Bracelets of Suede Cords, Buttons and Beads

Here are a couple of maybe a dozen things I’ve made over the past few weeks

Bracelet Suede Cord Turq 07

First, in my stash I found some beads that match this turquoise suede cord. But I had trouble finding a button to work. A pearl button was too foo foo for the suede. But a white plastic button was too plain to match the silver, white and blue beads.

So.

I had to abandon my stash and look for a button in the store! Fortunately I found a pair of  transparent buttons with silver swirly curly cues on top. It turned out to be the perfect match.

The bracelet is easy to make with simple overhand knots.

First use a cord that will loosely wrap around your wrist twice with four or five inches to spare. Fold the cord in half and slide the button to the halfway point.

Bracelet Suede Cord Turq 05

Tie one overhand knot at the base of the button. keep it loose until you can scooch it up close to the button, then gently pull each cord evenly to tighten it.  Next I threaded one bead on both cords (the silver and white) and then the next four buttons went on one of the cords and the final silver and white again went on both cords.

Bracelet Suede Cord Turq 01

Then I wrapped it around my wrist and tied another overhand knot (keeping it loose until I was sure it was in the right place) and moved down an inch or so to leave a gap before tying the last knot. The gap is so the button can be used as a fastener.

Next.

I didn’t go looking for it per se, but while I was on the button aisle, I found some Organics* Elements buttons made of coconut. There were two square buttons with four holes, one gold and one sage green. The gold button matched a hank of gold suede cord from my stash. And coincidentally I had some wood beads that exactly matched. I haven’t found the right cord for the green button yet.

Bracelet Suede Cord Gold 10

I tied the button on the cord with an “x” stitch through the four holes and tied an overhand knot at the base of the button. Then I threaded two wood buttons on one of the cords.

Bracelet Suede Cord Gold 06

I used the other cord to make a couple of half-hitch knots to anchor the beads and then did the same with two more beads.

And because I didn’t want a just a beaded bracelet, I made a series of half-hitch knots, keeping them tight next to each other. Doing a series of half-hitch knots will automatically create a spiral in your cord.

It’s just like when you row on only one side of the boat.  You end up going in circles.

Bracelet Suede Cord Gold 05

Then I threaded on two more sets of beads.

I was a little short of where I wanted it to end, so I made another half-hitch spiral section to make it long enough to go around my wrist.

I anchored it all with an overhand knot; skipped about an inch, and tied another knot, leaving room for the button.

Bracelet Suede Cord Gold 08

I tied the knots really tight and cut the ends about an inch away from the knot. I want to see how they hold before I trim it too short. And while I could add glue to the knot, G-S Hypo Cement is recommended for this, I haven’t glued it yet.

I’ve worn both bracelets for several days. The knots are tight. So far, I haven’t felt the need to undo them and make them into something else.

Yet.

I love bracelets. I’ve got more to show you over the next few posts.

Jan

P.S. *If you go to the button website you’ll see it says Organic Elements,  but the button card specifically says organics (plural) elements. Organics is trademarked. The card has graphics I haven’t seen before which makes me think they might be changing their branding. I couldn’t find my specific buttons online anywhere.

 

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Turkish Flat Weave Part II

I’ve figured out this Turkish Flat Weave beaded bracelet.

Turkish Flat Weave Beaded Bracelets on JanMadeIt

How ’bout them apples?

Turkish Flat Weave Bracelets on JanMadeIt

It was an easy process, but with the small beads all the same, my first attempts were a bit twisted. (See my previous post and you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

Turkish Flat Weave Blue and Pink bracelet on JanMadeIt

So I picked out larger beads and I threaded them on the cord in an A B pattern. I wanted to use that checkered wooden button so I picked the yellow and blue with the pink cord. I bought the cord in multi pack and the description was on the wrapper and not on the spools, so I’m not sure of the weight. Based on the .o5 inch blue cord below, it might be a .01 cord?

Turkish Flat Weave Pink and Blue Bracelets on JanMadeIt

Using the A B pattern of beads, it was very easy to keep my place. Every other “row” connected a blue bead, then a yellow bead. Easy peasy.

