Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Two Color Summer Outfit (Navy + Green)
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 have discussed before that I do a good amount of advanced outfit planning. Part of that process this summer has been deciding which DIY bracelet sets I want to wear with my planned outfits and identifying situations where a new bracelet set would be useful in completing the outfit.
That's what happened with this outfit in navy and green with silver-tone metal in the earrings. I didn't yet have any bracelet sets consisting of navy, green, and silver that would go with it. Of course, if we want to make DIY jewelry we will wear again and again, we need to make sure that we're focusing on color combinations that we are likely to wear regularly. For me, navy, green, and silver is a color combination I like a lot and can see myself wearing enough to justify making a new 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!
For this project, I starting looking through my magazine/catalog paper stash for prints with both navy/dark blue and green. I really liked the green grass and blue water on this full-page advertisement but not the bright pink (which also is just a kind of gruesome image). So I used this one for tube beads, in which I only need the ends of the strips to have the desired image. I was easily able to get 12 0.5" tube strips from the left section as it's laid out here so I was able to ignore the white logo at the right side.
These strips rolled up very nicely into textured-looking tube beads with various greens, various blues, or both. I painted the ends with silver metallic acrylic paint. I strung the bracelet on stretchy elastic cord using simple round silver-tone spacer beads. This one turned out even better than I'd expected.
The Economist magazine page
7.5" long / 0.5" wide tube strips
3/32" paper bead roller
Rolled into 4.5mm tube paper beads
Strung with 5mm silver ball spacer beads
The nature theme continued with this magazine photo of a medium-dark blue sky and dark green vegetation on a cliffside. The colors of the entire image worked with my palette, and there was no text or other extraneous print, which made it a good candidate for bicone beads. As we've seen before, bicone beads rolled from strips that have one color at the wide end and another color at the pointy end result in nice striped or colorblocked beads.
The alternating blue and green centers to the beads made for a simple balanced design, and I finished the bracelets again with silver-tone spacer beads.
Birdwatching magazine page
8.5" long / 1" wide bicone strips
3/32" paper bead roller
Rolled into 4.5mm bicone paper beads
Strung with 5mm silver ball spacer beads
Another terrific paper source for making beads is old calendars! The images tend to be large, and the paper is usually somewhat thick, which rolls up into chunkier beads than thin magazine or catalog paper. I loved the varied green background and brilliant colors of the bunting. I decided to cut my strips across this image so that I did not include the red from the berries in my beads. I first cut off the very top area where the hole for hanging the calendar is. Then I cut some narrower 0.5" triangular strips until I reached the top of the bird's head (I will use the smaller green-only beads for another project down the road). Then I cut 7 1" triangular strips across the leaves and bird to have both green and blue in each bead. Because this is a thicker paper, I ran a silver metallic Sharpie down both long edges of each strip so that I will see silver instead of white when the beads are rolled.
These beads are quite lovely with the shades of color and the metallic striping. Instead of silver spacer beads, I used green crystal glass beads in the bracelet.
10.5" long / 1" wide bicone strips
1/8" paper bead roller
Rolled into 6.5mm bicone paper beads
Strung with 6mm green faceted crystal beads
To finish the set, I pulled in two bracelets I already had. The navy/silver bracelet from a CJ Banks set gets worn a lot, and you may have seen it as part of the Butterfly Scarf: Aqua/Yellow/Blue set. The 8mm green glass + 6mm silver spacer bead bracelet is one that I made as part of the White/Green/Pink/Yellow Floral Shirt: Green/Yellow set I shared in May. I love it when I can use a stone or bead bracelet I already have as part of a new paper bracelet set because it lets me get extra use out of these pieces.
Here are the finished bracelet stack possibilities, starting with the 3 paper bead bracelets and paper + navy/silver on the top row, then paper + green/silver and paper + navy/silver + green/silver on the bottom row.
I decided to wear all 5 of the bracelets with my navy + green outfit. You'll notice that in the end, the "navy" turned out to be more a range of mid to dark blues...and that's perfectly OK! The set still coordinates beautifully with navy and green...it doesn't need to be any kind of exact match. The fact that the "navy"/silver bracelet itself contains a variety of dark blue colors makes the paper bracelets blend in nicely. If I wanted to reinforce the navy, I could supplement the stack with a true navy glass/stone bracelet. But I the 5 pieces work together and with the outfit very well as is. (So much for "blue and green should never be seen"!)
Here's the complete outfit: chambray top, emerald green cardigan, navy capris, paisley/floral print scarf, and striped ballet flats.
Have you heard the saying "blue and green should never be seen"? Do you mix blue and green in your outfits? In your home décor?
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