Love Cage Captured Bead Chainmaille {tutorial}

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

Can you feel it yet?  Love, permeating the air around us, filling us with the overwhelming need to shower our loved ones with overpriced flowers and the sugar-induced coma of plentiful candy.  It’s so romantic!
Personally, Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays I could take or leave.  It dates back to Roman times, though I’m pretty sure our great country is responsible for the vast commercialization, even though it is celebrated worldwide.  Some might associate it with the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929 – same date, but merely a coincidence.
So if you’re feeling romantic (or just like flowers, candy, and the colors red and pink), the Creative Cupids have projects for you (plus a link-up for you to share your love inspired projects), starting with…
…the Love Cage!
Here’s what I used:
  • 12mm jump rings
  • 6mm jump rings
  • 10mm beads
  • Clasps
  • Charms
  • Assorted small-nosed pliers

Now, I’m going to attempt to explain this, but I took lots of pictures in case words fail.  Also, there’s this video by Beadaholique.

The most important information is the ratio of size between the large rings and the beads.  General rule is a 2mm difference.

First: open as many large jump rings as you think you’ll need, then add a few more.

Unlike me, you’ll want to add the clasp to the smaller rings (these can be 4mm or 6mm) before starting the beading.  Open four smaller rings, thread the clasp end onto two rings, then close the rings; do the same with the other end.

Put two larger rings through the smaller ones.  Attach two more large rings to the initial large rings.  Don’t forget to close each jump ring as you thread them.  This is where the pliers come in handy.

Open the four large rings – north, south, east, west – into a little nest.  Rest the bead in the center and close the the rings around it.  Thread the next two rings through the top (open) end, then attach two more to those.  That will be your pattern.

Here’s where I (finally) attached the clasps.  The little ones are a bit harder to work with, but not impossible.  As you can see, I chose the perfect clasp for a love bracelet – a heart – but there are so many choices!  Find one that works for you.

I recommend starting with this step – it’s only logical – but it’s been awhile since I’ve been accused of thinking logically, so… just go with it.

If using a bar and ring (toggle) clasp, I recommend one extra small jump ring on the bar side, threaded through double small rings.  This will give the bar a little extra room to maneuver into the ring.  Without that extra ring, I couldn’t close the clasp.

I didn’t measure this ahead of time – I used my own wrist as a model and kept checking the length.  I measured at one point – it was about 7 1/2 inches – but I added some beads after that.  Just depends on the size wrist it is going on.  I’m thinking standard wrist measurements won’t apply, since the size of the rings and beads are different.
I have been obsessing over charms lately and thought they would be a nice addition, but are not necessary.  Add them, don’t add them – go with your creativity.
Oh.  And one more thing.  Make sure your jump rings are closed properly – I had two beads spontaneously pop out when one of the rings in its cage came lose.  Don’t worry, it’s fixable.  Find where the cage is “broken”, repair it, and pop the bead back in.  It takes a little finagling since there are other cages already attached, but it will work.












My labor of love, just for you…

…so send some love over to my friends!

Karen has Hugs and Kisses Cookies –  sweets for your sweetheart!

Be Valentine Royalty with these King and Queen of Hearts Crowns from Stacy:

Sarah is putting the L-O-V-E in Funny Poetry.

What says love better than Re-purposing Wedding Petals, like Lydia did?

Real love is sweet and salty, much like this Sweet n Salty Valentine’s Day Popcorn from Christy.

Remember – I love all of you… mostly in a salty kind of way, but I think it’s pretty sweet.


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