Three Strand Bracelet

This bracelet is called the Three Strand Bracelet for the simple reason that it has three strands of beads held together by spacer bar findings that we make on our WigJig tools.  The same approach to making this three strand bracelet could be used to make a four strand or five strand bracelet.  The three strands of beads are strung on Soft Touch or Soft Flex bead stringing wire. 

Pearl and Amythest Beads in 3 Tier Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project

This is an advanced beginners jewelry making project and can be made on any of our WigJig tools with just six regular metal pegs.  
 

Jewelry Making Supplies Tools Required
  • 8 inches of 18 gauge wire
  • 12 inches of 20 gauge wire
  • 90 6mm round beads
  • 72 size 11 seed beads
  • 30 inches of Soft Touch or Soft Flex bead stringing wire
  • 6 2x2mm crimp beads
  • One commercial clasp
  • 3" of fine commercial chain (optional)
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter for Soft Flex
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Nylon Jaw Pliers
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers (recommended)
  • Ruler
  • WigJig Delphi, Centaur, Olympus or Olympus Lite with 6 regular pegs
  • Bead Crimping Pliers (Standard Size)
  • 2 hours of free time

Skills Required:

  • Ability to make loops in wire
  • Ability to make wire components by wrapping wire on a WigJig jewelry making tool.
  • Ability to use Soft Flex.
  • Ability to use crimp beads and crimping pliers. 

Pearl Beads in 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project.
Step 1:  Cut two segments of 18 gauge 1/2 hard wire each 2" long, two more segments of 18 gauge wire each 1 7/8" long and 6 segments of 20 gauge 1/2 hard wire each 1 7/8 inches long. 

Step 2:  Using your Step Jaw Pliers or round nose pliers make a loop in the end of each wire segment with the flush cut.

Step 3:  Grip each wire segment in turn by the loop you made and using your nylon jaw pliers straighten each wire segment by repeatedly pulling the wire through the jaws of the pliers. 

Step 4 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectStep 4:  We begin making the wire components by making the 18 gauge 3 strand spacer bar for each end of the bracelet.  Use one of the 1 7/8" wire segments.  Position pegs 1 and 2 in your jig as shown at right.  Place the initial loop on peg 1 and wrap the wire around peg 2.  Then add peg 3 and wrap the wire around peg 3.  At this point your wire component should appear as shown at right.  Do the same thing both segments of 1-7/8" 18 gauge wire and all 6 segments of 20 gauge wire. 

Step 5:  Remove the wire from your jig and cut the excess wire.  Using your bent chain nose pliers, close the final loop where you cut the wire.  The 18 gauge 3 hole spacers are for either end of the bracelet.  The 20 gauge wire is for spacing the strands down the length of the bracelet. 

Step 6:  Now we begin to make the 2 to 1 components on either end of the bracelet.  Position pegs 4 and 5 in your jig (remove pegs 1-3 so that they aren't in your way.)  Using the 18 gauge 2" long wire segments, position the initial loop on peg 4 and wrap the wire around peg 5 as shown above-right.  Push the wire so that it rests adjacent to the empty hole for peg 6 with no pressure applied.  Then add peg 6 and wrap the wire around peg 6.  When completed, the wire should appear as shown above-right. 



Step 5 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project
Step 7 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project
Step 5 Step 7

Step 7:  Remove the wire from the jig and cut the excess wire.  Close the final loop with your bent chain nose pliers.  Your wire component should appear as shown at right.

Step 8:  In order for the 2-1 component to be able to connect to the 18 gauge 3 hole spacer component, we need to modify the orientation of the loops in the 2-1 component.  We start this process by converting both of the loops made on pegs 4 and 6 into eye loops.  This is done by grasping the start of each loop with the tips of your round nose pliers and twisting. Visit here for a instructions detailing this jewelry making technique.   When both loops are converted, the wire component will appear as shown at right.

Step 9:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp each eye loop in turn and rotate it 90 degrees.  The picture shown at left is taken from the side so that you can see the orientation of the two loops.  When rotating the loops, rotate one clock-wise and one counter-clockwise so that both openings in the loops are on the same side of the wire component. 

