Wednesday, April 24, 2013

TREND TRACKING: leather cord and sliders

No question that leather cord bracelets sporting sliders and charms are sizzling hot right now. Few jewelry projects are as easy to create, even if you've never made jewelry before. Can you glue, trim the end off a strip of leather, and do a bit of addition and subtraction to measure a length of cord? Then you are good to go.
Me, too! So I am giving myself a well-deserved and easy break this morning to play with some of the trendy Cousin's slide bracelet components, which you can find at Jo-Ann's.  Here's the step by step for my slider cuff:

1. Measure your wrist for your desired bracelet total length. Mine is 7".
2. Measure your clasp length, clasped. This one is 1 ½".
3. Measure for cord length: here's the bit of math. Our parents were right, we do need math for everything.

You need to account in the cord length for the ends that get glued into each clasp. Measure the clasp depth: I took a small strip of paper, inserted it into the clasp, and marked where the clasp ends. Then I measured the section marked off on the paper. My clasps are both about ¼" deep.  Measure both in case they are different, and add both increments. My math:
My desired finished length: 7"
Clasp length: 1 ½"
Clasp depths x 2 = ½"
Subtract clasp length from total length = 5 ½".  Add ½" for clasp depth and my leather cord needs to be cut to 6". Ultimately this will give me 5 ½" length of leather cord exposed.  Add the 1 ½" clasp. Comes to 7", right?

4. Trim nice, straight cuts at the cord ends. Use a sharp craft knife and a cutting board, pressing with a firm and controlled sawing motion. Use caution when using knives if any kind.

5. Use an emory board to smooth the ends, and wipe the dust away.

6. Now comes the really fun part: choose your sliders! Play around with your sliders to come up with a pleasing arrangement. I tried a few ideas, and took photos to remember so I could recreate my fave.

7. Once your sliders are arranged on the cord, glue the cord ends into the clasps. MAKE SURE your clasps are facing the proper direction so the sliders show correctly if they have a top and bottom, like the owl in my design. I prefer my clasp's hook facing in, it's easier to hook that way. 
Use a viscous glue such as E-6000. Drop glue in the clasp and insert the cord end completely. Don’t use too much glue or it will overflow. If this happens, wipe excess away immediately using the edge of a card, such as the one on which your sliders probably came packaged. Place the glued bracelet to dry 6-8 hours someplace flat and away from little hands or paws. Here's my finished cuff again. All told including writing this blog with photos, my slider project took under two hours! For anyone but especially me the seed bead devotee, this is insanely instant gratification... except I need to make that glue dry faster!