Create, price and sell high fashion memory wire bracelets | Monique Littlejohn | Skillshare

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Create, price and sell high fashion memory wire bracelets

teacher avatar Monique Littlejohn, Jewelry Teacher and Nonprofit Professional

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction to making a memory wire bracelet

    • 2. Tools & Supplies

    • 3. Making your memory wire bracelet

    • 4. Types of Bracelets

    • 5. Pricing your bracelet

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About This Class


In this course, you will learn how to create, price, and sell high fashion memory wire bracelets. These bracelets are perfect first projects for new jewelry designers, since each bracelet often costs less than $1 to make. This class includes:

1. Where to find your supplies inexpensively

2. How to make memory wire bracelets

3. How to price your finished product

4. Where to sell your bracelets and how much you should charge


I look forward to seeing your finished designs in the project section!

Meet Your Teacher

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Monique Littlejohn

Jewelry Teacher and Nonprofit Professional


Monique Littlejohn is an American expat living her dream of sustainability in South Australia. Her classes currently focus on jewelry design, but in the future, she will add crafting with nature products, gardening, beekeeping, and winemaking - all with a sustainable focus in mind.

She left her very successful nonprofit corporate development and marketing career of 16 years to focus on teaching learning lost skills, so that she could bridge the gap between the "greatest generation" (WWII) and "millennials."

She is also an accomplished jewelry designer and craft teacher who has published 7 books on jewelry making.

