Parisian Lights Bracelet Tutorial

I really really love this bracelet, my Parisian Lights bracelet is something that is a really great present to make for people so Christmas, birthdays, that kinda thing. The reason is, the first one is gonna take you a little bit longer to make but once you kinda know what you’re doing you can whip one of these whole bracelets out in 2 to 3 hours. Which is fairly unusual for beadwoven projects. They tend to be kind of time intensive but this particular bracelet you can do in an evening. Here’s how we’re going to start out, you’re gonna have to use a stopper bead just to start out, to keep your beads from falling off the end of your thread. So I just take any bead that is not a part of my project, I don’t want to accidentally weave it into my project, learn from my mistake because I have actually done that before and it’s a very sad moment because then you realize that you have to destroy your project to get that stopper bead out.

After you have your stopper bead in, you’re going to pick up 16 of your beads and I have sizing information in your pattern for what kind of beads you’re going to be using here and this is the tedious part where you sit here and watch me count beads (13, 14, 15, 16) We’re gonna turn these beads into a circle, some people will tell you to tie a knot when you turn things into a circle, I do not like to use a knot when I’m creating a circle, especially in this project because, we’re gonna have to get back through those beads again and I don’t want that knot to keep us from being able to get through a beadhole. So what I do instead I come from the bottom end, that tail end, back through all of the beads and you will not be able to do this in one fell swoop because there’s so many of them.

Work your way around so that you’ve gone through all of the beads again. And then, I’m gonna have you move forward on this, and by that I mean, I want you to keep going around in the circle, going through the beads going through the circle, until you have gone through 8 beads past your tail. So here’s the first bead, the tail’s coming out here and you’ve got one bead there, so I need to go through 7 more (5, 6, 7) there is a method to this madness that I will explain here in a minute.

So now we’ve got our very first circle, we’re gonna now add an accent bead down the center, it’s gonna sit right in the center here and we’re going to attach it by going through the beads on the opposite side of the circle. So it’s going to come so that the beadhole will sit straight across here, the reason I had you move halfway across the circle is now you know exactly what bead to go in on this other side, it’s gonna be the first bead to the side of where the tail is coming out of, so I picked up my accent bead, that big center accent bead and now I’m going to pass through 3 seed beads And the accent bead will pop right up into the center there.

It will sit a little above this ring of seed beads and that’s fine, a lot of times I see people trying to center it inside that ring, you don’t actually want to do that, you want to let it go ahead and sit up on top of those seed beads a little bit. So now we’re going to create the next circle, but these 3 beads that we went through right here, these guys right here, those are gonna be shared with the next circle which means that we only have to pick up 13 beads instead of 16 this time. So (let me get that needle back out there) we’re picking up 13 this time. There’s my 13, I’m gonna attach them by going through those same 3 seed beads on that edge. *voila* brand new circle, now we’re gonna attach the crystal across the top, so we’ll pick up our crystal. This time we have to figure out where that spot is that we’re gonna attach it, so here’s how to figure that out. There’s a little bit of an architecture to this circle, you’ve got the 3 seed beads on this side that are shared, the 3 seed beads that are on this side are going to be shared with the next circle, that leaves 5 beads along the bottom and 5 beads along the top and so when you go to find where this location is, you want it to sit on the diagonal, so we’re going to create it this way.

What I like to do is I count the 5 beads across the top, 3, 4, 5, and then bead 6, 7, and 8 will be the ones that I’m actually passing through with my needle. And it is important to make sure that you’re always attaching these on the same diagonal plane so that they all sit the same way, even though it’s a round bead there’s a certain amount of orientation to it because depending on which bead you’re using you might be able to see the hole of the bead and so it can be very obvious if 1 bead is sitting at a different angle or not.

So here, we’re ready for our next 13 seed beads, going to pass back through those same 3 that are going to be shared and then put my accent bead up in the top. Count 5 across the top, and then passing through 6, 7, and 8. One other important thing to know is when you tighten this up, if you tighten outward like this, see how it opens up the spacing here and it creates these big open holes on either side, instead if you tighten inwards, towards the beads, it will suck up a little bit better, so you wanna tighten towards the beads.

And now you can see how they’re all lining up, you’ll keep adding these 13 beads and then your accent bead until you get to the length that you need, and I do have information about the length in your instructions and after you get that length that you need, then we’re gonna come back and we’re gonna add the clasp bead right away. Once you get to the proper length we’re actually gonna start adding the clasp now, which is a little bit unusual because in most beadweaving projects the clasp is usually the last thing that you add, but in this case we’re gonna add it as we go along and as we keep going back and forth we’ll do our reinforcement of that clasp to turn around and change directions. So here’s what we’re looking at, we’re gonna pretend that this is the full length that I need.

