Great news, guys – I’m taking part in another fun group blogger challenge. This one’s all about working with what you have – it’s called “There For The Making – The Zero Dollar DIY Challenge.” That’s right – projects that cost zero dollars.
The point here is to work with materials you already have, or to get creative with extra supplies you bought for another project. Or maybe to finish up some of those projects you started but never quite managed to complete. Personally, I like the idea of all three. While I haven’t quite jumped on the Marie Kondo bandwagon of eliminating everything in my home that doesn’t spark joy, I’ve certainly been thinking about not bringing in more. And I’ve been making sure my blog DIY projects are focused only on what I need or can use – it’s my way of creating a little less clutter. So this blogging challenge is spot on for me this year. It’s the perfect excuse to dig into my stash of craft supplies and put them to good use.
I’m starting with a project that’s close to my heart. I used to love beading, back in the day when I had more time. My sis and I used to get together periodically and make some snacks, put on a fun movie, pull out our beading supplies, and get to work. It was a great feeling to wear some pieces I made myself, and to be able to make exactly what I liked. Because of a lifelong love of crystals and gemstones, we soon moved away from glass and began to collect gorgeous strands of natural beads. And then life got busy and I put away my beads. This was supposed to be temporary, but you know how things go. So I knew right away that for this blogging challenge I would take the opportunity to pull out my old bead trays and make myself something pretty. It’s just the incentive I need to get my beading bug back!
First on my beading list – a trendy wrap bracelet. I had a gorgeous strand of sapphire beads that I knew would look beautiful on their own, with a simple Bali silver bead as an accent. I’m not sure how much these would retail for, but you can really use any type of bead for a project like this. Many stands of semi-precious stones retail for less than $5 or $10. Even an inexpensive strand of glass beads would look pretty. You can also reuse the beads from an old piece of jewelry that doesn’t work for you any more. With this bracelet, I’m going to love the high-low look that comes with pairing semi-precious stones with a casual leather setting.
First thing you need to decide is how many wraps you want. Since I had a 10 inch strand of beads, I decided to go with a double wrap. All you need is some fine leather cord and some heavy duty sewing thread. You should also have a beading needle, but since the zero-dollar rules of this challenge are strict, I worked without one.
The instructions are below. And note that I made a big error while attaching the beads, which I didn’t realize until the end. But the beauty of making your own jewelry is that you can restring it any time. I’ll wear this bracelet for a while, and then one of these days I’ll sit in front of a movie and remake it. I might actually use brown leather cord next time, which I think would look great with the blue sapphire beads.
The best part? I believe natural stones have a special energy that benefits the wearer. I looked up the properties of sapphire, and here’s what I found: it offers release of mental tension, restoration of balance in the body, serenity, peace of mind, and stimulation of concentration. It’s also called the “stone of prosperity.” Who couldn’t use a little more of any of these things in their lives? And it makes a gorgeous bracelet, too 😉
DIY Double Wrap Gemstone Bracelet
Fine leather cord
Heavy duty thread
10” strand of beads
Bali bead or other bead or button
1. Take a 40 inch length of fine leather cord, double it and tie a knot at the closed end to form the fastening loop. This loop will wrap around the Bali bead on the other end to fasten the bracelet, so make sure it fits snugly around the bead.
2. Clip your loop to a board to hold it steady, and then begin to tie the beads between the 2 strands of leather cord using heavy duty sewing thread. Work the thread in a figure 8 pattern. Come over the left side cord, through the bead, and under the right side cord. Then come back over the right side cord and continue.
Note: this is where I went wrong. When you come back over the right side cord, you need to pass through the bead again and wind the thread under and then around and over the left cord, so that the thread is passed through the bead twice, once from each side. You really need a beading needle to do this, and it’s especially challenging with small semi-precious bead like these that have small holes. I only went through 1 time, which makes this bracelet a little less stable.
3. Work your way down the strands until you have enough to wrap around your wrist twice. Note that adding the Bali bead will add some length to the bracelet, so be sure to take this into account.
4. Add the Bali bead by stringing one side of the leather cord through the bead and bringing the cord back along the other cord. Add a dab of glue to hold the cords together and wrap the thread around them a number of times to secure. Trim off the ends.
And now it’s time to visit my other blogging friends who are featuring some fabulous #ThereForTheMaking Zero Dollar Challenge projects. You’ll find loads of crafting inspiration!
We’ll be back in April with a special Earth Day edition of There for the Making. For now, I hope you’ll pour yourself another cup of coffee and visit the other bloggers participating in our no-spend DIY series. The next blogger in our hop today is
. All of these projects prove that we have hidden craft and DIY possibilities waiting in our homes! It IS possible to be creative without spending a dime!