See full profile

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1. Introduction to making a memory wire bracelet: Hi. My name is Monique Littlejohn, and I'm so glad that you've agreed to join me today. Today we're gonna learn how to make one of the easiest types of bracelets that are out there. They're called wire wrap bracelets. They are pretty small and they get close to your wrist and you really only need to tools plus the supplies to get started. What is so wonderful about these is they're very inexpensive to make, yet they're so popular. So if you are interested in working in a craft fair someday and making some jewelry, here's a way that you can unleash your creativity to create something that is one of a kind and has a high value in the in the market. So today, what we'll do is we'll talk about the tools that you need, and then we're gonna actually make a bracelet light. And finally, we'll talk about pricing strategies. So that way you will be able to create something that is a value. Even if you don't want a cell phone, that's okay because you'll learn how to make him for your friends and family or Christmas presents and holiday gets. So let's get started 2. Tools & Supplies: the most important thing that you can do is get a bead board. That way, you don't have to worry about your beads escaping and rolling all over the place. This is a B board that I purchased at Michael's a couple of years ago, and I can take this on public transportation. And so while I'm commuting toe work, I can be on the train and create my own designs. And as you see, there's a Velcro closure and their these nice numbers along the sun so I can actually lay out my design next. What you want to use is thes days are special cutters that were made for wire wrapped pieces. Wire is much, much thicker, its stainless steel and very hard to bend that's called a full hard wire. If you use your regular wire cutters to to do this, you are going to destroy them very quickly. And I'm going to say that a couple of times in this video because it's very important that you get these special wire cutters when you make these designs. Finally, this is a round nose fire, and you'll be using these round nose pliers extensively in your opening and closing designs . Of course you need beads. So here I have some beautiful denim beats them going to use in this design. And I'm gonna use an A B pattern to create our first layout. So if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, and I will answer them for you. 3. Making your memory wire bracelet: Now let's get started. First, you need to find the end of your wire. And it can be tricky because, as you see, it's kind of like a slinky. You ever had a slinky at home. You remember how easy it is to get it very tangled. So what I'm doing is I'm just kind of Unlu Ping to, let's say, three loops of this wire, and when he used the wire cutters, just stick it in there, been clipped up. Now what I have is three loose. I have very, very small bone structure, so you can see it's pretty wide on me. But this is as narrow as it will ever be in orderto keep your beads from running around all alone over the place. When you're designing your piece, you wanna go ahead and close one end, so to close one end, you grab it with the very tip with one of the wires, and then you slowly twist it until it closes. That how what's so nice about this is if you have cute charms, you could actually close it all the way and then attach a charm to the bracelet so it would add a little value to it. So now, as you see, we have one enclosed in one and open. The next thing that we want to dio is creating a B pattern. So open up for beads and then start laying it out on the board. So every other spot is going to have a long bead in a short bead, long bead and short bead and so on. So it's good to lay it out. Because this way, you can see how many beads you're really gonna need once you're finished with your design. Sometimes I add different styles of beads other than those blues, just to be able to add some interest. So here I am, using a little quartz Barrett variegated courts in one spot. And now this time I'm using a little metal by cone bead in another one. But in general, this is called an A B pattern. Now imagine you're on a bus or the train and you're being stopped every now and then. You wanna be sure that you have this very stable on your lap if you're doing this on public transport because it can be really embarrassing. If you're making the design and then they just start rolling everywhere on on the bus, and people could actually trip on him. So you want to be careful? That's really where these kind of beat boards help out. Okay, so you get the idea. Here is the 80 pattern. Now the next step is to simply start putting them on to your wire. Once you get really good at this, you're gonna be able to do one of these bracelets within 10 minutes so you can do this on your coffee break. That's how I got started. I was never smoker, but I worked with some people who smoked. And so I noticed that they were leaving the office every hour or two to go to the smoking area. And I thought, Hey, that's not fair. I should be able to take a break to, And I brought my bead feeds toe work, and I found a little designs that I could make when I when everyone else was in there coffee break. And so, uh, while they were spending money on cigarettes, I was making money on these beads, and at the end of the day, I'd have three or four of them, so see how fast it goes. Once you already know how the layout is, you just kind of push him all the way down. Now this designs really, really starting to take shape. A couple of caveats Be sure that when you're making this, you're not using any really big beads. I'd say that the largest B that you want to use is probably 10 millimeters because the larger the bead, the larger the whole. And if you have small bones like I do, having a a large hole for your risk could be really annoying when you're trying to type on the computer. And right now, in 2016 the most popular wire raft, right or memory wire bracelets out there are the ones that have multiple wires. And while they're really attractive, uh, if let's say you do have big wrists and, uh, you were one that is a little too tight, it can be uncomfortable for you. So really think about who you're making this for when you make it, if you're making it for Children. The best fund beads to use our brightly colored what beads or pony beads that are made out of acrylic or plastic because they can wash their hands and plan the monkey bars and not really worry about breaking the bracelet. The bracelet is really sturdy, so it's pretty safe to be able to do that. I was Suppose you you stop. You didn't take that one step of laying out your beads. I want to show you how much slower it is to be able to do this now. Okay, so now I that's that's how much I got done when I was working on the baby pattern. Now I'm actually having to think a Yeah, a B so this kind of slows me down a little bit. And if I'm in a conversation with someone and I stopped and make eye contact, I could lose lose my place very easily. So that's why it doesn't work so well, too. Just unless you're doing a crazy quilt, design doesn't really work well too. Have them all in the bag, just pulling them individually. Now, one of the really popular designs in memory wear bracelets right now is to have stacked looking bracelets. So what that means is, he would use suppose all of these blues and then you would use all of another color and you would create a stack design like this. So these air very popular right now. And if you had something like that, it would be very easy for you to see what I mean. I kind of made to that are a little too small instead of long and short because I was talking to you. But the stacking base, that's very popular right now, and you can sell them quite quite easily. So how much do you think that you could charge for a bracelet like this? I base my bracelet, charges on how many beads I need to use and how much where I need to use. Generally, something like this would be $10. Now I'm going to close the bracelet right up. I still have quite a lot of space years, so I want to get a little closer to the ends, but not too close, because it could make it a little more difficult to close that I grabbed the very tip. Once again, I twist twist. This time I'm gonna twist just a little bit more and leave a little bit of slack. So that way the beads can move just a little bit. And here is the finished product. So something like this could easily, uh, cost $10 the way you would sell it as you would call these lamp work beads, which means that these were all individually made beats. If this was four fry strands, I would probably go up to about $25. And if I was using semi precious gemstones, I could easily sell him from 35 to $40. You might wonder, how much did it cost to make something like this in the next video, we're gonna look at that, and we'll figure out a way to price your beads accordingly. 4. Types of Bracelets: for the next portions of these videos, you're going to be seeing not my face, but the actual finished product and the steps that you will take toe be able to create these. So these were some of the styles of bracelets that you can make. This is a simple pattern bracelet, using a color palette that is very popular in Asian designs. Next, we have a blue denim design, which is what I like to call in a bee pattern because, as you see the A is the long lead and the B is the small pony beads. Next, this is your your hippie pattern. I. I like it because it's a kind of a crazy quilt of colors, and you can use it to create a a lot of different unique, one of a kind designs that that really appeal to people who like more ethnic clothings, the next you are of more more appropriate for formal wear. This one is a simple AM, a fist and crystal bracelet that you could use for bridesmaid gifts, and as you see, it's much smaller. It's only using one loop now with this one. This is definitely a Bryce bracelet isn't what I call an infinity bracelet. Cause you, as you see, there's no beginning and no end and compared this one to this one. See how much larger it iss that the hole is larger because I was using larger beads. So if you're making something for someone who is big boned, you want to use larger beads because it will actually make the whole larger and here, once again, is just a beautiful Lamport glass crazy quilt bracelet. I could turn this into an infinity bracelet very easily by just attaching these two pieces . So today you're gonna learn how to make all of these enjoy. 5. Pricing your bracelet: Now we're going to start talking about pricing your memory wire bracelets. Your time is valuable, so be sure to include not only the cost of your supplies but also your time. I normally charge $60 per hour for my time. For example, if it costs me $1 supplies my bracelet attack on $10 for the 10 minutes it takes me to make a bracelet that makes an $11 bracelet If I sell a bracelet on Etsy or eBay, I had a way of $4 for advertising and PayPal fees. I also charged the $3.80 for shipping materials and postage. The wholesale market is a bit different. If a shop is interested in my designs, I will have them choose one, and then I'll sell them bracelets and groups of six. Since it takes much less time to create a bracelet than it that is set on a pattern than it does to create one of a kind bracelet, I can reduce the time costs accordingly. Therefore, an $11 bracelet may drop to six or $7. With this in mind, I often pass the savings that I get for my supplies onto my customers. But not always. If it seems like I'm going to be cheapening my product, I won't go for less than a $11 retail craft fairs. Now let's look at a cost sheet. The prices you see here were from shopping on E Bay and purchasing direct from China. The good thing about doing that issue don't have to pay for shipping most of the time. So if you see here, the cost of a five wood bracelet from memory wire is about 11 cents per bracelet, and then the Crystal Rendell's that I could use There are about 71 cents, so that's more expensive. Part of it, Then I might add a pew spacers and let's just say about 16 cents for the spacers. Now, when you want to give your your bracelets to the customer, you always want to include packaging, so costs of a little over pre since her bag. So the total cost here is a dollar one for the bracelet. If we marked it up by 10 times, it would be $10.16. Now, this is a different format of costing, been the one that I was telling you about before with charging for my time. I used both. I used both a cost analysis and a time analysis and see what works best for me. I'd love to hear what you have to dio. Thank you so much for listening. And I hope you've gotten a lot out of this. I really enjoyed teaching this and please look into my other classes when jewelry making and other topics.