Introduction: Beaded Wristlet

I have made many of these and am constantly getting complimented on them. I know that they look like jewelry but they are actually therapeutic. I have arthritis in my thumb--it gets so painful that it is hard to hold a pencil. This is not good for a teacher.

I was taking a lot of pills for the pain when my sister and my sister-in-law both suggested I try magnets. I did not actually believe that magnets could stop the pain but every time I wrapped the magnetic necklace around my thumb, the pain stopped--within minutes. After a few months of trying the magnets off and on, I started to believe in them.

The problem was, the necklace kept sticking to things and falling off. It took a few tries, but I came up with a design that worked for the pain and still stayed out of my way most of the time.

Step 1: Materials:

Beads--3 mm plastic beads and 3 mm magnetic beads
Strong thread--dental floss works well if you can't find anything stronger
Needle--the holes on the beads are big enough that you can use any regular sewing needle
Magnetic clasp--I prefer to put on my jewelry without help and magnetic clasps work well for that

Step 2: Start at the Thumb

The basic pattern to making these is the right angle weave--or at least that is what someone told me that it was called. Basically you work on making little clusters of 4 beads at a time. I like to loop through all 4 beads at least twice just to make sure that the string does not break.

Start with 4 beads on a really long thread. Pull the needle through the same 4 beads again so that you end up with a loop. Pull the thread rather tight. Tie a knot using the loose end of the thread and the needle end of the thread. Add 3 new beads to the needle. The 4th bead in this cluster is the last bead of the previous cluster of beads. Keep adding more clusters to lengthen the strip.

Eleven clusters of 4 beads fit nicely on my thumb. You may need more or less depending on your hand size and the size of your beads. Sometimes you will be adding 3 beads at a time. Other times you will only need 2 beads to complete a cluster--like when you close up the ring portion.

If you try making this out of just magnetic beads, the end result is rather heavy. If you do not have the arthritis problem, you can use just the plastic beads. Play around with the colors and create a design you like.

I start by making a band that slides comfortably on and off my thumb. A bit on the big side is better than too small.

Step 3: Moving Down Towards the Wrist

I try to keep the beads away from my palm. The edge on that side goes straight down. The part on the back of my hand gets one extra cluster of beads at each row. I try the thing on every few rows to see if it is long enough to reach my wrist.

When your thread gets used up, tie on a new thread. I try to use really long threads so I don't have to do this often. I tie a tight square knot. I try to weave back through previous rows to leave the knot somewhere that it won't get in my way.

I wanted to make this piece with bright spring colors. My husband's favorite flower was the yellow daisy. One time, he took me to show me a field of daisies. Most of them were yellow but there were a few white ones sprinkled here and there.

Step 4: The Wrist Band

When it is long enough, I make the wrist band. The magnetic clasp gets attached at the end of the wrist band. Just string it along with the beads--pass through the beads and clasp a few extra times--this part gets a lot of wear and tear. Keep beading the wrist band even past the triangular section that covers the back of the hand.

Make the wrist band fit comfortably around the wrist. If it is too tight, it will pop off when you move your wrist. If it is too loose, it will slide around and get annoying. When it is the right length, string the other side of the magnetic clasp with the last cluster of beads. Be sure to pass through these last clusters an extra time or two.

Weave your needle back to the beginning of your thread to tie it off. Trim the ends.

Done just in time. It is storming today and my arthritis started acting up again.

I have made simple wrist bands and ankle bands for friends with arthritis in other joints. Once, I made bands to go around the 4 knuckles of a friend's hand. I attached 2 beaded rings to hold the band's in place.

I have tried to do a little research on magnets and arthritis. There does not seem to be a lot of scientific evidence one way or the other. It works for me so I use it. It may only work for certain types of arthritis.

You may want to check with your doctor if you are currently being treated for arthritis. There is probably no reason for magnets to interfere with your current treatment--but you should check just to be safe.

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Jewelry Contest 2017