Introduction: Ribbon Wire Bracelet

About: We’re life-long tinkerers, siblings, and fourth generation engineers. We’re not quite sure which of us had the idea of putting LED’s on jewelry and powering them with solar cells, but once Marty proved it cou…

Have any old computer cables lying around? You know the kind, the fat ribbon wire ones, often very colorful. You can make them into a really cool bracelet in no time.

And don't forget to check out our other insturctables such as the Blinky Owl or Blinky Skull, and other nifty kits available on our store.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

What you will need:

1. Ribbon wire, similar to the picture. Any width will work, I will show you how to adapt the instructable for different widths.

2. Beading supplies in gold, silver, copper, etc. Your choice. These can be found at your local bead store or online.

a. Ribbon crimps. I'm using 19mm long smooth ones, but you can use whatever style you like.

b. Multi-strand slide locking clasps. These are super cool and easy to take on and off one handed. We also recommend using "tab" type clasps, but only if you can find ones where the tab is on the top, not the side. See the pictures for details. Other types of common clasps are included in the pictures, but we do not recommend these for bracelets. They are very difficult to use one handed.

c. Jump rings. Shown are 6x4 mm oval jump rings. But common 5mm jump rings will work great too.

3. Tools -

a. Needle nose pliers
b. Superglue
c. Rotary cutter or scissors
d. Cutting surface
e. Ruler
f. Nylon jaw pliers
are nice to have, but not necessary.

Step 2: Trimming and Crimping

Measure your wrist, and add a half inch for comfort. The old adage is true, measure twice, cut once. I'm a 7" wrist, but mine are small. 8" will fit most people.

Trim off the connector. Make sure its square, a craft board with lines and measurements on it can help keep everything even.

The ribbon crimp has teeth on one side, see the picture. Hold it in the center of the ribbon. Using the nylon jaw pliers or a regular needle nose pliers, squeeze the ribbon crimp in place. Make sure its really tight by pulling on it.

For really wide ribbons, use two crimps side by side as shown.

Step 3: More Trimming and Superglue

If you like, you can cut the corners of the ribbon wire diagonally. Not necessary, but I like the look.

Next, superglue the ends on the inside of the bracelet so they don't fray or pull apart. Ribbon wire is easy to pull apart. You can unzip it anywhere and make two smaller bracelets from a wide piece. For our purposes, a thin layer of superglue should be fine. Especially glue the un-crimped corners. Let it dry completely before moving onto the next step, superglue loves sticking to skin (I know, from experience, I almost super-glued a bracelet to my arm).

Step 4: Attaching the Clasp

Next, attach the clasp. Open the jump rings by pushing the two ends apart perpendicular to the ring. Next, attach one loop on the clasp to the loop on the ribbon crimp with the jump ring. Close the jump ring by again pushing perpendicular to the ring, bending the ends back together. Repeat this with the other loop on the clasp, and on the other side of the clasp. You are done!

Now, you may be wondering how this clever slide lock clasp works? It's simple, pull on the two ends of the tube. This separates the inner and outer tube from each other. To secure the clasp, push the two tubes back together. Ta-Da!

If you have an extra wide ribbon, simply attach the outer most rings on the clasp to the ribbon crimps as shown. One observation with extra wide ribbon bracelets, they aren't very comfortable. This is because no human wrist or arm is perfectly cylindrical. To make them more comfortable, we recommend using smaller jumprings on one end of the clasp as shown. This will allow the wide ribbon bracelet to taper and fit a human arm comfortably. It is a subtle difference, but try it. We think you will agree it is worth it.

Thanks for getting this far, and we would love to see your finished creations in the comments section. Also check out our other insturctables such as the Blinky Owl or Blinky Skull, and kits available in our store.

Craft on!

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