Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tutorial: A Beauteous Black Bangle! Another Mystery Thing revealed.

Well!  What clever readers I have!  A number of you figured out my latest Mystery Thing.  Here it was:

No, it's not licorice.  Here's the answer:


It's called spline.  It's black rubber tubing that holds window screens in a metal frame.  I think the ribbing makes it much prettier than plain tubing in this bracelet design.  (I know, I know - if you're not from around these parts, you are completely rolling your eyes.  We have bug screens on our windows.  All our windows.  In California, it's the law.)

Winners winner winners!  In the category "First Correct Guesser Who Also Remembered to Include An Email Address," congrats to Lorraine!  And in the category "Most Creative Guesser Who Also Remembered to Include An Email Address," I am giving the nod to Cara, who wondered, Is it black Play-Doh that's been through one of those presses that makes it a funny shape?  I will contact you lucky duckies anon.

Now a tutorial.  Super basic - it's the simplest memory wire bracelet you can make.  Never tried memory wire before?  It's fun, takes a bit of hand strength, but you will LOVE it.  Ready?

Cut a piece of memory wire, long enough to make several wraps around your wrist, plus at least 3 inches extra.  Memory wire is extremely macho - be sure to use serious macho wire cutters, not your good jewelry snippers.

Make a loop on one end.  Again, let me stress the high testosterone level of this stuff.  It takes effort to turn a loop in memory wire.  If you can't get it at first, snip off the mangled end and keep trying!

Snip your spline (or any tubing, it doesn't have to be this exact stuff) into little segments:

Now go ahead and string beads and tubing onto the wire.  You can do a regular design, alternating tubing with just one bead pattern, as in the blueberry one...

But don't be afraid to do something free-form, or make extra loops, as in this example:

To finish, you need to turn a final loop.  I find it easiest if you have extra wire to grip, so stop stringing your beads a few inches before you get to the end.  With your round-nose pliers, grasp the wire up tight next to the last bead.  Then pull the extra wire up, over and all the way around to make a loop.

Snip off the extra tail.  Your loop will probably be a little gappy.  Insert the pliers and turn it closed, or try to squish it closed from the outside.  I like to add little bead dangles to each end, it makes such a cute finish:

There ya go.  Another Mystery Thing done, and I lose again!  Everyone is officially authorized to laugh and point.

Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Next time, I SWEAR I'm gonna get you.


  1. Oh sure spline just rolled off my tongue. Uh huh.

  2. Well who'da thought it?! They look really cool anyway, I love the beady dangles on the ends!

  3. Congratulations to the winners! I was close with the windows....but close doesn't cut it with winning, I know.

    Thanks for the tutorial! Great to follow along with. I guess we need another hard mystery thing next time, huh?????

  4. Great bracelet! And great tute, thanks for sharing!

  5. I love these bracelets!!!!specially that one with extra spiral!!!

  6. PS:
    estoy de giveaway en mi blog si quieres pasar:-D

  7. spline eh?... gah, you got me again! that's okay keep'em coming. i will get better at this, I vow. i just need practice is all.

  8. ooopsss...i was wrong again..hahaha...thanks for the step by step tutorial..so sweet...

  9. REALLY cool, I love it! I love how your bonkers little brain works.

  10. Sneaky woman! I have redone my slider screen, and my spline is beige... faked me out. Maybe I'll win next time. Love the bracelet! Thanks for the tut.

  11. Superb! love the bracelet and color combo..

  12. This was so much fun. My son and I looked and looked and his observation was licorice but that would certainly have been messy if it was raining out! thanks for the mystery fun, Linda

  13. I am so going to use this as one of monthly crafts for my New Year's resolution this year! Perfect for Christmas gifts!!! You are so awesome!!!