Turkish Flat Weave Red and Gold Bracelet on JanMadeIt

Then I had this red and gold button I wanted to use so I found some red and gold beads and decided on a black waxed cotton cord. Again, easy to keep my place.

Turkish Flat Weave White Bracelet on JanMadeIt

The white bracelet was made with nylon cord that’s used for Roman shades and other decorator window treatments. The bracelet is all white, but I created the A B pattern with white beads and clear beads. I used a vintage cuff link button to close this one.

Turkish Flat Weave Yellow and Lime Bracelet on JanMadeIt

Then I wanted to use the green stripey beads but I didn’t have enough of them to go all the way around so I added three different green beads to make that row long enough.

Turkish Flat Weave Yellow Lime Bracelet on JanMadeIt

I used a toggle clasp for this one. I’m not a fan of toggles. I’ve had a few fall off my wrist, but this one is small enough I think it will stay on.

Turkish Flat Weave pt05 Nylon Cord 1 on JanMadeIt

Then I wanted to play with making a wider bracelet so I started with larger cord. This is .05 inch nylon cord. I bought this spool on clearance awhile back intending to crochet a little purse with it, but that has yet to happen.

Turkish Flat Weave Pt05 Nylon Cord 2 on JanMadeIt

I had a tube of 2mm multi-colored blue Czech beads and I sorted them into a pattern that I liked. I also changed the single crochet stitch to a half-double crochet.

Turkish Flat Weave Turquoise Bracelet on JanMadeIt

The pattern has two beads on one side and one bead on the other. And look how well that flower button matches.

Turkish Flat Weave Turquoise and Pink Bracelets on JanMadeIt

Then I got brave enough to try something without the A B pattern thing going on and I made the pink one.

Turkish Flat Weave Pink 2 on JanMadeIt

I wasn’t bold enough to use all the same beads, but I used pairs of random pinks and purples. I also downsized to a Size F crochet hook.

Turkish Flat Weave Pink Bracelet on JanMadeIt

And then I found a teeny tiny pink button to use as a clasp. I put a single pink bead on top.

Turkish Flat Weave BlackGlass 2 on JanMadeIt

Then while sorting my beads to put them away I found a strand of black and brown glass beads I had to use. I matched them with simple round glass beads and used the 1mm rattail cord.

Turkish Flat Weave BlackGlass 1 on JanMadeIt

I stuck with the smaller hook (F) and kept my stitches tight.  And look at that cool chevron pattern that emerged.  It had been there all along but with the smaller cord and looser stitches it wasn’t obvious in the other bracelets.

Now I’m ready to make over the first two bracelets I made all twisty. They’re in a very special place and as soon as I can remember where that is, I’ll get right on it.

I have some beads I really want to use but the bead hole is very small.  I can use a reamer to smooth out holes that are a bit tight, but some are out of the questions. Does anyone know if I could drill out a bigger hole? I think I have a set of teeny tiny drill bits. It probably depends on the type of material the bead is made of. Any advice?

I might use two strands of cord. String the beads on a skinny little cord and align it with the larger cord I want to use. Then I’ll crochet them together with the beads on the smaller cord that’s practically invisible while the bracelet is made out of the larger more visible cord.

If you’re interested in doing this here’s the video tutorial where I found it. Her bracelets are much smaller and tidier than mine, but I’m still learning.  My goal was to make a beaded bracelet and I achieved that. I’m not very good at following instructions.

 

Oh, I couldn’t find C-Lon cord.  Not at JoAnn’s or Michael’s, which are my two options. I used cord I have on hand and picked out some other options. I have some bamboo I want to use, but it’s pretty thick.  I’ll have to find beads with large holes for that one, or use the double strand technique I mentioned.

Anyhoo.

If you make some of these (it’s addictive!  Like crafters need another addiction!) I’d love to see what you come up with and how you did it. It’s fast and simple once you pick out your beads.  I can make one in about a half-hour and then I have to decide on what kind of clasp I want.

I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours!

