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Designing Your Pandora Bracelet

New To the world of Pandora Jewelry? Read our 3 part article and you will be ready to design a beautiful Pandora Bracelet of your own!

How to Style A Pandora Bracelet- The Basics

If you are asking "what is a Pandora Bracelet?" then my question to you is "what rock have you been living under?". Quite simply, Pandora is a jewelry phenomenon.

PANDORA is a universe of jewelry. Each piece is Danish designed, and handcrafted in sterling silver or 14K gold. Many pieces incorporate pearls, semi-precious and precious stones. World famous for the bracelet and twist-on charm design, PANDORA'S modular design with easily interchangeable parts allow the wearer to select beads for a dress up elegant look, or to alter the look for more casual wear at a moments notice

The best thing about Pandora bracelets and beads is that there are so many choices, each bracelet becomes an individual statement for the wearer. This can also be the hardest thing about Pandora for many customers. The number of choices can make choosing beads and building a bracelet overwhelming in the beginning.
After five years of selling and styling countless Pandora bracelets, I can safely say that Swag's Pandora designers are experts on Pandora jewelry!

We have learned a few "tricks" in this time, or really, just a few basic methods of styling beads that all Pandora customers can use to style a bracelet that is a truly beautiful, individual, and well put together piece of jewelry. I am going to share some of these styling methods here, as well as information on  the basics of Pandora Design.

Before a woman even gets into choosing beads, a good thing to do is to browse  the complete selection of jewelry Pandora offers at SWAG,  or get a brochure from a local Pandora dealer to get a feel for what Pandora really is.

After this most women have a general idea of what kind of direction they want to take with their bracelet. If you still are not sure what you want, ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do I want all silver, two tone, or just 14k gold?

2. Would I like to incorporate color into my bracelet with glass beads? If so, will it be monotone or multicolor?

3. Do I want this to be an everyday bracelet, or something more for special events or outfits?

Pandora bracelets come in several different sizes, and the next basic step would be to be  fitted for your bracelet by a Pandora expert, or you can use the guide we have provided below.  Remember, your Pandora bracelet will get "smaller" or tighten up a bit as you fill it up with beads.

A good general rule is that the bracelet should fit comfortably on the wrist and you should be able to slide two fingers between your wrist and bracelet. Here is a picture to demonstrate a well fitting  Pandora bracelet.

Here are some of the standard size ranges:

Size 6.7 or 7.1 -Child or young teens, or very petite adults generally take these sizes.

Size 7.5 -works for most adult sizes 6-8 and is the most popular size for adult female-

Size 7.9- works for most adult sizes 8-10, and second most popular size

Size 8.3 -works for most adult sizes 10-14

Size 9.1 works for most larger sizes

Once you are comfortable with how your bracelet will fit, familiarize yourself with the Pandora lingo.

Here's a little crash course:

1. Clasp: how the bracelet opens and closes. Pandora makes two clasp styles; the basic lobster clasp and the much more popular Pandora snap clasp.

2. Thread: this is how the Pandora beads twist onto the bracelet. There are two additional threads which are made to have a clip kept on them.

3. Clips: a style of Pandora bead that snaps on rather than twists on. Clips are made to fit over the two center threads on the bracelet and are not typically used any where else on the bracelet. The clips serve several functions. They divide the bracelet into thirds to make styling more workable and to keep the other beads from sliding all over the bracelet (which could make wearing it uncomfortable). The clips also serve to cover the threads, thereby protecting both them and the threaded beads from wearing down.

Clips are also occasionally used over the end thread on the bracelet to prevent beads from accidentally falling off when the bracelet is open.

4. Beads: the beads are what make up the body of the bracelet. They screw onto the bracelet.

5. Spacers: are usually smaller than beads and they typically slide onto the bracelet rather than screwing on. They serve to give definition to the beads they surround or to help serve as a bridge for beads that do not fit well next to each other.

Now that you have a well fitting bracelet and clips picked out to protect your bracelet, you are ready to begin styling the bracelet with beads. Next entry, I am going to discuss the first of the most popular methods of styling Pandora that we use at Swag. We call the method "ABC".


How to Style a Pandora Bracelet- The ABC Method

The ABC method of styling a Pandora bracelet is one of our favorite methods of styling at Swag. It yields consistently stunning results as you can see from this finished example .

It is also really quite easy to do.

To understand this method, it helps to go back and start with the basics...the clips.
Every Pandora bracelet has two center threads made for special beads called clips to fit over them. As I mentioned in the Part 1 entry, these clips serve to not only protect your bracelet by preventing beads from sliding all over and wearing down the threads, but it also divides the bracelet into three easy to work with sections.

