I discovered French General jewelry designs in a book some years ago. I coveted their jewelry kits, but felt they were too pricey. I bought my own beads and made a number of designs from the book.

Every year or so I’d go to their website and moon over the kits a bit, and resist the temptation to buy them. Last week I got a second jewelry book from French General, and checked out their website again. They had just a handful of kits left, so I broke down and bought a couple.

They arrived today, so I made one.

Here’s how. First, sort out all the stuff. The kit includes 7 or 8 of most beads, 15 each of a couple.


There are also lots of head pins. You put them through the beads and then through a link of chain. Use pliers to twist the pin into a link and secure it.


The instructions in the kit are rudimentary, but there’s a nice photo to copy. I started by spacing the largest items fairly evenly along the chain.


The finished bracelet looks a lot like the picture.

It took three episodes of Rizolli & Isles to complete. Here it is compared with one I made from beads and findings I collected myself those years ago.


That rose bead is out of proportion with the others. I’m going to remove it. The style is similar, but the kit bracelet has far more beads — eight of each to my three of each, six types rather than seven, plus extra seed beads and findings. The chain is longer to accommodate all the extra goodies, and the effect is more lush.

I’m tempted to go snap up the remaining styles.