Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the 6th Day of Christmas: Sleigh Bells Bracelet

One of my favorite old fashioned images of Christmas is the horse drawn sleigh. Using the imagery of the bells to kick off some inspiration, I created special brass bells from vintage components and treated them to a red patina. Once I added the leather strapping, the inspiration was complete for a bracelet that brings to mind a horse’s special harness with Christmas sleigh bells!

Tools & Materials

1 - 6" piece - Open Link Red 7mm Chain
2 - 6" pieces - Bright Brass Chain
2 - 6" pieces - Antiqued Brass Chain
12 - 5mm Siam Swarovski Simplicity Crystals
1 - 10mm Brass Jump Ring 
15" - Brass Wire
1 - 1" Brass Headpins
1 - 6mm Brass Bead Cap
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Flush cutters

Step 1 - To work with patina-ted goods, it is best to prepare your chain nose pliers with bits of masking tape over the tips to prevent the steel tips from scratching the finish.  Remove 1 open link from the red patina-ted chain and set aside.

Step 2 -  Using your round nose pliers, wire-wrap each of the Siam Simplicity crystals together to form a 6" section of beaded chain.

Step 3 - Pierce both ends of each 6" piece of leather with the awl. Leather heals when it is pierced, so you may need to be aggressive while you widen the hole, widening the hole by stretching the leather with the awl.

Step 4 - Open one of the red jump rings from the patina-ted red "S" clasp and layer 1 - 6" piece of bright brass chain, 1 - 6" piece of antiqued brass chain, 1 - 6" piece of leather, the patina-ted red chain, the wire-wrapped crystal section, 1 - 6" piece of bright brass chain, 1 - 6" piece of antiqued brass chain and the last 6" piece of leather onto the red jump ring. Close the jump ring and slide it onto the "S" clasp.

Step 5 - Repeat the above step with the opposite side of all the 6" pieces on the other red jump ring, this time close the jump ring onto the 10mm brass jump ring and slide it onto the "S" clasp. This will be the side you you use to open the bracelet and close it over your wrist.

Step 6 - With the removed open link of the red patina-ted chain, attach the Christmas Bell to the "S" clasp by inserting it into the top scroll, over the middle bar of the clasp. Slide the remaining Siam crystal onto the brass headpin and follow it with the brass bead cap, form a loop with the round nose pliers and insert the loop into the top wire-wrapped loop of the Christmas Bell. Continue the wire-wrap to close the loop onto the bell.

Now all you need is a blanket and some cocoa! Schooch over, I've got marshmallows!   


JeannieK said...

OH MY Shannon what a beautiful mix of components. The Christmas Bell is sublime. Does it ring-a-ding-ding?

Alice said...

What a beautiful piece! I love that you used this iconic photo of a horse drawn sleigh as your inspiration.

Thanks for sharing!

Mary Harding said...

What a wonderful bracelet Shannon. Love the combination of leather and jingle of bells. You have really captured the feeling of an old fashioned Christmas. Great red patina, too.Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial as well.

TesoriTrovati said...

Seriously drooling over here. That's not good either, because it is so cold in my office today that the drool will freeze on my chin! I think whoever is on your Christmas gift list for this baby will be toasty inside even without the hot cocoa!
You da bomb, Miss Shan!
Enjoy the day!

rosebud101 said...

I love, love, love that bracelet! I'm going to have to try it soon! Maybe in time for Christmas? I hope so!

Barb Fernald said...

What a fun bracelet. The leather and jingle bell combo; very evocative of a sleigh ride.

Elizabeth said...

Very special!

Riki Schumacher said...

How adorable Shannon! Love it. Riki

SueBeads said...

Oh my gosh, that is fantastic! You KNOW I love your bells!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Oh I love this!!!