I guess I’m making a bracelet for Barbie here, so after you’ve added your last set of beads with your accent bead on top, then we’re going to go ahead and attach our clasp bead. And the clasp bead is going to be a larger size crystal and in this case I made it the same color as those accent colors there, there’s no reason that you have to do that, if you wanted to make this a different color you certainly can do that. So you’ll pick up 4 seed beads, you’re going to pick up a bicone crystal, this is just kind of a pretty little accent, 1 more seed bead, you’ll pick up your clasp bead and then last you’ll pick up 3 more seed beads.

I bring that all down to the piece and skipping these last 3 beads that I added on, we’re gonna pass back through the clasp bead, through the single seed bead below it, through the bicone crystal and through 1 more seed bead. So what happens when I tighten that all down here, is those 3 beads we added on the end of the crystal, it creates a little picot end and that’s what will keep the crystal on your piece and the reason I leave 1 seed bead on either side of this bicone crystal is because I’m protecting my thread from the crystal, the crystals can be nasty little thread cutters and so by putting a seed bead on either side of that crystal, it helps protect the thread. Last thing I’ll do is pick up 3 more seed beads to create the other leg of this little attachment to the bracelet and then I’m going to, I’m coming out what I consider the top edge of this set of 3 beads on this end here, and I’m going to pass back through from bottom to top of those same 3 seed beads, and now that is all connected beautifully with the 3 bead legs on either side.

And then we’re going to be ready to start adding our second pass. After adding your clasp bead we’re gonna be able to start adding some additional embellishment up and down the edges of this bracelet, here’s what we’re gonna do. This shows me right where I was once I finished adding my clasp bead, coming out of those 3 beads on the outside edge, I now need to get in position to start adding more beads and I’m just going to keep moving forward through 3 beads. This has me coming out of the center bead of those 5 beads across that top edge, remember how I talked about the architecture and you’ve got the 3 beads on the side, the 3 beads on the side, 5 top, 5 bottom. So we want to be coming out that middle bead of the top, now here’s the thing: if you accidentally counted wrong and you end up where you only have 4 beads on this top edge or 6 beads on this top edge, don’t bother ripping back and getting that all fixed, because if somebody’s looking that close, first of all they’re invading your personal space and they need to back up, because you can actually fudge it a little bit and if you only 4 beads you’re just gonna pick one of the center beads and go through that instead.

But in a perfect world you’re coming out of that third bead there, you’re gonna pick up a single seed bead, you’re going to pick up a bicone crystal, and a single seed bead and then you’re going to pass through the middle bead of the next set of 5, and this is going to create a little bridge, make sure you don’t accidentally loop your clasp, that’s a really common thing to do, and see how that sits right in that V shape in between the 2 pieces, you’re going to continue this all the way down the edge. So it’s a seed bead, a bicone, and a seed bead, pass through the middle bead. Keep working that down the edge, almost there, one more set, and here it’s a little harder to see it so I’m going to count to the third bead over.

Alright, so now I’ve done one side of the embellishment. Since I’m now at the opposite end, I’m gonna go ahead and create the loop end of my closure and to do that I need to move forward, I’m gonna pass through the last 2 beads of that set of 5 that run along that edge, and then I’m gonna pass through those 3 beads on the outside edge, right there.

We’ll pick up 4 seed beads and a bicone, just the way we did on the beaded end of the closure and then you’re gonna have to pick up enough seed beads to create your loop. Now here’s the thing, I can’t give you an exact number of seed beads, I can give you a guesstimate and that guesstimate is in your pattern, but not all size anything seed beads, size 6, size 8, size 11, whatever they are, are created the same size. And so there is a little bit of trial and error in this, I’m just gonna pick up a random number of seed beads, I will pass back through first seed bead closest to the bicone and then the first seed bead under the bicone crystal. And that creates this little loop, obviously this particular little loop is gonna be way too small fit this clasp bead but I figure you don’t wanna sit there and watch me pick up beads.

This is how you’re going to check the sizing of your clasp though, at this point before you’ve stitched it all in and it would be really hard to back it up, you wanna go ahead and kinda hold some tension on that and make sure that your bead fits nicely and smoothly through that loop you just created. Then we’ll have to create the other leg of this attachment so we’ll pick up another 3 seed beads for that second leg, we’re going to pass through those same 3 seed beads on that outside edge, one more time. It may start getting really tight in here with your tension at some point, because we’re filling up those seed beads with thread, if necessary you can use a flat nose pliers to pull that needle through.

Then, we’re going to just work our way around on the opposite side here, I’m going to go up through 3 seed beads so I’m coming out of the middle seed bead of the hump on this edge and then I’m gonna attach the same embellishment down this edge. So, that’s picking up a seed bead, a crystal, and a seed bead, passing through the middle seed bead of the next unit. And you’ll finish that all the way down to the opposite end. When we come back I’ll talk about how you’re reinforcing your clasp area and then we’ve got one more pass of seed beads to add. You’re getting really close to the end now, we just have a couple of detail things to finish up. One of those things is, normally when I attach a clasp I attach it at the end of finishing a project, in this case we’re creating the clasp as we go along and we’re gonna need to reinforce that clasp each time we come down to that end of the bracelet.

