Thursday, February 19, 2009

Princess Party Favors

Every little princess needs jewels. I hope our guests will remember their time with Cinderella when they wear the bracelets they received as party favors.

When my best girlfriend, Vonda, and I planned a girls weekend, one of the highlights of the trip was learning how to make jewelry. The matching bracelets we made serve to commemorate our weekend, and I think of Vonda each time I wear mine.

So bracelets seemed like perfect favors for our recent princess party. I hope when the girls wear them, they will recall the bond of friendship they share because you are never too young to need girlfriends!

Jewelry making is a nice art to learn because you can get a quick fix of crafting and supplies can be stored in a small space. To make bracelets like the one pictured, you need two tools for jewelry making: diagonal cutters and bead crimping pliers. A beading tray is helpful for sorting beads and laying out your design. For each bracelet you will need a clasp, two crimping beads and assorted beads. For each favor bracelet, I used two silver beads, 20 4-mm pearl beads, six 4-mm bicone crystals and three slightly larger bicone crystals.

You start by cutting a length of wire a few inches larger than the bracelet you plan to make. Thread the wire through the crimping bead and one end of the clasp. Then thread the wire back through the crimping bead and leave about an inch dangling. Use the small groove of the crimping pliers to squeeze an impression into the crimping bead, then use the larger groove of the pliers to squeeze the bead shut. This will seal the end of the bracelet.

Now you are ready to string your beads. Thread the first few beads onto the wire, careful to also thread them over the shorter tail. I used a silver bead on each end of the bracelet, with pearls and crystals spaced evenly over the rest of the length. When satisfied with your design, thread a crimping bead and clasp onto the end. Thread the wire back through the crimping beads and several beads on the end, pulling the wire taut. You do want to be able to move the clasp, but don't want the tension so loose that the wire will be exposed. Crimp the outer bead and clip the dangling wire close to the bead to complete the bracelet.

Each little princess found a wrapped bracelet at her place, along with a little crown from Party City and glass slipper from Michael's. Emma gave the guests little princess wands from Party City as they arrived.

Emma's Cinderella cake sported a headband and choker made from the same beads as the bracelets the party guests received.

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