Trollbeads 30 Day Design Challenge


What if you started fresh… free from preconceptions about how your bracelets should look.  What could you create with your beautiful beads?

the-canvasA dear friend and client recently showed me a photo of her substantial collection, laid out on a playtray, neatly arranged by categories such as stones, silvers, and glass… and I was astonished to realize that I had never arranged my own beads in that way.  As often as I play with other peoples’ designs and collections of bracelets, I was a little more casual about designing my own pieces and had never spent the time to take it all apart and lay it out clearly to start fresh.  When I saw all of those beads laid out on the play tray I realized how incredibly liberating and inspiring it was, and wanted to feel that with my own collection.

I often hear from design clients that they are reluctant to take apart their finished bracelets, and wonder why.  I don’t hesitate to redesign often, I simply take a snap of a favoured composition, so that if I ever want it back I can reproduce it as if I had a pattern.  Funnily enough, I’ve never gone back and done so – there always seems to be something new to try.  This challenge is the perfect time to take the plunge and look at one’s collection with a fresh eye.

Screen shot 2013-06-09 at 7.27.56 PM

So here’s the challenge:

1.  Photograph my current bracelets, so I can always put them back exactly the way they are if I want them back.  (Check.  See above)


2.  Take everything apart and arrange it on a play tray so I can clearly see my design tools at hand.  (Check.  See above.)


day1-lavenderjade3.  Play!  Create a new bracelet every day for 30 days.  The next morning, take it apart, place all the beads back on the play tray to create again with a fresh eye.  (Don’t forget, you can always take a photo if you’d like to rebuild a certain arrangement again in the future.)

day1-detailA sense of adventure is key, here.. this is the perfect time to take risks with colour.  After all, we are using beads that we already own.  There is no cost involved, and we are only going to wear the results of each experiment for one day.  The objective is to find new opportunities and new inspiration within our collection.  Don’t over think each bracelet; try all stones, all glass, all silver, unbalanced, colourblocked, group patterns, or go for totally random combinations that simply make you happy.

day1-labradoriteI would LOVE to have as many of you as possible to take the challenge with me, and share the results of your wild Trollbeads design experiments on our Facebook page so that we can all enjoy them and be inspired.  If you don’t “do” facebook, email them to me and I would be delighted to post the photos on your behalf.

day1-roundMy 30 Day Challenge… Day 1

I never noticed how many grey & lilac natural stones I had!


Already, I feel as though I have come to know my personal collection a little better, and I’ve only just begun.  This is going to be fun… I can’t wait to start again fresh tomorrow morning as see what I discover then!  Don’t forget – I have to take it all apart, and put it back onto the tray before designing bracelet number two.

Let me know if you decide to take up the challenge too…



9 thoughts on “Trollbeads 30 Day Design Challenge

  1. Absolutely fab idea! Love this, I’m a break and make bracelet wearer but been so busy recently that I’ve done less with my silver bracelets and more with my leathers and very recently the bangle.

    May well try this for July… as once the last of my new beads arrive must get on that bead wagon for a bit and this would be perfect!

    Mars x

  2. Love this bracelet, Cathy!! What is the pink bead on the left, between the lab and the trinity?? It is a beauty!!

  3. how true, I feel reluctant to disassemble the bracelet too, but when I compose a new one, I don’t return to the old, although I take photos to keep record of the patterns 🙂

  4. This is a fabulous idea! I just saw all the pictures you posted of the challenge and I have one question: are the beads in the play tray all the beads you own? After seeing so many bracelets compositions with them, it feels like you own just so many more!

    I may try that as well, as I feel like I get too stuck after I make a permanent bracelet. I dont like to break them, even if I have a bead there that can be used for another design.

    1. Hello there! thanks for tuning in! Yes, that one play tray is my whole collection and I stuck to it religiously, being careful not to “cheat” and play with Tartooful’s stock the way I might normally be tempted to do. It was an amazing creative exercise, I felt as though I had wayyyy more ideas pending at the end than I did at the beginning. With digital photography ubiquitous and so simple, there’s just no excuse for being nervous about recomposing a bracelet…. just take a snap before you touch it, and voila! You can always put it back….
      thanks again for reading,


      1. The problem with me and many other collectors is we focus too much on much wanted beads we still dont own, instead of all the amazing beads we already managed to acquire.

        I am trying to show more love to the beads I have, as I have plenty already.

        More will come to join them in the future, for sure, but meanwhile I have to remind myself to wear and design more with the amazing beads I am lucky to have.

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