Jan

 

 

 

 

 

To Do: A Pillow, But Not a Bracelet

I had a to do list today, and I didn’t get through it because I got distracted. Everything on my list was something I need to finish. I wasn’t going to start anything new.

But then I did.

Like this bracelet.

Turkish Flat Weave Bracelet Hemp

It was not even on my radar until I got an email from Creative Bug with a video tutorial on how to make one.  It’s crocheted and it’s called a Turkish Flat Weave. It’s not hard, but using hemp was not the best choice for my first attempt. The stiffness of the cord was kind of cranky. And like I found out with a previous project, it’s hard to see what’s what in the black yarn, or cord.

So I picked out some supplies for another one.

Materials for Turkish Flat Weave Bracelet

I went with the cream-colored number 8 pearl cotton thread and the bright beads.

Turkish Flat Weave Bracelet Cotton

The parts I got right are really nice.  But it’s twisted where I didn’t flip it the right way. If you watch the video you’ll know what I mean.  Once I get the hang of it I’ll unstring this and make it over.

By the way, if you can crochet, this is a very quick project. I started the second one at 10:30 and 45 minutes later I was working on the closure.

This pillow was on my to do list. This is not the pillow I set out to make but it’s what the fabric wanted to be. Anybody else have projects like that?

I made the pillow with a couple of decorator samples.

The floral with the owl is linen and the animal print is polyester. I have another piece that I think is drapery silk that will go on the back.

Applique Pillow Basted

If you look close you’ll see my navy blue basting stitches. I haven’t decided exactly how I’ll attach the applique. If I have thread that exactly matches the pink I may quilt it down first before I secure the edges.

It’s going to be a pillow cover for a 16 or 18 inch square pillow. Since I don’t have another sample in this same color family this is all there is. The back piece is smaller than the front, so I’m hoping to manipulate it enough to manage a concealed zipper on one of the edges.

I have nothing this yummy pink will go with so I’ll probably sell it. It’s going to be amazing if you can use this almost dusty pink.

I have other decorator samples and I’m sure some of them will want to become the pillow I planned to make first.

How’s your to do list coming? Hope your day is swell!

Jan

A Simple Fabric Flower

Fabric Flowers on JanMadeIt 1 A co-worker once said, “Jan always wears a flower on her shirt,” and I took it as a challenge.

Now while I don’t wear one every single day, I’ll have one pinned to my shirt almost every day. For one thing it will brighten up a plain cotton t-shirt, and they also make me smile. As a result I have piles of fabric flowers, but of course I still don’t have a flower to match every single color combination I might wear. So, I’m always making more.

Fabric Flowers on JanMadeIt 2

These don’t have to be pins, they can be hair clips, headbands, or ponytail holders. You can also adorn a hat, purse, or tote bag with one or a bouquet of them.

Frequently people ask. Where did you get it? How did you make it. When I answer some will say, “Oh, that looks easy,” or they’ll be totally baffled and say “I couldn’t do that, I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”

Well, that’s not true. Everyone is creative about something, and if you want to make a fabric flower, just pick up a needle and thread and a scrap of cotton and I’ll show you how.

Fabric Flowers on JanMadeIt 4

One of the very easy starter flowers involves a strip of fabric, any old strip will do, and a button.

Tools you need are simple: needle, thread, and scissors. You can use any all-purpose thread, but regular thread can snag and fray and it will tangle. Hand quilting thread is coated just to make that less likely so that’s what I use.

Making Fabric Flowers JanMadeIt 01

Your strip of fabric can be cut or ripped across the grain. It doesn’t even have to be straight. A strip that tapers from about one inch to two or three inches is good. It needs to be about 18-20 inches long. If it’s longer, you’ll cut off the excess when you’re done. But if it’s shorter, and you really love that scrap, that’s OK too. Just find a scrap to go with it and continue on.

I also make flowers out of small randomly shaped chunks of fabric, so if you don’t have a strip of a favorite print, save it. I’ll show you how to use it later.

Making Fabric Flowers JanMadeIt 03

So thread your needle and get started.

Knot your thread, and then start a simple running stitch along the edge of your strip.

