04 March 2010

The Process of Creating: Grapevine Bracelets

Ah, grapevine bracelets. You know, these don't really take much effort to make. The hardest part is sizing and smoothing the vines, I think.

I first came up with this idea while walking around outside around our grapevines and thinking about wreaths. I was looking for materials to make jewelry out of at the time and cut myself a length of grapevine to play with. With little thought at all, I fashioned it into a mini-wreath and put it on my wrist. I liked the look.. Very earthy and organic.
So I made a second one (slightly larger (for a fellow I never saw again)) and took my creations inside.

It didn't take much wearing before I noticed that the bracelet was indeed a little scratchy... I took out my pocket knife to smooth vine (there are all manner of bumps and protrusions and the like on grapevines). After smoothing and trying it on several times, I had a bracelet that was comfortable as well as groovy! I did the same to the second bracelet and set it aside (it stayed on my dresser for quite a while before it dried out in the wrong shape from not being worn and I eventually just threw it away).

So here I am, almost three years later, still wearing a bracelet (and two others) that I made not long after those first two. They're extremely durable bracelets; I've certainly been rough with them.
I've found that the more you wear them, the better they look. The oils from your skin sort of finish and polish the wood. After a few months, they really look nice. I still get compliments on my bracelets. :)

Also, after a bit of experimentation, I figured a sizing scale that works with most people (double jointed people are an exception as they can fit almost anything on or off their wrists).
So basically, the inside diameter of the bracelet should be a centimeter smaller than the measure of your palm from forefinger to pinky (at the base). This picture might help:

So my palm is about 7 centimeters. So I'd choose the 6 centimeter diameter bracelet.
Now, this sizing has an exception. If you plan to take it off often (if you play sports or something where you can't wear any type of jewelry), this bracelet sizing should work fine for you.
However, if you plan wearing yours ALL the time, 24/7, 365, then you may as well choose a bracelet that's 1 1/2 centimeters smaller than your wrist. It may take a few seconds to get on, but it won't be coming off unless you want it to. The bracelets I wear are that size because that's exactly what I do. I wear them ALLLLL the time.

And hey, these are easily unisex, too. My best friend has 2 (three at one time) that I made for him that he wears all the time. If he were around right now, I'd photograph his wrist so you can see how manly they look.

Anyhow, there's my story on the Intertwined Grapevine Bracelets. You can find them on my Etsy if you want to see more pictures.

Have you made anything different than wreaths with grapevines? And if you haven't, got any awesome ideas?

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