Materials and Techniques
The coral bracelet comprises coral, sea anemones and grass. I made it using size 11 Delicas and Superduos, which you can buy from me here. Twin hole beads will also be fine for this project. I strung my bracelet on memory wire.
You will also need beading thread.
You are going to be working in Peyote stitch with a little freeform beading as well.
I recommend this project for intermediate level.
When I wrote this design, I decided to sell it as three separate patterns, at £5 each (clown fish, turquoise fish and complete bracelet). But I wanted to give you the option to save money on buying all three. So, that is why you can choose just the fish, or choose to get all three parts for the complete bracelet.
I designed this coral bracelet to enter into the Beadworker’s Guild Challenge in 2013. The theme for the challenge was ‘Underwater World’.
When I was quite young, I was lucky enough to go to Australia and to see the Great Barrier Reef. It made quite an impression on me! I was quite mesmerised by all the shapes and colours of the fish swimming through the gardens of amazingly beautiful coloured coral. It was a wondrously peaceful world of colour that was just incredible to see. So, as soon as I saw the challenge theme, I knew I wanted to bring those childhood memories to life.
Strangely for me, I didn’t have a picture of the completed coral bracelet in my head when I started out. I had a vague idea of something resembling a coral reef sitting around my wrist… In fact, I think at one point, I thought of this project as a necklace!
I knew I wanted to make a beaded clown fish to include in the project, plus some other brightly coloured tropical fish. So, I did a lot of research to find just the right combination of fish. I also wanted to convey the beauty of the coral. So, you will find here patterns for sea grass, coral and a rock base made using Twin Hole beads.
The coral bracelet uses mostly Peyote stitch (tubular and circular) with some free form beading too. The instructions assume that you are already familiar with these techniques, but if you do need to jog your memory, or learn them, you can find a lot of information about the different types of beads and techniques here.
Origins of the pattern
I never actually intended to write up the pattern for my beaded coral bracelet. Sometimes it is lovely to just bead something for the sheer fun of it, not thinking about how I will document or teach it.
However, my beaded fish apparently had aspirations to greater fame. Whenever I wore the bracelet (quite often!) I had requests for the pattern.
I was about to publish this when the Beadworker’s Guild contacted me to say that although my bracelet hadn’t been placed anywhere in the challenge, it had been so much admired that they wondered if it could be used as a project in the journal. The entire project appeared in the January 2014 issue of the journal, but I did keep back one fish (the yellow one) just for me, so my own bracelet will remain unique!
Finally, the beaded coral bracelet pattern is making its way onto my website! If you would like to make the other elements of the coral bracelet as well, then you can choose to buy the complete design, saving yourself £3 as you then get the two fish patterns as well.
Considering how organically this project grew, it is now one of my all-time favourites, so I hope you enjoy it too.