Welcome to our first craft adventure of the new year! We’re a few weeks in and of course that begs the question, who has been able to keep their New Years Resolutions? Personally, I don’t make a single one. Years and years of making and breaking them has kind of soured me, but this year I want a change. I recently saw an interview on the Today Show with author Jon Gordon who wrote the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life. I haven’t read the book so I can’t vouch for that, but the interview I found incredibly inspiring. What I took away from it was that instead of making a list of specific resolutions you should instead come up with one word to focus on and in doing so, will automatically change your behavior. The word I chose is “Better”. I obviously always want to be a better wife and friend and mother, but it goes beyond that. For example, this year I want to commit to buying better. Instead of spending money on a lot of things, I want to buy less but of better quality. According to Mr. Gordon then, I need to focus on the word “Better” and that will help me when I’m faced with certain choices whether it be significant, like how to react in an argument or whether or not I should attempt one more round of cardio, or insignificant like purchasing something I don’t in any way need.
Because I was so inspired by this I wanted to make it the focus of my first project of the new year. I rolled it over and over in my mind, how can I incorporate this word into my daily life? Then the Beekman Boys came back from their trip to Kenya (have you checked out their photo stream on Instagram? Amazing images!) and I was instantly grabbed by the people they were meeting and their impressive and colorful beads. I put the two ideas together and ta da! The Resolution bracelet. My first idea incorporated the actual word I had chosen into the design but it felt a bit much and honestly I didn’t want to explain it to every person I came across. Instead I settled on a knot design to symbolize that I shouldn’t forget. So enough talk, let’s jump right in. It may look difficult but trust me, it can be done in under 2 hours with absolutely no experience.
- Cardboard or wooden box (tissue box, cigar box, shoe box, etc)
- Utility knife or scissors
- Heavy thread or specialized beading thread
- Scotch tape
- Collapsible eye beading needle
- Assorted seed beads
- 2 large beads
1. To build the bead loom cut the box if necessary to remove flaps so the top is open. Next, use scissors or a utility knife to cut slits for the loom threads. This design requires 12 slits on each side. For my specific loom I used a balsa wood box that a toy was packaged in and a steak knife to cut the slits.
2. Tape thread to the center of the bottom of the loom leaving a 4″ tail.
3. Wrap the thread around the box and into each slit. When all the slits are filled, tie the thread to the beginning tail and trim.
4. Take a long section of thread, about 2 arms length, and thread onto the beading needle. Tie the end of the thread to the first loom thread, just left of center. Leave an 8″ tail.
5. Pass the needle and thread under the loom threads and string on the 11 beads from the first column in the design. When stringing the beads, work from the bottom of the design to the top.
6. Ease one bead into each of the spaces between the loom threads.
7. Pass the needle back through the beads making sure the needle and thread stay above the loom threads.
8. Pull the thread tight and knot the thread to the beginning tail to keep the beads taught.
9. Continue on in this manner (except don’t make anymore knots) to build up the design.
10. When the design is finished make a single knot with the bead thread to the first loom thread. Cut the loom threads in the center of the bottom of the loom to release.
11. Tape one side of the threads and the beaded design to the bottom of the loom box and separate the threads into 4 sets (one set will have 4 threads, the rest will have 3).
12. Thread one set of threads into the beading needle and string on beads. Repeat with remaining 3 sets of thread.
13. When the threads are all strung with beads, thread all of the loom threads into the needle and slip on one large bead. Separate the threads into two equal sets, thread one end of the clasp on to one set of threads and triple the knot thread sets together. Thread all of the threads through the needle and pass the needle back up through the large bead. Trim the threads and repeat steps #11 to #13 with the opposite side.
There you go! I hope you enjoyed this first crafty project of the new year and I look forward to hearing how it comes out! And don’t be scared to experiment. Mix it up with more threads, less threads, bigger beads, a more intricate design, whatever you like!
Lucy Blaire has written for countless craft magazines including Sew News, Stitch, Simply Handmade, and ReadyMade; she has appeared on PBS’s Sew It All TV; writes for her blog, East Camp Home; and runs her Etsy shop, Lucy Blaire Handmade. With what little time is left Lucy can be found living quietly in Catskill, NY with her husband Ben and baby Marian in their little house with the red tin roof.