Step 8 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project. Step 9 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project Step 10 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project
Step 8 Step 9 Step 10

Step 10:  Now we need to connect the 2-1 component to the 18 gauge 3 hole spacer.  This is the most difficult step in making this bracelet.  First, using your bent chain nose pliers, open the loop made on peg 4 in the 2-1 component, connect this loop to the end loop in the 3 hole spacer and close the loop.  Now for the hard part.  To Step 11 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Projectconnect the loop made on peg 6 in the 2-1 component with the end loop in the 3 hole spacer component, we need to open both loops using our bent chain nose pliers.  Open the loop on the 2-1 component away from the initial loop on this component.  In the picture above-right this would mean opening that loop toward the right as you view the picture.  With both loops open, connect the two loops and then close both loops.  Do this for both sets of 18 gauge wire components.  (Be patient.  This will work, but it isn't easy.)

Step 11:  Now we are ready to begin stringing the strands of beads.  The technique for using crimp beads can be found here.  We recommend using 2mm by 2mm tube style crimp beads as these are the easiest to use and make consistent and strong crimps.  Cut three segments of either .014 or .019 Soft Flex or Soft Touch each 10 inches long.  Be certain to use cutters that are appropriate for Soft Flex.  (Normal jewelry wire flush cutters will become dented by cutting Soft Flex wire.)  Using one crimp bead and a segment of Soft Flex or Soft Touch, connect the bead stringing wire to one of the loops in the 3 hole spacer component as shown at left.  Do this for all three loops in the 3 hole spacer.  At this point we are ready to begin stringing the beads. 

Step 12 in 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project.Step 12:  There are many ways to string this bracelet, one is with five 6mm beads then a spacer bar, another way is with four 6mm beads then a spacer bar.  Alternate view to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectIn the picture at right, we show the five 6mm beads then spacer.  In the picture at left we show a bracelet with four 6mm beads then a spacer bar.  Both alternatives look great so it is a personal style question which to use.  If you want to use a contrasting color bead as shown above-right, then the five 6mm beads alternative is more appropriate.  In stringing your beads, always use a 6mm bead next to the crimp beads and 6mm beads on either side of the spacer bars.  Always use the size 11 seed beads between any two 6mm beads.  String six inches of beads.  For the five 6mm bead alternative this would be five spacer bars and six segments of 5mm beads separated by spacer bars.  For the four 6mm bead alternative this would be six spacer bars and seven segments of four 6mm beads. 

 

Step 13:  When you have completed stringing the beads, you are ready to connect the three strands to the opposite end of the bracelet.  This is done using the same technique that you used on the initial end.  The one thing that you must concentrate on prior to squeezing the crimp beads closed is that you have removed all the slack in the bead stringing wire.  Add the crimp bead, loop the wire through the 3 loop spacer bar and back through the crimp bead and then pull the wire taught.  Do this on each of the three strands before you squeeze any of the crimps.  With all three strands ready to squeeze the crimp bead, start with the middle strand and squeeze that crimp bead closed.  Hold your crimping pliers perpendicular to the end 3 hole spacer bar while performing the crimping.  Complete crimping all three strands and cut the excess bead stringing wire with an appropriate cutter. 

 
Step 14 to 3 Strand Beaded Bracelt Jewelry Making ProjectStep 14:  Now we are ready to add the clasp.  To connect your clasp you can use a commercial clasp with a jump ring like the lobster claw clasp shown above or you can use a magnetic clasp like the one shown at right.  When using a lobster claw clasp, just open the jump ring with the clasp using your bent chain nose pliers and connect the clasp to that side of the bracelet then close the jump ring with your pliers.  In the magnetic clasp shown at right, it required us to make two jump rings out of 20 gauge wire to connect one of Pearl Beads in 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Design.the magnets to each end of the bracelet.  Instructions for making jump rings can be found here.  On either end, open the jump ring, connect it to one of the magnets and to one end of the bracelet, then add a 3" segment of commercial chain as a guard chain.  (When using a magnetic clasp, a guard chain is strongly recommended as the magnets sometimes try to find a new home.)  Connect a magnet and segment of guard chain to both ends of the bracelet using the jump ring and then close the jump ring.  This completes your 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet.  Alternative Peg Pattern for 3 Strand Beaded Bracelet Jewelry Making Project

If you happen to have one of our round WigJigs, or have our WigJig Centaur, here is an alternative peg pattern.  If  you happen to have the Centaur, I would choose to use the 2-1 pattern shown at right along with the pattern for the 3 hole spacer bar that we showed previously on a square peg pattern jig. 

