I love using crimp beads as regular beads (evidenced here), so I used some to make a batch of sparkly DIY bracelets with knotting cord in rich jewel tones. In case any of my sisters are reading this, then the cat's out of the bag and you now know what you're getting for Christmas! Read on for the how to.
Tools and materials:
Chinese knotting cord, 1.5mm
Jump rings and clasp
Fold-over ends (optional)
Crimp beads, 2.5mm
Rhinestones or crystals in sew-on setting (I used 8mm and 10mm in navette/marquis, pear, and baguette shapes. Also try the bead and scrapbook section of craft store-- make sure they have holes for stringing).
Lighter (optional, but very helpful!)
1. Cut a long piece of cord, about 24 inches long. Use the lighter to gently fuse the cord ends so they are easier to string through the rhinestones and beads. Fold in half, then criss-cross the ends to through one of the crimp beads and pull down to about 6 inches from the folded end.
2. Continue stringing on crimp beads by pushing one cord through one end of the bead and the other cord through the other end of the bead.
3. Once you've added enough beads, string on the crystals through the sew-on holes and add more crimp beads.
4. Slide a crimp bead on both cords (perpendicular to the ones the cord is criss-crossed through) and use pliers to crimp shut. Repeat on the other end of the bracelet.
5. Add the fold-over ends, or tie a knot at where you want the bracelet ends to meet around your wrist.
6. Add jump rings and clasp. Knot and trim the ends of the cord.
A few tips-- if you have a hard time stringing on the crystals, try enlarging the sew-on holes with something like an awl or bead reamer, or try pushing the cord through with a piece of wire.