Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet , Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. I come from a long line of button savers.
Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Chain Making, Making Loops, Wrapping, Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Beginner
I come from a long line of button savers. From my stash, I pulled mother of pearl, crystal and white and cream colored buttons from several generations of women going back to the late 1800's as well as a few pearls and beads from broken jewelry pieces to make an heirloom bracelet. Because some of the buttons I wanted to use had yellowed with age, a few purchased golden pearls, mother of pearl shaped beads and AB finish Swarovski crystal beads were added for interest and to tie all the parts together. Using silver and gold filled wire for the bracelet base helped, as well. What color-way will you use: Browns and Tans; Black, White, and Grey; Multi-color?

Materials

18 Gauge Square Half Hard 14/20 Gold Filled Wire
H4-18SQH
  • Lesson Quantity: 4.00 feet
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $50.59
  • Gold Club Price: $37.94
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18 Gauge Square Half Hard .925 Sterling Silver Wire
H8-18SQH
  • Lesson Quantity: 4.00 feet
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $5.04
  • Gold Club Price: $3.78
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Gold Filled Toggle Clasp 15mm - Pack of 1
J3-91
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.84
  • Gold Club Price: $11.88
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Gold Filled Jump Rings Open (.040) 18ga (OD) 5mm Heavy (ID) 3.2mm - Pack of 10
J11-194
  • Lesson Quantity: 6.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $6.66
  • Gold Club Price: $5.00
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21 Gauge Round Half Hard .925 Sterling Silver Wire
H8-21H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $9.77
  • Gold Club Price: $7.32
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Silver Filled Headpins 24GA 1.5 inch - Pack of 10
S8-12
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $1.61
  • Gold Club Price: $1.21
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Tools

6 Step Barrel Plier - Pack of 1
G2-503
  • G2-503
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
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6-1/2 Inch Chain Nose Pliers
G2-70
  • G2-70
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 2.00 each
  • Price: $9.97
  • Gold Club Price: $7.48
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Silver Solder Paste Medium SS70 - 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.15
  • SOL-822.15
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
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Blazer Big Buddy Turbo Torch, Black
TRCH-8010
  • TRCH-8010
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $40.00
  • Gold Club Price: $30.00
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WireJewelry 9 Inch Rotating Turntable with Fire Brick
G32-9910
  • G32-9910
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $39.95
  • Gold Club Price: $29.96
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Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces
CLN-584.00
  • CLN-584.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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NATURE'S TOUCH CITRIC PICKLE, 2LB PLASTIC JAR
CLN-163.00
  • CLN-163.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $12.95
  • Gold Club Price: $9.71
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2/0 Relentless Sawblade - Sold by the Dozen
SAW-400.05D
  • SAW-400.05D
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.97
  • Gold Club Price: $2.98
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4 Inch Saw Frame
SAW-344.00
  • SAW-344.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $12.95
  • Gold Club Price: $9.71
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10 Piece Diamond Needle Files - 140mm X 3mm
G14-8
  • G14-8
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $13.57
  • Gold Club Price: $10.18
Out of Stock
C.H.P Milano Italian Flush Cutter, 5 1/2 Inches
PLR-487.00
  • PLR-487.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.23
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Instructions
Step 1:
Make the Chain:
Read through the directions before beginning the project.

Twist each of the pieces of 18 gauge square wire being used to make the bracelet chain. Make coils with the twisted silver and gold-filled wire on a 6mm mandrel. 32 links made the size small bracelet-make extras for attaching buttons. Two sets of two rings add about ½" to the bracelet length.
Pro Tip: Because I wanted the sparkle from more than the crystal buttons and Swarovski beads, I chose to use twisted square wire for the chain. Since it would be difficult to clean tarnish from a sterling silver bracelet chain after all the elements were added, I chose to use Argentium wire as it is much more resistant to tarnishing than sterling silver.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - Make the Chain:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 2
Cut the coils into jump rings using your preferred method for cutting jump rings.
Step 3
Open half the silver jump rings. Close half the silver jump rings.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 4
Space the closed rings out on a soldering surface. Place a small bit of medium paste solder under each seam. Heat until the solder flows.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 5
Clean and refine the soldered jump ring seams.
Step 6
Slide two soldered rings onto an open ring. Close the ring. Place the unit on a soldering surface. Make sure that the soldered seams of the two jump rings are not touching the new ring or each other. Put a small bit of medium paste solder under the jump ring seam and heat until the solder flows.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 7
Clean and refine the soldered jump ring seam.
Step 8
Connect units of three jump rings together with an open jump ring. Follow the instructions in Step 6 to solder the jump ring closed.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 9
After a short length of chain is made, connect the "O-Ring" of the toggle to the chain with one or two 3.5mm ID 18 gauge round wire jump rings. Solder the seams closed.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 10
Clean and refine the seams of the jump rings connecting the "O-Ring" to the bracelet chain.
Step 11
Continue to add 3-ring units to the chain, cleaning the solder joins as you go, until it is the desired length. Since the manner in which the gold links will be attached will shorten the chain slightly, more links will likely need to be added. Also, because there are so many buttons and beads added to the chain, an extra half inch in length will be needed.
Step 12
Pickle, rinse, and dry the chain.
Step 13
Open all the gold-filled jump rings.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 14
Each gold jump ring will be added to a silver jump ring in a mobius fashion. This will make the chain twist, which in turn makes the added buttons and beads appear fuller in the finished bracelet when worn.

