
(3) Picking glass/stone beads that coordinate to make 1-3 stretch bracelets.
Remember that when making paper bicone beads, you are looking for a page that has an overall color palette that you like (though the design will be obscured when the bead is rolled) and that is large enough to cut your entire triangular strips from. For making paper tube beads, you only need a small area of paper with the desired design (which will show when the bead is rolled) because the fancy paper can be glued to boring paper that is completely covered in the rolling process.
Let's get started!
The first paper I selected for my butterfly scarf bracelet set was this teal/navy dress image from a Coldwater Creek catalog. Not only did it have a nice color combination, the very small scale print would work extremely well on tube beads. I cleaned up the edge of the page, cutting it off toward the center of the dress so that I could cut the tube beads with the dress print at the ends.
I rolled up the tube beads and painted them with metallic silver acrylic paint on both ends. I loved how the print turned out on these beads. I used 11 of these 0.5" tube beads with silver ball spacer beads and one silver butterfly bead (a nod to the scarf butterfly motif) to make the bracelet.
Coldwater Creek catalog page
6.75" long / 0.5" wide tube strips
3/32" paper bead roller
Rolled into 4mm tube paper beads
Strung with 5mm silver ball spacer beads + silver butterfly bead
Next I picked out this image from a Lands End catalog to make bicone beads due to its color palette: mustard/yellow (the upper background and the model's blonde hair and beige shorts), aqua (the jacket), and navy (the t-shirt). I cut my strips from the left side of the image with the model (and threw away the remaining page to the right that has a good deal of text).
Once the strips were cut, I used permanent markers to cover the edges of the strips with yellow, aqua, or navy to boost those colors and reduce the beige areas of the strips. These strips rolled up very nicely into striped/colorblocked bicone beads in the desired color palette. I created the bracelet alternating the paper beads with aqua stone beads that are a good match in color and texture to the aqua in the paper beads.
Lands End catalog page
10" long / 1" wide bicone strips
5/64" paper bead roller
Rolled into 4mm bicone paper beads
Strung with 5mm aqua stone beads
For my last set of beads, I selected this Coldwater Creek catalog cover with a trio of shirts in yellow, aqua, and blue. I cut the 1" bicone strips across the three shirts starting underneath the "free shipping" text area.
Because this was the catalog cover, the paper was on the thicker side, so I used a silver metallic Sharpie along both long edges of the strips so that they would show silver instead of white on the bead when rolled. (This step is not necessary for thin catalog/magazine paper but makes a big difference when using a thicker paper.) I loved the resulting beads with the metallic silver lines against the yellow paper. I made a very simple bracelet coordinating the paper beads with silver spacer beads.
Coldwater Creek catalog cover
8" long / 1" wide bicone strips
3/32" paper bead roller
Rolled into 5mm bicone paper beads
Strung with 5mm silver ball spacer beads
I wanted stone/glass beads in aqua, yellow, and blue/navy to coordinate with the paper beads and finish the set. I already had made the aqua 8x6mm oval magnesite and silver daisy spacers bracelet for another bracelet set. The navy/silver bracelet was part of a trio of stretch bracelets I had purchased from CJ Banks. So I had only the yellow bracelet to make. I didn't have any soft yellow stone or glass beads in the 5-6mm range, so I sized down to use some 4mm stone beads (and 4mm silver spacer beads) to make the yellow bracelet. Since the paper beads in the set were in the 4-5mm range, the 4mm yellow beads seemed like a reasonable size.
Here are the finished bracelet stack possibilities, starting with the 3 paper bead bracelets on the top row, then paper + aqua and paper + yellow on the second row, and paper + navy and paper + aqua + yellow + navy on the bottom row.
I chose the full 3 paper + aqua + yellow + navy bracelet set on its initial wearing. I'm very happy with how these look together! The soft yellow with silver is quite beautiful. I know that yellow + gold is the more obvious combination (and is one I have used), but I definitely like it with silver also.
Here's the complete outfit: a navy striped top + cerulean blue ankle jeans, accessorized with the inspiration butterfly scarf and a CJ Banks silver tassel necklace with grey, mustard, and indigo beads. (I didn't choose my socks very wisely, did I, haha!)
I finished the outfit with a blue DIY 5-braid headband made from an old t-shirt and cute white/silver butterfly earrings to round out the butterfly theme.
Here are two additional warm weather outfits I've worn with this aqua butterfly infinity scarf + tassel necklace combination. In this summer outfit, I topped a navy blouse + capris column (inner column color formula) with a pale yellow cardigan and finished the look with mustard ballet flats.
The same scarf + necklace + ballet flats combo makes another appearance in this early fall outfit with plaid ankle pants and a teal top. Although the scarf is aqua and the base outfit is teal, I think they coordinate well together because there is a soft quality to both colors. I would consider this a monochromatic color combination using two hues from the Blue-Green section of the color wheel.
This scarf + necklace + ballet flats + DIY bracelet set make a very nice beauty bundle! While single color (monochromatic) beauty bundles are very common, there's no reason you can't build them using favored color combinations too. In my recent Pantone SS 2022 beauty bundle post, the aqua/red/white accessories in the last outfit...which includes another DIY paper + stone/glass bead bracelet set...would also make a great multi-color beauty bundle, for example.
If you were to put together a multi-color beauty bundle/accessory set, what colors would you choose? Would you use a print item as your guide for selecting colors?
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