How to Make the One-Strand Popo Bracelet
Did you read the Intro to my Popo Bracelet tutorial? If you haven't yet, click here to read the Story of the Perfect Grandmother Gift.
Here's an addendum to story:
My mom somehow lost the bracelet within days of receiving it, and long story short, I need to make her a new one. These photos and this tutorial are all we left of the Popo bracelet.
Bracelet Making Instructions
- Crimping pliers or Magic Crimping Pliers
- 2 pair chain-nosed pliers or 2 pair of flat-nosed pliers, or 1 of each
- Flush cutters
- Masking tape, alligator clips, or bead stoppers
- Bead board (optional)
- Measuring tape
- sterling silver 4.5mm letter beads
(for the name or names of the children + "Popo" or whatever else you want to put there)
- bali small bumpy spacer beads
- 6mm faceted bicone swarovski crystal faceted bicone beads
(2 of each birthstone color)
- 4mm seamless sterling silver round beads
- 4mm sterling silver saucer spacer beads
- Sterling silver twisted 6.5 mm jump rings
- 2mm sterling silver crimp tubes size 2 (6)
- Thai Karen Hill Tribe Silver flower charm
- Sterling silver puffed heart charm
- Sterling silver toggle clasp
- .018" silver plated 19 strand nylon coated beading wire
- French wire, size medium
Step 1: Line up your beads
Start by lining up your beads on your bead board or on masking tape facing sticky side up. This makes it easy to move them around and rearrange them if you need to.
Step 2: Prepare your Beading Wire
Cut your nylon coated beading wire about 2.5 inches longer than the person's wrist size. Put a piece of masking tape, an alligator clip, or a bead stopper at the end of your stringing wire.
Step 3: String, Look, Rearrange, Fuss...
Don't finish either end yet. String your beads onto your wire. It's OK to string and restring until you're happy with the design (I usually have to rearrange a few times until I like the look).
Here's the design I finally decided on:
click here for a larger image (image will open in new window)
Step 4: Measure
Put masking tape or a bead stopper on the open end of beading wire. Measure your strung beads. Make sure that they are all pushed together. Your string of beads needs to measure the same as your wrist measurement less about 1/8th of an inch. Add or remove beads from the ends as necessary.
Step 5: Crimping one end of the bracelet
Call me paranoid, but I usually double or even triple crimp my bracelets to make extra sure they don't come apart. My Popo bracelet is double crimped on each end.
Take your tape off one end and string a crimp tube, a sterling 6mm bead, and 1 more crimp tubes.
Form a loop at the end of your bracelet by stringing a 1/2" piece of french wire onto your beading wire, then stringing your beading wire back through the 2 crimp tubes, the sterling round bead, and the 3rd crimp tube, and the next bead in line too.
French Wire is a coil of very fine wire that fits over your beading wire. I use it on the toggle end.
Tighten up everything nice and snug by pushing your beads and crimp tubes close together. Crimp each tube.
Take the remaining piece of tape off your bracelet.
String 1 crimp tube, 1 sterling round, and your last 1 crimp tubes onto your unfinished bracelet end. String the clasp. String the end of your beading wire back through the sterling bead and crimp tubes tighten the beading wire.
Crimp your crimp tubes.
I like to use my Magic Crimping pliers (to see what these pliers look like, see the lefthand pic below) because it turns my crimp tubes into little round balls that look like beads. You can use crimping pliers to crimp and fold the tube, or squash the crimp tubes flat with your pliers instead.
Lefthand picture: This picture shows a different clasp, but I wanted to show you how your crimp tubes and beading wire should look in this step.
Righthand picture: Legend: C=crimp tube, SR=sterling round (obviously, these tube are already crimped) See how my crimp tubes look like liitle beads?
Step 6: Attach the Toggle Bar
Your toggle bar usually has a jump ring attached to it. Use it to attach the toggle bar to your french wired loop.
Step 7: Trim your nylon beading wire close with flush cutters.
Step 8: String some crystals onto some headpins
To make the bead dangles, I used 2 handmade balled-wire headpins (click the link for a tutorial), and strung two Swarovski crystal 6mm bicones. I then made a loop on each above each bead, but didn't wrap the loop yet.
Step 9: Wire wrap your bead dangles onto the bracelet
Place your bead dangles where you want them, and hold the loop steady with your chain-nosed pliers. Wrap the loop and trim close. Using your chain-nosed pliers, squoosh the tiny bit of wire close that's left so that it doesn't stick out.
Tip: Using the curved part of a pair of crimping pliers is the easiest way to squoosh the wire close to your wrapped loop.
Step 10: Attach your charms
Your charms should come with jump rings attached. Use them to attach the charms to the toggle clasp end of your bracelet (either to the loop of the clasp, or around the beaded part of the bracelet)
Step 11: Finish Off Your Popo Bracelet
Admire your work, and wear it around town for a day to make sure it won't fall apart or fall off.
Did you enjoy this article? Please give it a "like" to let us know ~Christine
Related Tools & Supplies
Here you go - everything you need to create your adorable Popo bracelet! ;)
Artbeads.com I bought most of my beads and bracelet making supplies for this project from Artbeads.
The Story behind the Popo Bracelet Story of the Perfect Grandmother Gift.
Mother Bracelet How to String a Mommy Bracelet
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