Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Pink Outfit (Spring)
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!
I put together this pink/burgundy outfit as a planned outfit for spring, and knowing that it's a color scheme that I like, I thought it would make a good inspiration for a DIY bracelet set.
I had these two bracelet sets in shades of pink with silver but I didn't have any with gold. And while of course it's not not necessary to match metals in an outfit, I felt like a pink/wine/gold set would be a useful addition to my collection.
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 a stretch bracelet or two.
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 pink/wine/gold stack was this set of sweaters from a Coldwater Creek catalog...well, from three catalogs! I like using catalog images with a stack or array of clothing items together because they usually generate striped bicone beads...and I do love my stripes. I put aside one of the pages as unnecessary, and on the other two, I cut off the top and bottom of the images so I kept only sweaters to make my strips. I got two matching 1" bicone strips of each type for 12 total.
The white and warm brown colors on the original strips were not part of my desired color scheme, so I colored over them with permanent markers...mostly a dark pink color but also some navy to cover the white where the navy sweaters appear at the edge of the strips. I used the dark pink over the warm brown, even though the pink isn't dark enough to fully cover the brown, just to obscure the brown and bring it closer to my desired pink/rose/wine color palette. It's good to remember when doctoring your strips with marker that you don't have to match colors exactly or fully cover a color that doesn't fit your vision! Perfection is not the standard here. I think that having your colors be similar but not truly matching actually adds some depth to your beads. In addition to fixing your colors, you can also use the markers to introduce another texture/pattern to your strips. (Not sure what to call it because the paper is of course flat, not actually textured.) As you can see in the rolled beads, the places on the paper where I touched it up with marker have a shinier, smoother look than the original sweater image that has a sweater knit texture/pattern. I think it's a neat contrast!
Coldwater Creek catalog
8.5" long / 1" wide bicone strips
Rolled into 4mm bicone paper beads
Here is the bracelet I made using 7 bicone paper beads, 5mm faceted garnet beads, and a rectangular pink glass bead for the center.
Next I picked out paper for the tube beads. There is something extra satisfying about using an image of a beaded creation from a Fire Mountain Gems catalog to make beads! I cut the image in half to ensure that I would have enough width to work with to make 12 .5" tube strips (both strips are oriented with the "good" end that will show on the beads at the top). As I described in this tube bead example post, I glued these fancy papers to boring paper to cut the strips. After rolling the beads, I painted them with metallic gold acrylic paint on both ends. My bracelet used 10 of the paper tube beads with round gold spacer beads and a couple of diamond shaped beads with a flower design. I love the variation in color both within each bead and across them...and the print looks quite a bit like snakeskin to me!
Fire Mountain Gems catalog
? long / .5" wide tube strips
Rolled into 5mm tube paper beads
I decided to do a second tube bead bracelet using this subtly printed tunic top image from a Coldwater Creek catalog. I cut the image in half down the center to create more usable width. Because my cutting mat has .5" grid lines, it's easy for me to determine how many .5" tube beads wide the image is...I just count the gridlines. I glued the tunic images to a thicker alumni magazine page and cut the strips.
Coldwater Creek catalog on alumni magazine
~8.5" long / .5" wide tube strips
Rolled into 6mm tube paper beads
I painted the ends of the tube beads with metallic burgundy acrylic paint and strung them with 6mm burgundy glass pearls for a bracelet with a low contrast look. Clothing catalogs are such a great source of small-scale prints for making tube beads, and it's very nice to upcycle them into something to wear!
When I saw this interesting illustration in The Economist, I really liked the pink background and the colorful dots. Even though it's small for making bicone beads (only 4.5" tall), I wanted to give it a try. The resulting bead is definitely on the skinny side (3.5mm), but look how the dots come through on the beads! I made a simple bracelet using 7 1" bicone paper beads and 4mm gold cube spacer beads.
The Economist magazine
4.5" long / 1" wide bicone strips
Rolled into 3.5mm bicone paper beads
I knew from the beginning that I would use my 6mm burgundy garnet bead bracelets as the companion pieces to the paper bead bracelets in this set so I didn't have any additional stone/glass bracelets to make.
Here is the finished set! The top shows the paper bead bracelets alone, and the bottom shows the paper + garnet bracelets. I am very pleased with how this set turned out. Note that I wouldn't have to wear all 4 of the paper bead bracelets in the set in a given bracelet stack! It's more like I have 4 to choose from when wearing this set.
For the bracelet set's first wearing, I did choose to include all four paper bead bracelets, but I pulled a bit of a wild card by using a different stone bead bracelet in place of the burgundy garnet ones above. I substituted a DIY green-wine/olive agate bracelet instead. Not sure why...I was just feeling the multi-colored companion bracelet that day. I completed the stack with a DIY bracelet made from gold-tone square spacer beads.
I had slightly misjudged the weather, so when I started the day without the pink cardigan from my initial outfit plan, leaving a burgundy/wine column of color as my outfit. As a stand-alone outfit, I do generally prefer a semi-neutral or accent color column to a full-on neutral one, and burgundy is a great choice.
My layered necklace / #neckmess had a lot of fun elements to it. I started with the pink/violet/wine crystal stone and chain necklace from Loft, then added the DIY small glass pearl/seed bead necklace and two DIY strands with white beads on chain. To finish it, I added two dainty rose gold chains. The lower one with the sweet bunny charm was a gift from my sister. I just ordered another delicate rose gold chain necklace so that I will have a trio of them to use in layered necklaces over the summer. (The rose gold matches my glasses, which is nice.)
Later in the day, I started feeling a bit cool in just my blouse so I ended up wearing the pink cardigan for part of the day after all!
Do you like to wear monochromatic outfits? Do you have a favorite color for them? Do you have a go-to outfit for the season that you would build a bracelet set or other group of accessories around?
Other posts in this series:
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