I was inspired to make these from this short but sad story.
Memorial day weekend after we had returned home from a trip to Gulf Shores, my mother-in-law found her nephew deceased in his home when she had went to check on him. He had a weak heart so it was found that he had a massive heart attack and
died in his sleep, peacefully. He was only 23. At the funeral, one of my fiance's cousins was wearing a bracelet that I was curious to where she had gotten it cuz with a trained eye for crafts, I knew it was handmade. She told me that a lady had made it for her and some others for her aunt and other relatives from flowers from her uncle's funeral who passed last year. I looked at it and could see that it was probably made from polymer clay, hers was blue with metal heart beads. That gave me the idea to make these for my mother-in-law, his maternal grandmother, his other three aunts and his sister.
I wish I knew to make these a year ago when my grandmother passed.
Jimmy Wayne Ingram will be missed.
Air dry your flowers to the point that they are either almost dry or completely dry. This could take days. I put mine out in the sun when they weren't drying out fast enough for me.
I had already started crushing the yellow rose petals before I took this pic.
I started crushing mine by using an old food processor. This is fairly coarse. You can leave yours this way if you plan to make beads 8mm in size or bigger.
I was planning to make beads smaller so I used my pinking sheers to cut it to a finer grain. If you choose to do this with any pair of scissors, continue to sift through the mixture with a small amount in your hand flat and cut the pieces with the scissors against your hand. I don't have to tell you to be careful not to cut yourself.
Sorry about the blurry pic, my assistant wasn't very patient with me. Haha.
My mixture is now fine as I can get it.
I started this some days after cutting up my dried flowers.
I used sculpey clay, I can't remember what this color is called but it's the one that becomes a little clear like porcelain when making dolls or something.
You don't need a lot of one color if you are making some in different colors.
After priming your clay, roll out to about a 1/3 inch in diameter.
You can actually make this roll as big or as small as you want.
Cut your roll into about 1/2 inch lengths.
You can use your first cut to measure the rest as you cut the roll.
Your cut roll should now look like this.
Now roll your cut pieces into balls.
Start by flattening your ball of clay.
Press it into the dried flowers and knead the clay to mix in the flowers in.
Now this is the part that I just realized I didn't take pictures for.
After you have rolled out all of your balls with the flowers mixed in, you can either use a baking wire for polymer clay or use a straight pin to put holes through them. I made my own baking wire from some other supply that I have. I don't remember what gauge it is though. My red beads which were the smallest I used a straight pin.
Bake per manufacturers instructions.
Cool and coat with protective layer of varnish or a product just for polymer clay, which is what I use.
String on crimp bead first then one end of the toggle clasps onto jewelry wire as shown in picture also leaving an 1 inch tail.
Do not cut your jewelry wire from its spool just yet.
Use your jewelry pliers to crimp the bead.
Now cut wire about 2 inches longer than the length that you want your bracelet.
Standard bracelet length is 7 inches.
After stringing on beads, again string on crimp bead first then the other toggle clasp end and thread wire back through the last 2 or 3 beads as shown.
I used seed beads, acrylic beads, pewter/metal beads, and metal spacers.
Crimp and cut off excess
Now your bracelet is ready to be given to the one who has lost a loved one.
They may wear it to feel close to the one they lost or put it away in a safe place, either way it will be cherished.