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Checkerboard heart bracelet

Pave the way for Cupid this Valentine’s Day with a bold square stitch bracelet

Stitch cube beads into checkered panels, then string them between heart-shaped beads and bicone crystals. Go vintage ’60s with black, white, and red beads, or playful with a mix of pink, purple, and fuchsia.

SUPPLIES

Bracelet 8 1⁄2 in. (21.6cm)

  • 12 12mm 2-hole heart-shaped beads (Pam’s Bead Garden, 734-451-7410, pamsbeadgarden.com)
  • 48 4mm bicone crystals
  • 4mm cube beads
    • 88 color A
    • 88 color B
  • 48 4mm daisy spacers
  • 4-strand clasp
  • 8 crimp beads
  • Nymo B or Fireline 6 lb. test
  • flexible beading wire,.014–.015
  • beading needles, #12
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters

INSTRUCTIONS

Checkerboard heart bracelet fig 1
Figure 1
Checkerboard heart bracelet fig 2
Figure 2

Checkerboard panels

1. On a 1-yd. (.9m) length of Nymo or Fireline, string a stop bead  6 in. (15cm) from the end. String a repeating pattern of cube beads, one color A and one color B,  four times. 

2. Working in square stitch (How-Tos), pick up an A and sew through the last B strung in step 1 (FIGURE 1, a–b). Go back through the bead just added (b–c).

3. Referring to FIGURE 2, work eight rows of square stitch. This is the center panel. Remove the stop bead, secure the tails in the beadwork with half-hitch knots between a few beads, and trim the tails.

4. Make two square stitch panels four beads across by eight rows and two panels three beads across by eight rows. End the threads as before.

Checkerboard heart bracelet a
Photo a
Checkerboard heart bracelet b
Photo b
Checkerboard heart bracelet c
Photo c

Assembly

1. Cut four 13-in. (33cm) pieces of beading wire. Go through an edge row of the center panel with one of the wires. With the other wires, go through the third, sixth, and eighth rows. Center the panel on the wires (PHOTO A). Tape one end of the wires to your work surface temporarily to hold them in place. 

2. On each of the unsecured ends, string a spacer, a crystal, one hole of a heart-shaped bead (wide end first), a crystal, and a spacer (PHOTO B). 

3. String a four-bead panel on all four wires, going through the corresponding first, third, sixth, and eighth rows.

4. Repeat step 2, but string the heart-shaped beads narrow-end first so they’re facing the other direction. Repeat step 3 with a three-bead panel. 

5. Repeat step 2. String a crimp bead on each wire. Go through a loop on the clasp and back through each crimp bead, spacer, and crystal (PHOTO C). Do not crimp the crimp beads yet.

6. Remove the tape from the other side. Repeat steps 2–5. 

7. Check the fit. Add or remove beads if necessary.

8. Making sure the bracelet isn’t twisted and the clasp is correctly oriented, crimp the crimp beads on one side. Snug up the beads, and crimp the crimp beads on the other end. Trim the excess wire.

Checkerboard heart bracelet alt
Design alternative
Tip!
Editor’s note: To make this bracelet about 1 in. (2.5cm) shorter, omit the row of hearts on each end. Another option: Adjust the number of beads on the square stitch panels.

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