Friday, March 14, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Diamond Chain

  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Matte Black" (8-F401)
  • 11/0 seed beads Cousin "Antique Bronze" (AJM61215018)
This was one of the very first beading patterns that I learned when I started beading. It's also one of the easiest yet it makes a cute little bracelet. You can get the free pattern from the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads site HERE.

The bronze seed beads that I used in this bracelet were from Walmart. When I first started beading, I didn't know about the high quality beads from Miyuki and Toho so I was buying my seed beads from Walmart. Hey, they were extremely cheap and they came in some really nice "metal" colors. Their antique bronze and gun metal colors were my favorites and you can't get them from Toho or Miyuki. It's a shame because they'd be big sellers. You get 40 grams for only $1.50 at Walmart (it appears that they've stopped selling all but a few colors of seed beads at Walmart now and I don't think that they have either of those colors anymore).

The problem with the seed beads from Walmart is that the sizes of the beads are horribly irregular and I very often had to deal with holes that were too small to get my needle through a second time. Plus, it seemed like I was spending half of my beading time picking out useable beads for each project. Thank goodness I discovered that there were good quality beads to be had and I never use those Walmart Cousin brand beads anymore. Well, I have to admit that they do make some nice bicones that come in a few good colors or at least they did. I think they've discontinued most of the good colors in those too. These were my favorite bicones from Walmart:


Anyway, the bronze seed beads that I used in this bracelet are labeled 11/0 but they're quite a bit larger than standard 11/0 beads. I think they're more like 10/0. You can use true 11/0 beads for this but the bracelet will look a little more delicate. On closer inspection, the bronze beads aren't all that much smaller than the black 8/0 beads I used so that size might also work. I think that the 8/0's that I used might be a little on the small side though.

You can also change the look of this bracelet by using one larger bead, such as a 4mm bicone, in place of each pair of 8/0 seed beads. I'll post one of those in another Bracelet of the Day post sometime. While this black seed bead version is very casual, the ones with bicones are still very simple but kind of elegant looking.

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