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January birthstone: Garnet nugget bracelet

‘Tis the season to string garnet! The gemstone is the color of sugarplums and cranberries — deliciously stringable. For this bracelet, I paired ruby-red rondelles with pinky-plum nuggets. The glass pearls bring out the best in each hue, upholding my new adage: “Peace on Earth, good will toward garnet.”



  • 11–12 14–21 mm faceted nuggets
  • 11–12 10 mm round glass pearls
  • 2 4 mm large-hole beads
  • 20–22 3–4 mm rondelles
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or .015
  • 11–12 2-in. (5 cm) head pins
  • 2 crimp beads
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 1-in. (2.5 cm) chain for extender, 8–10 mm links
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • crimping pliers (optional)

Check your local bead store for supplies. 


January birthstone Garnet bracelet 1
Step 1
On a head pin, string a faceted nugget and make a plain loop. Make 11 to 13 bead units. Set aside one bead unit for step 4.
January birthstone Garnet bracelet 2
Step 2
Cut a piece of beading wire and string a pearl, a rondelle, a bead unit, and a rondelle. Repeat until the strand is within 1 in. (2.5 cm) of the finished length, ending with a pearl.
January birthstone Garnet bracelet 3
Step 3
On one end, string a crimp bead, a 4 mm bead, and a lobster claw clasp. Go back through the beads just strung and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire.
January birthstone Garnet bracelet 4
Step 4
Check the fit, and add or remove beads if necessary. Repeat step 3 on the other end, substituting a 1-in. (2.5 cm) chain for the clasp. Open the loop of the bead unit. Attach the end link of chain and close the loop.
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