The coating on quilting thread that makes it easy to use, also makes it hard to tie into a knot. You can hold the end of the thread so it doesn’t pull through the fabric and make a couple of stitches before you start. Or you can make a quilters knot. Since I don’t have pictures right now, you can do a search and find several how-tos. 

I usually start with the narrow end of the strip, this will be the center of your flower. On this blue strip below I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do in the center so  I started a few inches from the end of the strip. I can use it later or trim it off. (I ended up trimming it off.)

Making Fabric Flowers JanMadeIt 04

Make a running stitch about an eighth of an inch from the edge. I’ll run three or four stitches on the needle before pulling it through. The length of the stitches is not important, but the distance from the edge needs to be consistent.

Making Fabric Flowers JanMadeIt 05

Do this a few times and then pull the strip into a ruffle along the thread. Make a couple of back stitches to hold the ruffle in place. Keep that up and as you continue to gather the strip it will curve into a circle.

When your stitching curls around to meet the beginning of the strip make adjustments to the gathers and when you’re happy with the way it looks tack the two layers together. You can end it there or if you feel like it keep gathering to the end of your strip. When you decide you’re done, turn the last half-inch to the back and tack it in place.

Making Fabric Flowers JanMadeIt 07

That’s all there is to it for a one layer flower like this.

One Layer Flower on JanMadeIt 1

When you have your completed flower, you’ll work from the back to add the button. A shank button works great. That’s the kind of button with the loop on the back.

There will be a hole in the center of your flower so stitch across from edge to edge to tighten it up.  While you’re at it, take your needle through the shank of the button back and forth several times.

If you use a button with holes, pull the center of the flower closed so you’ll have something to attach the button to.  Be sure to check it from the front as you stitch, you can pull a button off-center without realizing it.

 (Note: I have no idea what that little brown smudge is. Looks like I was eating chocolate. Mmmmm… chocolate.)

Making Fabric Flowers JanMadeIt 14

When you’re done, it may look something like this from the side.

One Layer Flower on JanMadeIt 5

The next thing to do is cover the raw edges on the back and attach a pin back. Or hair clip if you prefer.

One Layer Flower on JanMadeIt 4a

Use a small scrap of fabric and turn the edges under if you’re using woven fabric, but felt or fleece also do the job they are much easier to use.

Making StarsStripes Flower 15

Sometimes there will be a dip in the center of your flower. If that’s the case with yours it will be easier to attach the pin back if you fill this cavity. Use a few snips of felt, a tiny pinch of batting, or a bit of polyfil under the back cover.

So there you have it. For this blue scroll fabric and button I liked the ragged cut of the edge of the fabric but I didn’t want it to fray. I used a toothpick to run a line of glue along the edge of the fabric to prevent that.

One Layer Flower on JanMadeIt 6

After you make this simple single layer flower there are thousands of variations you can come up with.

A strip that starts at a half-inch wide will create a spiral when you use a contrast edging. This is a little bit of tatted trim I made years ago and stitched around the edge.

OneLayer 2 BlueMetallic on JanMadeIt

This scrap of linen was finished with a bit of scalloped lace.

OneLayer 3 Linen and Lace on JanMadeIt

This blue one is a little busy. I might take it apart and make it over. The top layer is a spiral with a blanket stitch edge. The bottom layer has rick rack trim, and the same rick rack frames the vintage green button in the center.

Making Fabric Flowers JanMadeIt 21

There are a multitude of ways to use these. Decorate a purse, tote, a hat or even a pair of shoes… (Shoes, huh. I just now thought of that!). And there are a number of ways to use them in home decor. A wreath is just one idea that comes to mind. In fact the flowers stuck on my cork board were the inspiration for my crocheted spring wreath.

This is a nice little project, good for doing in front of the TV.  If you have a plan, you can finish one in less than an hour. But if you aren’t sure how you want it to turn out, deciding where to go next can take some time. I have a little stash of unfinished flowers that will surely tell me where they want to go one of these days.

Any ideas on what you would do with a pile of fabric flowers color coordinated to your wardrobe?

I’d love to hear your ideas. And if you make one, share a picture.

Jan

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