Monday, June 15, 2015

A New Solution To An Old Problem...


This past little while I have been trying to think of a new solution to an old problem plaguing one of my jewelry essentials: stacking stretch bracelets...

Here are some of the issues I have found with these popular little guys as I have been wearing them for years...everywhere... but especially to the salon where they are exposed to water frequently; the elastic inevitably stretched out farther leaving a not so pretty gap of elastic showing (left photo) and the accent bead I use to hide the glued surgeon's knot looks terrible as the plating wears off (right photo--those used to be a pretty gunmetal color...)
Old Style of Stacking Stretch Bracelets
 I understand I am rougher on my jewelry than the average customer, but things like this bother me and I want my pieces to stand the test of time; years later, it is just as beautiful as the day you purchased it.

So I did some thinking...and came up with a modified version of how I wire wrap my Freshwater Pearl pendants, I had seen a few ladies doing something similar on Instagram and Etsy, so I really took my time figuring out how to make mine in my own unique style. This is what I came up with:
New Style of Stacking Bracelets
 I'm in love!!! Not only are they more durable, the wire has a non-tarnish coating on it so it will never change and they are still flexible making it quite easy to squeeze together to catch the hook onto the loop for closure :)

Now....I have had these gemstone beads that I bought specifically for stretch bracelets for a while now, in three sizes: 8mm, 6mm and 4mm.  Little did I know just how much of a headache they were going to give me as I tried to figure out length measurements for different wrist sizes.... you see the larger beads take up more space on the wrist; meaning I need a much longer length than 6" to fit a 6" wrist comfortably.  

Of course the length adjustment is different for each size of bead...and I'm not a machine so sometimes my free-handed wire wrapping is not exactly perfect each time between each bead...changing the length again...BUT I don't necessarily want it to be perfect...there in lies the beauty of handmade; each piece is unique in its own way :)

So I figured out most of the measurements and found that keeping a group that I'm working on flat on my bead mat helped the process of sizing;
New Stacking Bracelets Laid Flat to Measure
As you can see I have two colors of wire that I am using: the dark gunmetal color (my FAVORITE) for the silver lovers, and the vintage brass for the warm toned metal lovers;
New Gemstone Stacking Bracelets
What about the gemstone chip stretch bracelets you ask??? Well I came up with an idea for those as well; similar technique but just a little bit different as to accommodate the chips;
New Gemstone Chip Stacking Bracelets
I'm currently still working with the round gemstone beads...there are A LOT of them waiting to become new wire wrapped stacking bracelets... when I have had my fill of wrapping those and using most of my inventory I will move onto the chips...if you only knew how many chips I have....

As for availability; I will start photographing the rounds as soon as I have a good amount of variety in stones and various wrist sizes.  I will keep you posted here or on Facebook and Instagram.

As always, I would love your feed back on the new and improved style of stacking bracelets!

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