gettin’ crafty: evil eye bracelet

The other day I was in a crafting sort of mood, so I made a trip to Michaels, where I found an intriguing trio of blue evil eye beads, each in varying shapes and styles. I was mainly interested in this light blue, oblong version so I put it in my basket, thinking I’d find a use for it sooner or later.

Well that use came sooner than I thought, as I went home and began doing some light research on the meaning of the evil eye symbol. I’d had a general inkling of what it signified, but I figured I should probably acquire a deeper understanding of the amulet before I wore it anytime soon.

As it turns out, the eye has a rather interesting history (for those of you more in tune with your Turkish knowledge than I was, bear with me, I promise I don’t usually delve into history lessons like this). The actual symbol of the evil eye was first recorded 5,000 years agoby the Mesopotamians on a clay tablet. Since then, the insignia has been found in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures, as well as Buddhist and Hindu societies.

Vintage Turkish evil eye beads

The eye, usually crafted into a glass talisman, is meant to stare back at the world and protect the wearer from harm and evil. The most popular color is blue because in Turkish culture, blue represents water — a precious commodity which enables things to grow and prosper.

A modern interpretation of the Evil Eye — a cluster ring from Blee Inara

Throughout the years, many myths and stories related to this sacred symbol have emerged. My favorite is one I encountered by a man named Murat Kayan, a Turkish shopkeeper:

“It is also believed that the people with coloured eyes have the power of so called evil look. Some time ago a young lady with blue eyes came and wanted to buy a certain bead hanging over there. Even before I could touch the bead, it was broken into pieces. It even cut my hand. I couldn’t forget it. Later the lady made a joke, saying “I guess I’d better leave before I cause more damage to you and your Nazar beads…”

My personal favorite Evil Eye bracelet, by Max and Chloe

So after reading up on all this history, I was more than inspired to create my own evil eye jewelry. It only involved a spool of red thread, black onyx beads, my Michael’s charms, crimp beads, a clasp, scissors, a regular sewing needle, and about forty-five minutes of crafting.

1. The necessary materials

2. An everyday sewing needle makes it easier and quicker to thread beads onto the string.

3 and 4. I tied the charms onto the thread with a simple knot so that the red string would shine through — I love the color combo of red and turquoise.

5. Crimp beads are so cute! And handy too, they’re great for attaching clasps. I opted for this method instead of just tying a knot onto the clasp because I didn’t want the loose ends of the knot to unravel, leaving me with a broken bracelet. (A broken evil eye bracelet seems like it would be terrible luck).

6. I chose a basic spring ring clasp since they’re easy to open.

Voila! Or should I say zf! (Yea that’s Turkish for voila, and yes I had to look that up) The final product! This bracelet will go great with my wristful of bangles. And oh yea, the added benefit of warding off evil isn’t too bad, either.

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