Since each silver link was soldered closed, the gold links do not need to be soldered. Yippee, less soldering and less cleanup!
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 15
Pro Tip: How, when, and where a bracelet will be worn can determine the length. I have a small wrist and usually wear bracelets no larger than 6½". Because I wanted it to fall below the long sleeves of sweaters I wear in the winter and because of the bulk of all the embellishments on this bracelet, I went up to 7". If I were to wear this in the summer, I would have gone shorter.
Check the bracelet length when three or four links from the end of the chain. Add more links if needed.

If the gold links are too close to the heat when soldering, they can change color, even if using a barrier flux. It is better to remove a few than risk it. Use 1, 2, or 3 sets of one or two 3.5mm ID 18 gauge round wire jump rings to attach the "T-Bar," soldering the rings closed after each addition.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 16
Finish attaching the rest of the gold rings to the remaining silver rings on the bracelet chain.
Step 17
Pickle for a few minutes. Rinse. Tumble for several hours in water and shot with a drop or two of dish liquid added.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 18:
Prepare the Embellishments:
The added elements may look random, but random takes planning so all the small or large elements do not end up in the same place! One element will be added on each side of a silver/gold chain link. Since there were 32 links in this bracelet, 64 elements were needed. Make a plan remembering that plans will probably change a bit during construction.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - Prepare the Embellishments:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - Prepare the Embellishments:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 19
As each set of two embellishments is readied, arrange them in in order on a bead stringing board.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 20
Some of the beads were strung on balled 21 or 22 gauge wire. The holes in pearls are quite small so 22 gauge balled wire was used for them. Since I had a 10 foot package of 21 gauge wire, I used that for the rest. Not all the embellishments are strung on balled headpins. Some are connected to the bracelet with standard headpins.

Cut enough 3" lengths desired for the beads. Ball one end of each wire. The balled ends will probably not be centered on the wire shaft. Grasp the wire close to the ball with a chain or flat nose pliers. Press the ball on a hard surface to center it on the wire.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 21:
Button Attachments:
Version A: Cut 6" pieces of 22 gauge wire for each button. Thread the wire through a button hole. Pull the wire ends even. Twist the wire ends until the twist is snug against the button.
Version B: Not all the buttons need to be attached with twisted wire. One of the link jump rings can attach them to the bracelet. However, since the jump rings cannot be soldered without damaging the buttons or the beads, make sure that the embellishment is not an item you would be worried about losing.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - Button Attachments:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - Button Attachments:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - Button Attachments:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 22
Smaller embellishments can be stacked on head pins. Once all the remaining embellishments have been added to head pins, make a bend in the head pin shaft so the beads do not fall off.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 23
The larger of the two end sections of a 6 step barrel pliers makes a perfect size loop to add the embellishment to the bracelet. Do not complete the wire wrapped loop.

Once this step is completed, the embellishments are ready to add to the bracelet.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Step 24
Add an embellishment to either side of each link on the chain. Make sure any jump rings attaching buttons are securely closed. After finishing wire wrapped loops attaching the other embellishments, trim the excess wire. Use the tips of a chain nose pliers to tuck the cut wire end on the embellishment in.
Your bracelet is finished!
Did you make a few too many embellishments? Make a pendant by adding them to a large ring.
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet
Judy Larson's Heirloom Buttons and Beads Bracelet  - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Making Chain, Chain Making , Loops, Wire Loop, Wrapped Wire Loop, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heirloom button bracelet