Alternative Designs:

This basic design can be modified to use 8mm beads, but the spacer bars pattern and thus the 2-1 component pattern would need to be modified for wider spacing to allow the larger beads.

The pattern could also be modified to make a four strand or five strand bracelet. 

Finally, this pattern would make an excellent choker style necklace and you would only need to add longer bead string wire, more spacer bars and more beads. 

Advanced Jewelry Making Technique:

There is one problem with the bracelet shown above -- the spacer bar we made is thicker in the middle and thinner on either end.  This results in very slightly different lengths for the middle strand from the two outer strands.  This bothered us for years, but we couldn't come up with an alternative.  Thanks to a good night's sleep, we woke up with the solution for making the spacer bar so that each hole is the same width and all three strands will be the same length.  The answer is simple, the middle hole in the spacer bar must be two thicknesses of the wire you use so that you will have a complete loop.  In the above instructions, each end hole in the spacer bar is only one thickness of wire.  This causes the difference in lengths of the strands.  The answer to resolve this problem is to make each end hole two thicknesses of wire.  The concept is simple, the implementation is slightly more difficult. 

Advanced Spacer Bar Step-by-Step Jewelry Making Instructions:

Step 1 to 3 Hole Spacer Bar Jewelry Making TechniqueStep 1:  Using your fine step jaw pliers (Item 4003 in our Internet store) start by making 1 1/2 loops in your wire.  Instead of beginning with just a single "P" loop, continue wrapping the wire around another 180 degrees.  

Step 2:  Position two regular metal pegs in your jig separated by the width of the widest beads you will use in your bracelet.  In the picture shown below-left, we have seperated the pegs by an amount that would be appropriate for 6mm beads.  The jewelry making jig shown in this picture is the WigJig Delphi or Centaur or Centaur Lite.  After you have properly positioned your pegs, place your inital loop and 1/2 on one of the pegs as shown below-left. 

Step 2 to 3 Hole Spacer Bar Jewelry Making Technique Step 3 to 3 Hole Spacer Bar Jewelry Making Technique
Step 2 Step 3

Step 3:  Wrap the wire about the second peg in your pattern as shown above right.  When you have completed the wrap, the wire should rest adjacent to the empty hole for the next peg in the pattern. 

Step 4: First, remove your wire from your jig.  Now we need to add our third peg to the pattern.  Use the same hole spacing as you did above.  Then replace the wire on the jig in the mirror image position.  This is important so that the spacing will be as good as we can make it.  When the wire is properly placed on the jig, the wire between the second and third pegs should rest on the jig istelf and the wire between the first and second pegs should be elevated off the jig by one thickness of your wire.  See the picture below-left. 

Step 4 to 3 Hole Spacer Bar Jewelry Making Technique Step 5 to 3 Hole Spacer Bar Jewelry Making Technique
Step 4 Step 5

Step 5: Now wrap your wire around the third peg 1 1/2 times as shown above right. 

Finished 3 Hole Spacer Bar Jewelry Making TechniqueStep 6: Using your flush cutter, cut the excess wire.  Place the piece back on your fine step jaw pliers and squeeze the cut end so that it is flat with the rest of the loop.  The finished piece should appear as show at right.  We show the finished spacer bar in two orientations.  You can see that all three loops in the spacer bar are now two thicknesses of your wire.  

Making Spacer Bars with 4, 5, or 6 holes:

You can make spacer bars with 4, 5 or 6 holes.  To do this you will follow the same steps we described above, but on the third hole you will complete one full wrap as you did around the second peg.  Then you can add your fourth peg.  You will still need to remove the wire and replace it on your jig in the mirror image position as you add every new peg.  Your goal is that as you wrap the wire around every new peg, the wire will start adjacent to your jig and wrap up and over itself to create the second layer of wire.  End your four, five or six hole spacer bar the way we did above by wrapping the wire around the final peg 1 1/2 times. 

Summary of Advanced Jewelry Making Technique:

We really like this three strand bracelet, but we weren't totally happy with the three hole spacer bar jewelry wire component we made using our initial instructions.  The slightly more advanced jewelry making technique we describe above resolves our concerns with our initial instructions and makes this project one that we can be proud of.  We recommend using the advanced jewelry making technique above so that all your spacer bars will be the same thickness at all the holes. 

 

 

 

 

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