Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Scarf (Summer) - Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of my post about creating a DIY bracelet set using a summer scarf as your inspiration! In Part 1, I...
(1) gave an overview of the types of bracelets I like to put together in a bracelet stack,
(2) discussed my method for designing a coordinated set of bracelets using paper bead bracelets made from paper bicone and paper tube beads as the base,
(3) and showed you two sets that I made to coordinate with a silk twilly-style print scarf - one bright set and one soft set.
But those two bracelet sets did not exhaust the possibilities of using a print scarf as an inspiration piece, and I had some ideas I wanted to try out in terms of creating and coloring my paper strips, so today I am walking you through two other DIY bracelet sets based on this scarf!
Set 3 - Blue/Pink/Green Fish Scarf: Light Blue/Green/White/Gold Set
Both of the other bracelet sets had a predominantly blue + pink color scheme...though one set had colors of vivid intensity and the other set had more muted tones. Another color combination I really like in this scarf is the blue + green, and I often enjoy wearing gold metals with green. So I decided to make a bracelet set based on those colors.
My first find was this little illustration from The Economist with a terrific color scheme of light blue, green, black, and white with an interesting juxtaposition of shapes/figures. This image is really small...2" tall x under 3" wide! I cut it in half down the center and glued the sheets to a boring magazine page, then cut 10 strips for tube beads, .5" wide x 11" long. These rolled up into 4 beads with the black numerals and 6 beads with the green stylized coronavirus image.
I painted the 4.5mm tube beads with gold metallic acrylic paint on the ends and strung them into a stretch bracelet with a combination of 5mm gold balls and small gold flower spacer beads. Does wearing a bracelet made from paper with a coronavirus image seem totally strange? I just thought the resulting beads would look cool (and I think they do!) and be a subtle-to-unrecognizable sign of the times. But there's also a possible parallel to evil eye pendants here that would suggest that wearing the coronavirus image could be a talisman against the illness. In any case, there's no foundation for believing that wearing beads from coronavirus image paper would make you more likely to get sick!
I made a second set of paper tube beads from this light blue/white check shirt image from a Chadwick's catalog. This image was a bit larger so I was easily able to make 12 .5" tube bead strips from it after cutting it in half and gluing it to boring paper. I used a heavier paper for gluing it on these so they rolled up to 6.5 mm beads.
I painted the bead ends with white pearl metallic acrylic paint and strung them simply with 6mm white pearl glass beads for a simple but lovely bracelet. The two sizes of gingham checks and slightly different shades of blue on the image made for very pretty beads, I think. This is where using an image of a 3-dimensional object like a woman wearing a shirt gets a quite different result from paper that was designed to be 2D, and I really like the less-uniform quality to the beads that came from using the catalog image here.
For the bicone paper beads, I forgot to take photos along the way, but I started with an alumni magazine drawing of a campus scene and ended up with this stretch bracelet consisting of 1" 5mm bicone beads with 6mm gold ball spacers.
With the paper beads settled, I then turned to the glass/stone bead bracelets. I already had the light green bracelets made from 5mm and 6mm beads in aloe vera and aloe-mint colors that I thought would work very well with the light blue/green color scheme. But I also wanted a blue bracelet, one that is a lighter value than the cerulean blue bracelet I made for the Bright set. This was an interesting challenge as I didn't have a set of beads in a lighter blue.
I decided to try my hand at a "bead soup" approach: I gathered all my lighter blue beads together and created a design alternating different materials/sizes/shapes of beads. I made the two sides symmetrical around a somewhat larger center bead, and when I ran out of my mid-sized beads, finished up the length I needed with 4mm seed beads and a couple gold spacer beads at the back. I just LOVE this bead soup bracelet! By keeping the color scheme tight (not exactly matched but within close parameters) and the design symmetrical, the result looks cohesive even though it's made from a hodge-podge of beads and the bracelet has a textural quality.
Here are the various stacks created from this bracelet set, starting with the 3 paper bead bracelets alone at upper left, then paper + blue, paper + green, and finally paper + blue + green.
Set 4 - Blue/Pink/Green Fish Scarf: Light Blue/Pink/Black/Silver Set
Let's go back to the fish scarf for inspiration one more time!
I had found this image of summer cardigans in the Coldwater Creek catalog and was amused because I own the teal-green version of this sweater! The light blue and magenta pink sweaters along with the green seemed like a great choice with this scarf, and I was curious what I could do with 3 copies of this image, each one 5" across. So I decided to try cutting them out and gluing them together side by side to produce one big sheet over 14" tall.
