Read It, Bead It: Chinese Zodiac Bracelet

September 11, 2014 Read It, Bead It 0 Comments

Read It, Bead It: Chinese Zodiac Bracelet

Inspired by: Nuri Vittachi’s The Feng Shui Detective. The detective CF Wong is a feng shui master who gets involved in some fairly unusual and tricky crimes. His sidekick, Joyce, is a fairly well meaning Aussie who rubs Wong the wrong way with her brash nature.

Notes: I found my Chinese zodiac animal charms on eBay listed under loom charms. You should also be able to find them on Etsy. Just make sure that you are buying the entire set of animals and not twelve of the same charm as many sellers don’t do the mix.

I did a similar bracelet using western zodiac animals and fire polished blue toned crystals which looks thinner even though the beads are bigger. The instructions are pretty similar. To be honest, I only intended buying the western set but then when I saw the Chinese zodiac as well, I couldn’t resist.

To get the random effect I decided to be a bit tricky and used the Random Integer Generator to generate 50 different integers with a value between 1 and 5 which was formatted into 25 columns.

The bracelet looks a little messy in the photo but that works out as an advantage as it has really good coverage when you’re wearing it.

Last note, I promise…if you are a fan of Fruits Basket, then you will realise why the cat is essential. The premise of the anime and manga is that the cat was the thirteenth creature who got tricked by the rat and ended up being left out of the zodiac. I figured I would rectify this ‘mistake’ and pop in a feline friend.

Other ideas:
–  You could change the size of the beads to at least 6mm to make it chunkier
–  You could standardise the colours that go on each head pin

Techniques you need to know:
–  How to form a loop
–  How to open and close a link

chinese_zodiac_bracelet

Bracelet Instructions 

You will need:
–  50 x 4mm Swarovski pearls (I used ivory, pink coral, coral, red coral and mystic black)
–  12 x silver Chinese zodiac animals
–  12 x 4mm jump rings
–  25 x head pins
–  1 x cat & fish toggle clasp
–  6 1/2-7 inches of silver chain (more or less depending on how big your wrist is)
–  two types of pliers e.g. chain nose, round nose (for opening and closing links)

All you do is…
1.  Lay your zodiac animal charms out in order for easy access, making sure they all face one direction. Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.
2.  Attach a jump ring to every charm and while the jump rings are open, attach them to a link. I left four empty links on each side of my chain and then one link in between each charm. The gap you leave will depend on the size of your links and the width of your wrist. You need to ensure you leave a few links empty on either side so that you can push the toggle through the clasp properly. This is important – every charm should be on the same side of the chain so that the bracelet will sit properly.
3.  Thread two beads onto a headpin and form a loop. Cut off the excess. Repeat 24 times.
4.  Open the loops by twisting it to one side and then attach two sets of beads per empty link in between the charms before closing the loops again. I attached one bead set to one side of the chain and the other to the opposite side. I then added extra sets to each end.
5.  Attach the toggle components to each end of the bracelet.
6.  Check that you have the right size for your wrist and adjust if necessary.

The Feng Shui Detective

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