Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fabric Wrapped Milagro Bracelet

Another piece of tribal jewelry from a tribe that dwells somewhere in the far reaches of my subconscious, resulting in an accessory Jung would love. This bracelet has an old worthless plastic bangle as its base. It is covered in stitched-on black cotton and embellished with a bunch of milagros (tin votives or charms placed at altars, statues, and images of saints to reinforce a prayer) collected during various journeys to Mexico. As with the black cotton, the milagros are simply stitched in place.

Cloth-wrapped milagro bracelet

The bracelet has an unexpected attribute; it tinkles and chimes beautifully and constantly when worn, sounding like distant temple bells. Not good for movies, meetings, or covert activities, but perfect for art gallery openings or a musically-enhanced stroll by the bay.

The piece has a convincingly rough look, with bits of frayed fabric standing out here and there.

Worn with another tribal creation: the paper bead bracelet

You can probably figure out how to make this bracelet just by looking at the photos, but for those who need a little extra help, the photo below should illustrate how it's done. Wrap a strip of cloth around and around the bangle, maintaining the tension. Stitch through the bracelet wrapping, loop the thread around the bracelet once or twice to hold cloth in place, stitch again, and repeat, repeat, repeat. As a final step, stitch milagros (or any other charms or beads you have on hand) in place. Between each charm or bead, take a few extra, random stitches to make the whole thing more secure.

You can also make a fairly nifty-looking bracelet without any charms at all. The bright, summery bibelot below was made with a final scrap of cloth left over from the Alchemy project. In this case it's the bright red thread used to secure the cloth wrapping that makes the design.

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