I was able to get 7 1" bicone bead strips from this glued together sheet. I didn't want the beige cardigan or the small white text to show on the beads, so I covered them up with not-quite-matching permanent markers. (Seriously, don't sweat it if your marker/paint doesn't match; just use something close and it'll work fine when making these beads.) The strips were a bit tricky to roll into beads because the paper was stiff where it was glued together. The resulting bicone beads were a bit wonkier (less uniform in shape) than usual, but still totally usable. By creating these longer strips, I was able to get a little bit fatter bead than I typically do with this very thin catalog paper: 5.5mm around.
I love how the texture of the open weave cardigan translates into bicone beads with a speckled look! They remind me a bit of bird eggs, just in time for Easter. I would never have predicted this result from looking at the original image, and I enjoy that "oooh so that's what it's doing" experience as I roll my bicone beads. My bracelet was finished simply with 6mm silver spacer beads.
With that experiment a success, I decided to try another one with this sweater image from a Lands End catalog. The sweater by itself wasn't tall enough to make the size of beads I wanted, and the scale of the image was larger than made sense for tube beads. So I tried using the model and the sweater together to get long enough strips for bicone beads. (Note that I did cut off the bottom a bit so that the ends/points of the strips were on the hem of the sweater and not the white pants.) I was able to cut 7 1" bicone strips from the 4" wide sheet I made, but man, that was a rookie mistake. When cutting your desired image from a larger page of paper, always give yourself a bit of extra width to play with! Don't just calculate how much width you theoretically need and cut to that width because if you are human, your 1" strips will not be perfect. (If you're not human, well, do what makes sense for your species.) It's probably best to do as I've done in my tutorials and cut one side straight as your starting point for making the strips and don't bother cutting off the extra on the other side. When you're done with the strips, you can discard the extra at that time.
The model's face and hair made up a significant amount of these strips, and faces especially can look a little weird when cut up and rolled into a bead. Furthermore, that part of the sheet didn't make any sense for my color scheme or for the overall saturated color look I was going for. So out came the permanent markers to doctor the edges of the strips. I used bright blue and pink for the light sections of the strips, which doesn't completely block out the underlying image but masks it. I used black for the dark hair and for the facial feature sections (e.g., teeth, eyes) that I did want blocked out. The strips rolled up into great-looking beads with saturated Easter Egg colors + black stripes. Another successful experiment!
At this point, I decided to lean into the black with this bracelet set, so I added 6mm black beads to the 4.5mm bicone paper beads for a simple but vividly-colored stretch bracelet.
Normally I would have at least one tube bead bracelet in the set, but when I found this Chadwick's catalog page with the stack of shirts in Easter Egg colors plus black and white, I had to try another set of bicone beads that would incorporate all of these colors. Unfortunately I only had one copy of this catalog, so to get my 7 1" triangular strips, I needed to include the areas with text. Because black is part of my color scheme, I used a black marker to cover the text. There was more white on the strips than I wanted, so I covered the extra white area with accent color markers.
These rolled up really nicely! That combination of the pastel Easter Egg colors with black is so appealing to me...I think the black stripes "toughen up" the pastel colors somehow to create an interesting juxtaposition. Because I had already used black beads on the previous bracelet, I finished this one with 5mm silver balls.
I didn't need to make any additional bracelets for this set as the light blue bead soup bracelet and pink/silver butterfly bracelet made for other sets fit right in.
And here are the finished bracelet stack possibilities, starting with the 3 paper bead bracelets at upper left, then paper + blue, paper + pink, and paper + blue + pink. I also have a simple black 6x4mm bead bracelet that could also be worn with this set if I wanted to bring out the black in the paper beads.
As I did with the Bright and Soft sets, here I'll share a couple of outfits I have prepped for the coming warm weather, accessorized with the new bracelets.
First is a denim blue + green + cream/light grey outfit with the fish scarf, to which I've added the Green/Gold bracelet set. Although one of the other bracelet stacks would have looked fine, I like how this one repeats the dominant colors of the outfit.
Second is an outfit with a muted/neutral base of soft indigo print top, white textured skirt, and medium blue denim knit jacket to which I'd added colorful accessories...bright pink ballet flats and an exuberant necklace of many colors. I think the Egg set coordinates very well here, and I would wear both the pink glass and blue bead soup bracelets with the paper bead bracelets for a chunky, colorful bracelet stack.
Finally, here are all 4 sets of paper bead bracelet sets I made using the fish scarf as my inspiration: the Bright, the Soft, the Green/Gold, and the Egg. All coordinate very well with the fish scarf but are different enough that I can easily see myself getting good use of all of them. Four sets may seem like overkill; certainly I would not make 4 bracelet sets for each of my scarves! But I wanted to show you a range of possibilities and demonstrate some of my experiments in creating paper beads while using a scarf with a color palette that I wear over and over again in my wardrobe.
Do you have a favorite among these four sets? Do you have a summer scarf that could inspire a DIY bracelet stack?
Other posts in this series:
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