Have you ever started a fresh project with a vision in mind, but weren’t really sure how to make it all happen how you wanted? I very often have other jewelry makers around me to bounce ideas off of, which is fantastic. However, my creative moods tend to hit me late at night when it’s just me at home, and for this project there was no one around to bounce my ideas off of.
I’ve been really attracted to making something with the arrow feathers ribbon for a while now. The other day, I picked up a channel cuff bracelet, and it was like a light bulb turned on. I scurried over to the ribbon, and YES! It fit perfectly into the channel cuff!
So now I had to figure out the details of how to make my vision work. This really ended up being kind of an experimental project that I wasn’t sure I would share here, but I decided to anyway. I think the design isn’t perfect and there is room to make improvements and do things differently. I decided I would share with you what I came up with one evening, and perhaps this blog post can become more of a conversation. Perhaps you all can be inspired and give some feedback on how this could be done better, or different? Perhaps the comments you leave will allow the conversation to happen that I wish I’d had when I was making this!
We had a cold snap here recently, and there are a couple of drafty windows in my home. I had one of the 3M plastic window covering kits sitting out which comes with a strong double sided tape. I decided to use this to lay the ribbon down into the channel. I thought about using an adhesive, but I was nervous that it may soak through and affect how the ribbon looked… I was also a bit hesitant to just use the tape, wondering if this would stand the test of time, but for now, it’s functional. What would you use to lay the ribbon in the channel? I wonder about laying something along the edges so they don’t fray with wear? Maybe gluing down some skinny leather cord? Maybe playing with resin?
After I had my ribbon layed down into the channel with the tape, I needed to figure out how I would finish the ends…obviously the ends of the cut ribbon would fray if I didn’t secure them somehow.
I had some extra fish leather nearby from another project, and decided to cut a couple of rectangle pieces and rivet them over the ends. I trimmed the excess ribbon close to the cuff and sized the leather by laying it over the ends.
I picked out 4 Micro Washers, and 2 rivet sets. I used my hole punch to punch a hole in the end where I would place the rivets. Honestly, I think the metal was too thick for this hole punch and I was a little afraid of breaking it. Also I needed to expand the hole bigger than it was, so I placed the hole punch a couple more times to make the hole big enough to get the rivets through… as I said, this is experimental, or perhaps a first draft would be more appropriate. It was also kind of a pain to do this after I had applied the ribbon, next time I would punch the holes first.
If you have never used the rivet sets, they are a breeze to use. There are two parts that fit into each other, and depending on the project, I have literally just set them by pinching them together tightly with pliers.
I used a Micro Washer on the front and back side, and set the rivets. I did end up holding the end over my workbench and giving the rivets a tiny rap with a hammer for good measure.
Honestly, I wasn’t so sure about the leather ends idea, but now I really like the look of it. It also provides a level of comfort when wearing it, as the ends of the cuff are soft leather and kind of cushioned. Perhaps there is another way I could have ended it that would look more finished? Or maybe the rustic look of the leather is just right? How would have you dealt with the ends?
The third thing I did was inspired by the fact that I just used double sided tape to hold the ribbon down. I felt like I need to secure it more, so why not rivet an apple blossom right in the middle? Again, I was a little afraid of breaking the only hole punch I had available at the time… they are really meant for softer metal but I was gentle, and it did the intended job with just a little finessing. I again used a Micro Washer on the back side, and a rivet set, with a rivetable apple blossom on the top.
In the end, I do really love the look and feel of this bracelet. I always like making jewelry that can take a little abuse, because I tend to be kinda rough on what I wear. I’m not sure how the ribbon will hold up with the tape underneath. I wonder if the edges will fray with time. I feel like my vision could have been completed in other ways, and I would LOVE to get your feedback on this! It was a fun project that I think would have been more fun with a group of jewelry makers around to give input, so now is your chance! Leave us some comments, and let us know how this project inspired you? What would you do different? Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Happy creating everyone!