These three sections are the "building blocks" for what we call the ABC method, as well as other methods of styling your bracelet. At the store, we always encourage clips as a Pandora customer's first purchase as they so strongly affect both the look and the function of the bracelet.
In each of the three sections created by the clips, you will now build a repeating pattern of beads. In each section the bead in the corresponding position should be of a similar shape, color, and style; hence this bead is given the same name, such as "A" bead. So you would have three "A" beads, one in each section of the bracelet and each placed in the starting position (furthest left) of its corresponding section and then you would move on to selecting and positioning the "B" beads.

These are again three beads that have a similar shape, color, and style. The "B" beads are then placed in the same space (next to "A") in each corresponding section. Your three beads that go into the same position may or may not be the exact same bead. They should, however, be similar in size and style so this styling method will make sense.

For example, if you choose a Murano glass bead as your "A" bead for section 1, your other two "A" beads should also be Murano glass, although they need not be the same pattern or color. With the ABC method, you should be able to quickly divide all of the beads on your bracelet in groups of three. Here is a picture of all the beads on our featured bracelet grouped into their corresponding name of A, B, C, and so on.

You can see from this picture, some groups simply repeat the exact same bead, while others repeat the same bead but in a different color, while still other groups do not repeat the same bead at all but keep the overall style or feel of the same by being consistent in color, size, or shape. 

Keeping a plan like this in mind, a customer does not have to build the entire bracelet all in one visit to the store. However, there is a strategy in mind, and that keeps the bracelet balanced and beautiful even from its most simple beginnings. Here are some photos of our featured bracelet in various stages of the build. It may not yet be complete for the customer, but it is still accomplishing a finished and polished look by building on the ABC styling method from the beginning. 

There it is. One method of styling a beautifully finished Pandora bracelet as easy as "ABC". My next entry will continue the Pandora Styling series with and explanation of the "Center Out" method we use at Swag.

Style a Pandora Bracelet using The "Center Out" Method

Another method of styling a Pandora bracelet that yields exquisite and professional looking results is the Center Out method.The concept behind this styling is very simple, so I will not be spending a lot of time explaining it, but I do have some pictures of our example in different stages of progress so you can see how we have rearranged the beads at some points so the center does not get too "bead heavy" before the outer two sections are worked at all.

Yet from the very beginning, we kept the idea in mind that this would be a Center Out styled bracelet in order to maintain balance and a nice, finished jewelry look even before the bracelet is full.
In the Center Out method, we still suggest starting with the clips to divide the bracelet into three sections. Along with the clip, we help the customer choose a "strong" bead to be the centerpiece of the bracelet.

Many times we suggest a dangle, but the center bead can be anything that the customer loves and would like to have stand out on her bracelet. This main bead goes in the center of the center section of the bracelet (created by the clips) directly opposite the clasp.

From this point, you just build your bracelet out from this center point. Place a bead on either side of this main bead...these two beads should be similar in size, shape, and color to maintain symmetry on the bracelet. Continue working your way out around the bracelet in pairs until you are finished at the clasp.

Our example shows a bracelet built with the pairs being the same bead, but they need not be exactly the same. Simply remember to maintain balance by placing beads of similar size and shape in their relevant positions. If all beads were removed from a Center Out styled bracelet, it should be easy to match them all into pairs, except the center bead which can stand on its own.

Now add four more beads The plan is to eventually move the murano beads pictured here to the center section. At this step they are in the outer section of the bracelet, however, to maintain balance and to keep the center from looking too "bead heavy".

The build continues out on the sides so the bracelet looks complete and not like a piece of jewelry that is being built a bead at a time. Just a few more beads and this bracelet will be finished!

This bracelet is now finished, although many customers enjoy changing out select beads to give their bracelets different looks. Balance is maintained in the Center Out styling method giving this bracelet a beautiful and fashionable look.



Swag Designer Jewelry and Gifts

Swag, located in prestigious NorthPark Center, is the Dallas destination for edgy designer jewelry such as Thomas Sabo, Pandora Jewelry , Virgins Saints and Angels, King Baby Studio, Alwand Vahan, and Diego Percossi Papi

Swag offers a unique selection of Jewelry. Let one of our experts help you create the perfect personalized Pandora charm bracelet or select from Thomas Sabo's newest dazzling collection of sterling silver charms, or complement your look with a trend setting piece from Thomas Sabo's Rebel at Heart Collection.

Whether you seek the biker chic look of a King Baby ring, Erickson Beamon's decadent and elegant jewelry, the fabulous Virgins Saints and Angels necklace you saw on your favorite reality T.V. star, or a graceful, hand finished Vahan bracelet - crafted in gold and precious stones, you will find that exquisite jewelry piece at Swag.

Look for our Fall Collections from designers Bounkit, Dove NY, Jose and Maria Barrera, Miriam Haskell, Diego Percossi Papi, and Lori Bonn, Erickson Beamon,. Swag also offers jewelry for your home, such as Edgar Berebi stemware, and reverse painted chandeliers by artist Ulla Darni

To browse our jewelry selection, just click your favorite jewelry designer or shop by type including bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings and fashion accessories

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