Introduction: Beaded Loops Bracelet

About: In which I turn the thoughts from my head into objects in my hands

I made this as a gift for a friend who had been feeling sad and stressed lately. To be honest, I had been feeling the same, so this project was a win-win situation: I got to make something that took the stress off my mind, and she got a surprise to brighten up her week. The design popped into my head from something I'd seen before (Perhaps a book? I don't recall anymore..) and I thought it'd be the perfect design to make something teal, the friend's favorite color. Anyhow, it turned out lovely, and we're both feeling a bit better now.

Step 1: Materials

  • seed beads (I used size 11, teal and light sapphire.)
  • thread for beading
  • string for sliding closure (I used some rattail string.) OR clasps
  • thin wire OR beading needles (I didn't have needles small enough to fit in my beads so I just used 28 gauge wire. You could also just savage some thin wire from wire ribbons or twist ties..)
  • scissors
  • glue/lighter for singeing

Step 2: Thread and Needles

Start by cutting out some thread (I used about a wingspan, but that was more than enough.) and stringing on two needles, on on either end.

To create makeshift needles, I used 28 gauge wire. I bent the wire approximately in half (You should make one side longer though.) and twisted the two ends together.

Step 3: First Loop

String on an odd number of beads (Due to the small size of mine, I used 17 beads.) to make loops that are about 1cm long. The bigger your beads, the bigger the loops you'll need, so plan accordingly.

Take the needle on the right and insert it through the first bead on the left. Make sure that you're inserting the needle the correct way (see the second picture above). Then pull to tighten.

Step 4: Second Loop

To make the second loop, string on half the number of beads in the first loop + 0.5 beads onto the string on the left (I had 17 total beads in the first loops so I strung on 17/2 + 0.5 = 9 beads.) and half the number of beads in the first loop - 0.5 beads onto the string on the right (17/2 - 0.5 = 8 beads.)

Then take the needle on the right string and insert it into the first bead on the left. Again, make sure you're inserting the needle in the correct orientation (see second picture above.

Step 5: Next Loops

Repeat the steps from the second loop to create the subsequent loops. Stop and don't complete the last loop when you're satisfied with the length of the bracelet; in my case, I stopped at 12 loops because I ran out of beads. ^^ Don't make the bracelet too long (make it shorter than your wrist circumference) if you want to create a sliding closure like I did.

Step 6: Tying Off Loose Ends

To finish the last loop, tie a knot after stringing beads onto the left and right strings. Then tie two more for security and gently tug the loop to make sure the knots will hold. Dab some glue on the knot to secure it.

Before the glue has dried, insert the needle on the left through the bead to the right of the knot. Gently pull the thread until the knot is hidden inside that bead. Cut the thread ends, and voilà -- one strand of loops done!

Repeat the previous steps to make a total of two strands of loops.

Step 7: Connecting the Strands

To connect the two beaded loop strands, start by inserting one into the first loop of the other (I'll refer to one loop as the light blue and the other as teal. In this case, I inserted the light blue into the teal.) Then insert the light blue's other end into the second loop of the teal in front of it, and tug down to firmly pull the two strands together. Now the light blue is in front, and the teal is behind it. Insert the teal into the third loop of the light blue, and tug down again. Repeat these steps, always inserting the strand behind into the next loop of the strand in front, until you've gone down the entire length of the beaded strands.

Step 8: Closure: Part 1

Because my beaded strands were shorter than a regular wrist circumference, I made a sliding closure to add length to it. Alternatively, you could just attach clasps, among other things.

For this, you'll need to attach some string to the ends of the beaded loops. See the above pictures for how to tie a knot for attachment. Repeat the steps on both end of the beaded strands.

Step 9: Closure: Part 2

Next you'll need to do macrame square knots for the sliding mechanism. See here for a pretty good tutorial, or you can follow my pictures above.

Step 10: Closure: Part 3

Cut and singe (or dab with glue) the extra string from the macrame knots. Then put the bracelet on your wrist and estimate how long the two strings on the ends of the beaded strands should be (Mine are about 2".). Put a bead on the string (optional) and tie a knot so that the macrame square knots from before won't slide off. Then cut and singe (or use glue on) the knots at the end again.

Now you have a beautiful new bracelet! Have fun and enjoy. ^^

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