I came across a download for the Boelyn Bracelet, a project by Mandy Duffy from Bead and Button magazine. For some reason the “link” feature is not working for me today on WordPress, so I will say if you google “Boelyn Bracelet”, the second thing that comes up is the PDF download for this project.
The bracelet came out so nice, and is so sturdy feeling, that I am going nuts making these! I have 6 made so far, which has wiped out my stash of fire polished 6mm rounds. As soon as I get some more….back to the Boelyn bracelets! I saw some of these on Etsy for forty bucks!
Anyway it is not a difficult project – the most tedious part is the final embellishment, but even that is easy! This project uses about 22 6mm round beads, about double that of 4mm rounds, 20 or so fire polished beads, and then some of the SMALLER 11/0’s, and some 15/0’s.
You start out by making a simple Right Angle Weave bracelet of 4mm and 6mm rounds. I used approximately 22 6mm rounds to make a bracelet to fit my 7″ wrist.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST use SMALL 11/0 seed beads in this bracelet, like Czech beads. DO NOT use Toho or Delicas – it just doesn’t come out right. There is an editor note in the tutorial that says this exact thing. Of course, on the third bracelet I made I didn’t listen and used some Tohos, and ended up ripping the WHOLE bracelet apart. Those cheap Czech seed beads work PERFECTLY.
Anyway add three 11/0’s between each 4mm along the length of the bracelet on both sides. Only add two at the ends, on either side of the 6mm.
Next you need to add a 6mm fire polished bead along the top of the bracelet for the entire length. Come out of the first 4mm bead. String 3 11/0’s, 6mm fire polished, and 3 more 11/0’s.
Go across the bracelet to the corresponding 4mm on the other side, and go thru the bead with your needle exiting towards the end of the bracelet closest to you.
Add 3 more 11/0’s and go through the fire polished bead.
Add 3 more 11/0’s and go into the 4mm that you started at, this time exiting with the needle facing the other end of the bracelet, the end that is FARTHEST away from you.
Ta Daa! So you will have an X of seed beads joining this fire polished bead to the top of the bracelet. Go through the next 3 seed beads on the base of the bracelet, and go through the next 4mm. Repeat this for the entire length of the bracelet. You will have 2 less fire polished beads than you had 6mm rounds in the base.
At this point I added a clasp to one half. Coming out of the end 6mm base bead, string 3 11/0’s, a 4mm, one 11/0, half the clasp, one 11/0. Go back through the 4mm. Add 3 more 11/0’s and go back into the 6mm base bead on the opposite side you came out of. Continue on to the embellishment.
This is the only tedious part of the project, only reason being you have to sometimes work your needle in there to get into the correct beads. Between each fire polished bead you will have a ‘mountain’ of beads: 3 up, 3 down, 3 along the bottom, and 3 up the next side, etc. (I look at this part as coming up and down the side of a mountain). At the top of the mountain, You will add a 15/0 seed bead in a corresponding color.
Then go down the mountain (thru all 3 beads going down). Pick up the CENTER bead of the 3 going across the bottom, and then UP only 2 of the 3 beads going up the next side. Add an 11/0, and go back to the first side of the mountain, going down the BOTTOM 2 of the 3 beads only. Grab that center bottom bead again, and go up all 3 beads of the second side of the mountain. Add your 15/0. Then repeat along the length of the bracelet.
Sounds confusing, but you get the hang of it after a few. When you get to the end of the first side, you can go ahead and add the other half of the clasp. Then go back and do the embellishment on the other side.
I can bang one of these out in about three hours. They’re so pretty! And they are so very sturdy and substantial feeling. One of my greatest fears is that something I make is going to fall apart so easily. And when I wear some of my earlier pieces, I HAVE HAD them break on me at work! Granted, I do a lot of physical labor things at work, but still….the number one self conscious reason I hesitate to sell things that I make is that I am terrified it will break on somebody. I am working on really finishing threads the correct way, and reinforcing clasps and whatnot. But this bracelet….I really feel good about it! I think this bracelet would make a wonderful gift for someone for Christmas.