By Adam Hunter
Swarovski crystal beads have been perpetual favourites in jewellery making for over 100 years and their appeal is still as strong today as it was back in Victorian times. These pretty, iridescent crystals catch the light and come in a complete spectrum of colours. They can be incorporated into a wide range of jewellery making projects, but are particularly beautiful when woven into a bracelet.
By interlocking a series of loops incorporating seed beads, pearl beads and Swarovski crystal beads, you can build up a complex looking but simple to make bracelet. By simply passing the needle back through a sequence of beads, a circle is formed that can be linked to a series of similar patterns that come together to create a mesh of beads. Because of the luminescence of the surface of the crystals, this pleasing pattern catches the light beautifully and can look dazzling with more formal eveningwear. To really complete the ensemble, why not create a matching choker picking up the pearl and crystal theme of the bracelet?
For less formal wear, Swarovski crystal beads can be used to create more fun and casual jewellery, including a simple crystal charm bracelet. Adding crystal beads of different colours to a simple charm bracelet type chain gives you an instant mood enhancer even on the dullest of days! These simple bracelets are ideal for little girls, as the crystal beads come in such a huge spectrum of colours that there are bound to be some in your child’s favourite tones. As Swarovski crystal beads are very cheap to buy and easy to use, you can even encourage your children to join in and create their own jewellery. It can start a lifetime love of jewellery making and it’s rare to find a little girl who doesn’t love creating her own jewellery from beads, so why not encourage that creativity?
The simple charm bracelet pattern also has the advantages of being infinitely variable. If you tire of a certain colour combination, all you have to do is remove the crystal beads and replace them with a new colour scheme.
Swarovski crystal beads can also be used as feature beads in bead-loom work. To do this you may have to allow for a certain amount of displacement of the flat-woven seed beads, so it’s best to sketch your design first on grid paper (with each square representing a seed bead to give you a concept of the pattern). This way you can see exactly where in the design your Swarovski crystals will sit and how many seed beads you will have to omit from the pattern to compensate for the displacement and keep the bracelet from distorting.
Swarovski crystal beads have been used in jewellery making for over a century and their continued popularity is testament to the sheer quality and range of jewellery you can design incorporating these iridescent gems. Cheaper than using semi-precious or even precious stones, Swarovski crystals bring a dazzling sparkle to any type of jewellery, even formal eveningwear styles. They can be used to liven up simple jeans and tee shirt or give you a touch of glamour and individualism at work. Through their sheer versatility, it’s no wonder that they remain a perennial favourite in jewellery making.