Sometimes you go into a project with grand plans and it just doesn’t work out.  No matter what you do, it just doesn’t come together the way you would like.  Well, this is one of those times.

When we first got in the new TierraCast leather straps, I had a great idea for what I wanted to do.  I saw some pins on Pinterest for morse code jewelry and have been really inspired to create my own.  I love the idea of jewelry containing a hidden message and wondered how I could create my own version.  I thought it would be really neat to incorporate morse code into some bracelets using the new leathers straps, rivets and mixed metal components.

I knew what I wanted to do but wasn’t sure really how to do it.  I sketched out a couple of different ideas in my notebook and was satisfied with the design I came up with, but I still wasn’t any closer to a how to make it happen.  None the less, I picked out my materials and decided to dive right in. I used a 3mm round beads and some 6mm long tubes. 

IMG_6158For my first attempt, I tried out a 24 gauge craft wire. I set out my beads, using my daughters initials and made wrapped loop links with the wire.  Then, I used rivets to attach the links to the leather.  I made the loops a little too small so they didn’t fit quite the way I would have liked with the rivets.  The wire was a little too stiff for this purpose and I worry that over time, it will break.  It looked alright, but wasn’t quite meeting my standards.


A co-worker suggested trying to use cable strand and a crimp bead instead of the wire and it seemed like it could work.  I decided to give it a try but again, I wasn’t satisfied with the results.  I don’t care for the look of the crimp beads or the way you can see some of the cable strand.  It didn’t look as finished as the wrapped loops but the completed bracelet was much more flexible and I’m not as worried about how it will hold up.


For my third and final attempt, I decided to skip the rivets all together and just stitch the beads to the leather with some waxed linen thread. This is probably the most attractive and durable of the bunch but it wasn’t what I had envisioned.  I had a specific look in my head and this was not it.  I used a cream-colored thread, so maybe something a little darker would have been better but I really wanted to use the rivets.

So basically, I am unhappy with my finished results.  Sure, all three of them are cute and wearable but they aren’t what I had in mind.  Maybe I am just being over critical of my work, which I usually am to a fault.  When it comes to my creations, I am a huge perfectionist.  Once I get an idea stuck in my head, I have to follow through.  I will probably be stuck on this one for a while.

Has that ever happened to you?  Have you ever had a specific idea in your head only to be completely disappointed when you can’t make it work? Tell me about your experiences in the comments! Better yet, tell me how YOU would make this bracelet! I would love to hear your suggestions!


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10 thoughts on “The Bracelet That Wasn’t Meant To Be

  • August 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Hey i actually love this idea and it doesn’t seem to me you are far off though it may not be what you had in your head sometimes things must evolve. In looking at your examples above i think if you hid the stitching all on back side of the final example it might look better. Keep trying it’s a good idea!

    • August 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks Amy! I’ve come too far to give up at this point! LOL! It can be such a frustrating process though.

  • August 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve had an idea in my head that just wouldn’t work so badly to the point I put all the components I want in the piece into a small container and set it on the back of my desk to be done another day when an idea to ‘fix’ the original idea comes to me (it mostly has). Sadly the piece was going to be entered in a contest and so I had to change what I was going to do (and, even though -I- loved the new one, the judges didn’t *sigh*).

    I’ve also had an idea in my head get completely and utterly derailed by what I was working on to shift and change the project into something completely different. The necklace I made for the last Shipwreck contest (the one that fizzled and only had 2 entrants) was one of those. I started with a completely different idea that had nothing to do with the way the necklace became. The colours in the first part of the work was what derailed it into the project it became. I’m rather happy it did, though, because I love the way it turned out.

    • August 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Rijacki- I love it when that happens. You set out with one thing in mind but end up with something completely different and yet totally perfect. I loved the necklace you designed for the contest. It turned out great!

  • August 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm


    • August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Cindy: Never give up!

  • August 23, 2013 at 8:09 am

    This is how we create new pathways and forge new ideas! I do this every day, it’s my job. I have mountains of craft fails and not quite there projects, but if you aren’t willing to take some risks, you’ll never grow as a designer. Consider these prototypes and keep swinging!

    • August 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Margot: Prototypes, I like that! That was the idea behind the post also. I had been trying to make a tutorial for this bracelet but I was just so unhappy with it. So, I figured, well… why not blog about THAT! Failure is a big part of the creative process and your right, you can’t grow as a designer with out it.

  • August 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I love your idea for this bracelet! I have seen the jewelry created with Morse code and thought it was such a creative idea! I like all 3 prototypes, but I like the stitched one the best. Maybe using waxed linen cord in the same color as the leather would make it blend in a bit better.

    Angi Mullis

  • September 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Maybe instead of using rivets, try using eyelets instead. Two closely spaced eyelets (either vertically or horizontally) would allow you to thread on a jump ring through both of the eyelets from which you could attach any manner of link or beaded section. When worn, the weight of the bracelet against the skin should push against the jump ring and keep everything relatively flush and smooth on the underside.

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