Recently I was wanting a quick project; something I could throw together in an hour or so to feel like I'd accomplished something, but still detailed enough to not look cheap. I scrolled through my iPhone photo album where I often keep screenshots of jewelry and other projects I've come across that inspire me, and the images that called to me had lots of color, beads, and big, beautiful flowers (check out Divya's amazing floral bridal jewelry for some inspiration!). And thus, these pretty floral bangles were born.
Unfortunately they're a bit difficult to photograph since they're so dimensional, so please forgive my poor photos. I'll give a quick explanation of how I put these together!
These bracelets each took only a few materials, including a simple bangle form, 26-gauge jewelry wire, a focal flower element (I used metal flowers with faux pearl centers), small 4 - 6mm beads for wrapping around the bracelet, beads of your choice for wrapping around the flower base, wire snips and chain nose pliers.
I started with a 6-foot strand of the jewelry wire and wrapped one end several times around one of the connecting ends of the bangle where it meets the bracelet's focal plate.
From there I strung on one bead, then wrapped the wire three times around the bangle, and then repeated this process until the bangle was fully wrapped with beads. I finished by wrapping the wire several times around the bangle frame after the last bead, then pulling the wire end back through the last bead and trimming and tucking in the end of the wire
How to attach the floral focal element is determined by your floral piece and your bracelet focal blank; in my case, the metal flowers that I used had flat bases (and no holes), so I wrapped the bases with more lengths of jewelry wire, and then used that wire to wrap the flower bases onto the bracelet focal blanks. Because the bases of the flowers were visible, I wrapped each flower base with beads strung on more jewelry wire to cover the not-so-attractive meeting of flower base and bracelet blank. You'll notice (in the photo above) that I used small glass pearls with the red flower, as the flower itself was large and I didn't want large beads that would detract from the flower itself.
The blue flower was quite a bit smaller and much of the bracelet focal blank was still visible around the metal flower base, so I used some petal-shaped beads (side-drilled tear drops) in a similar color to the metal flower and used more jewelry wire to string and wrap them around the base of the blue flower, creating the illusion of a second row of petals and thus a larger flower.
The nice thing about these bracelets is that they open and close! I struggle with fitting traditional bangles over my often-swollen knuckles/thumb joints, so this is a perfect solution for me--the look of a bangle with the ease of a clasp!
I had the blue and red metal flowers already in my stash (and no others), so I had to work specifically with those colors. I also had one silver and one gold bangle frame, and with me being the fan of mixed metals that I am, I knew right away I'd wrap them with contrasting wire for a more interesting look (and to make them even more versatile).
I paired the red flower with green aventurine beads and glass pearls, and used copper wire to wrap them onto the silver bracelet frame.
I paired the blue flower with fuchsia quartzite and turquoise howlite beads and used silver wire to wrap them to the gold bangle frame.
All in all I love how these pretty bracelets turned out. They're lovely worn individually or paired together--kind of like wearing a non-perishable wrist corsage. Perfect for the upcoming spring months!
How do you feel about bracelets? Would you wear the dimensional flowers? I'd love to know.
Linking up with:
Friday Finds at Minted Strawberry
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello
The Creative Corner at Curly Crafty Mom
Fabulous Party at Lou Lou Girls
Show and Tell Link Party at Flamingo Toes
Worthwhile Wednesday at Crafty Allie
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Idea Box - Thursday Link Party at Mila's Little Things