Today I have a jewelry tutorial for you, but this post is a bit different, and here is why: this jewelry has a cause. A few of my favorite blogs have teamed up to support the “I MAKE Because She’s Worth It!” movement. You can read all about it on this concise but informative post on the blog The Train To Crazy. In a nutshell, Andrea from The Train to Crazy, as well as other bloggers, are committed to making zipper pouches and bracelets for girls and women rescued from sexual slavery so that they will have something special and handmade that is their very own and which will make them feel loved and realize that they are special and that people around the world care about what happens to them. Andrea and her blogging buddies have challenged their readers to do the same and to send them in sometime during March with a $10 donation.
I knew right away that was a cause that I would love to support (and an amount of money that I could actually afford to donate!), and then I had the idea to extend the project. I work with the teenage girls at our church, and since I was supposed to teach them to make jewelry last month anyway, I proposed that they each make two bracelets, one for themselves, and one for one of these women who had been rescued from sexual slavery. It was a neat experience and a service project that they were all super excited about. They were so thoughtful in their bracelet designs, and they were also quite shocked but moved to hear about what women suffer, especially in other parts of the world. My WORD we are blessed!!!!!!!!!!
I am usually a crystal bling kind of girl, but I knew this bracelets would be headed to countries like India and Cambodia and Africa, so I decided to think about what I knew of those cultures and embrace COLOR and make an ecclectic bracelet. I made an elastic bracelet so that it would be a versatile fit for the recipient, as well as simple for the teenage girls to create. I challenge you to make one as well and send it to Andrea with your $10! All of the donation details are included in her post.
Now let’s get started on the tutorial.
Gather your supplies. You will need elastic cording (don’t get the super cheapy kind—it will stretch out right away and your bracelet will be ruined), beads, and super glue. I got all of my colorful beads at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores, as well as these awesome charms that I spotted: Made With Love. Aren’t they perfect? Because we used those I also used simple jump rings and my flat nosed pliers.
Measure your wrist or just guesstimate. Most wrists are between 6-9 inches I believe. Cut a length of elastic at least 4 inches LONGER than that. You don’t want to get done and not have enough elastic left to tie a knot!
NOW COMES A VITALLY IMPORTANT STEP! DO THIS OR YOUR BRACELET COULD STRETCH OUT LATER OR SNAP IMMEDIATELY!! Grab both ends of your elastic and give it four or five strong tugs so that you pre stretch it out and get it limber and ready to go!!
Now that your elastic is ready to go you can start designing your bracelet. Just fiddle with your beads and lay them out until you find an arrangement that is pleasing to your eye. You may want to do this on a bead mat or a piece of felt so that the beads don’t roll all over the table. Make sure your bracelet lay out is long enough! (You can always test that by wrapping it around your wrist prior to knotting it at the end.)
Tape one end of the bracelet to the table and string your beads onto the elastic.
*If you are using a charm you can put it on during this stage. Take your pliers and gently pull open the jump ring. Put the charm onto the jump ring and gently push it back together. Thread it onto the bracelet wherever you would like it to dangle.
Once you are finished threading the beads onto your bracelet, knot the elastic in a strong, simple square knot. Put a dot of super glue on it to seal it shut.
Once the glue is dry, snip the extra elastic ends off. Done!
Now, I challenge you to go make your own bracelet for this brave women to help them feel special and help them on their recovery process! Maybe you should even have a bracelet making party or service project night! Use your creativity, and have fun!