Ever look at a napkin ring and think, “This could be a bracelet!”? No?? Well, neither have I....
That is, until one of my clients, Doreen, asked me to make two matching bracelets out of a pair of napkin rings she had inherited. She believes these napkin rings were most likely party favors for either a sorority or fraternity dinner in which her great aunt and uncle were guests. Now I know most of you are picturing the silver colored napkin rings stamped with some sort of tribal pattern that you can find at a home goods store, but these are made from sterling silver and had the names of her great aunt and uncle hand engraved across the top (I guess back in those days party favors were of a bit higher quality and not just the plastic water bottles we all end up with at the end of an event…). Making bracelets out of them, I thought, was actually an AWESOME idea. There was plenty of metal and sterling silver is usually easy enough to work into the appropriate shape.
After a brief session with a wooden mallet, I had two perfectly shaped cuff bracelets ready to be worn! I delivered the bracelets the next week to an overjoyed woman. She is so excited to give these as gifts to her mother and aunt (mother’s sister) as a beautiful way to remember their beloved family members. I just had one small bit of advice before leaving the bracelets in her care…
You see, there is actually a very specific way to put a cuff bracelet on your wrist. The tendency many people have is to try to stretch the bracelet open, slip it around their wrist, and then squeeze it shut to ensure the bracelet is nice and tight.
I have repaired my fair share of cuff bracelets. 90% of the time, the issue is a large crack down the center of the bracelet. You see, after constantly being bent open, closed, open, closed, and open again, the metal hardens and eventually gets brittle. One bend too many and the metal starts to break apart and crack. These cracks are sometimes repairable, but the structural integrity of the bracelet is ruined. The cracked portion is now always going to be weak and will easily break again.
Instead of bending the cuff, all you should have to do is find the smallest part of your wrist and gently pull the bracelet over and around. Voila! IF you can’t get the bracelet on your wrist or it’s waaaaay too big once it is on, you can adjust the size yourself (ONCE, not every time you put it on) or bring the bracelet into a jeweler who can adjust the size for you.
With this small bit of jewelry know-how, these bracelets will adorn family wrists for generations to come!! Thanks for the fun project Doreen!
Have a great week everyone!