My rule of thumb is I want 3 passes of thread through any clasp and so since we’re down there on this end we’re going to go ahead and reinforce the end of our bracelet one more time. So this is what we’re looking at, I just finished adding my last bicone bridge here and I will pass through all of the beads in the area where I attached the clasp bead and what we’re going to do is we’re not adding any beads, it’s simply passing through them as if we’re adding them. To get over there we’re going to, remember how we went past these 3 beads on the side first, we’re going to work our way through the 2 on this end of the bicone bridge, pass through the 3 on the end and now we’re just going to follow the thread path along the clasp.

So up through these guys, and you’ve got a straight shot up through a seed bead, bicone, seed bead. Through that giant clasp bead, through the 3 seed beads on the end, that little picot, back down through the big clasp bead, through the seed bead, bicone, seed bead. Sometimes it helps you to get a better angle on it if you bend it over, it just gives you a better angle at that beadhole, there we go, finally. It was trying to be naughty since I’m on camera and it knows I’m trying to demo. Then, finally through that second leg of the triangle there and then back up through those 3 seed beads on the end and now we just reinforced the entire clasp area a second time. We’ll work our way forward because we’re going to do one more pass up and down our bracelet. This is just a little detail piece that makes it really nicely finished, I wanna work my way through the beads to get to the bicone bridge, I’m going to go through the beads in the bicone bridge, through the seed bead that’s attaching the 2 bicone bridges, so here’s the last one of the bicone bridge, the seed bead that was in the middle and then the first seed bead of the next bicone bridge, and you’ll notice how these 3 seed beads here create kind of a half moon effect, what we’re actually gonna do is pick up one more seed bead and then pass through all 3 of those beads again.

So this is one of those crazy situations where you’re going through them once, you pick up a bead and then you’re going through them, all 3, a second time. Come on, I know there’s a hole in there somewhere, it was there last time I checked. There we go, I’m actually going to just go ahead and pass forward through the bicone, but this is what we just created, is this little seed bead that pokes out here on the side, and it’s just a nice detail effect. So then to do the next one, you’re going to work your way past those 3 seed beads, you’re picking up one seed bead, and then back through those same 3 seed beads again.

And you will finish doing this all the way along the edge of your bracelet, when you get to the loop end, you will do the reinforcement of that loop end, which will then allow you to turn around and add that finishing detail bead on each one of these sets of 3 seed beads along the final edge. Then the last thing that you’re going to need to do is to end off your thread and ending off your thread is actually very easy. What I like to do on this particular project is to tie knots, in a more tightly woven piece I will just weave back and forth and I don’t tie knots, but this one, it’s kind of a little bit loosy-goosy so you wanna tie knots to make sure that it’s not gonna come undone.

I like to do it on this outside edge, like somewhere along the bicone bridges and wherever your thread is coming out, there’s already going to be a thread attaching the beads together, in this case the bicone and seed bead, and what I’m gonna do is I’m going to take my needle and I’m just going to loop it under that thread that’s already there, and I bring my working thread down so that I have a little bit of a loop, the smaller the loop you have when you go through it, the less likely it is to prematurely knot on you and cause a problem.

So go ahead and make sure that you pull that down nice and small, then you’re going to pass your needle through that loop, does not matter whether you go front to back or back to front. When you go to tighten this knot down, I like to go nice and slow and make sure that as it finishes knotting up it tightens right in between the beads, so that it sucks up into that intersection and you can’t even see it. My rule of thumb is that I like to tie at least 2 to 3 knots, so what I’m going to do is I’m gonna pass through another couple beads and I’m gonna do the exact same thing here, in this case the thread that I’m going to loop underneath happens to be connecting 2 seed beads. I’m pulling my working thread so that, oop look I didn’t catch the thread somehow, ok let’s do it again.

So we’re gonna catch the thread this time, pull it down so I’ve got a little bit of a loop, going on here, Really? twice? Twice I’m gonna do this to myself? Ok, how bout number 3, there we go, now I’ve got a loop. And, I wanna make sure that it’s all gonna tighten in the same intersection, it was trying to loop around a bead, and that’s one of the benefits of tightening nice and slow, I also can pinch right there, so that I can guide where that knot happens. And then your last thing after you’ve tied your last knot, is you’re going to want to move a couple beads away, and again, it does not matter which beads you move through as long as your thread is not showing on the outside of the beads, at this point I can cut this thread off and there we go! Barbie is ready to go the the party, if some of your accent beads here in the middle, some of them be popped down and some of them might be popped up, all you have to do is pop ’em through the seed bead loops there, so that they’re all on the same plane and then when you wear it you’ll wear the flatter side on your wrist and have the bumpy side on the top.

And that, is how you make the Parisian Lights Bracelet. I hope you have a really fun time with it, it’s great for playing with lots of different kinds of color combos and I hope that you show off your work to me at some point in the future..