I love making jewelry. I don't think I'm particularly skilled at finishing a jewelry-making project (as evident by all the half-started pieces I have, some since high school) but I do enjoy making and getting to tell people that the bracelet, necklace, or earrings I'm wearing are one-of-a-kind and made by me.
The town I grew up in has a fantastic bead shop and for a kid growing up in southern Vermont, it was really one of the only stores downtown that had anything of interest for me. Beadniks is where my jewelry making interest began.
This wrap bracelet Instructable was inspired by some cuffs/wraps I came across on Pinterest and some I saw in a store that were way over my idea of reasonably priced. Looking on Pinterest and examining some photos, it was easy to see that these bracelets are not as complicated to make as they look (as long as you have a clipboard) and I could get the exact style I want by making my own. Often when looking at finished jewelry, there is some aspect of it I don't like and whatever the part I dislike, coupled with an "ehh" price-tag is what keeps me from buying.
Some of the beads (the silver ones in particular) are ones I've had for years. The Polaris Beads (the round blue ones) came from Germany (Polaris beads are a big deal in Europe and hard as hell to find in the U.S.). The multi-faceted beads came from Michaels and Joann's (on sale). The button I found in a button jar my husband started. The 2mm blue leather came from an Etsy store (link on next step), but if you are within driving distance of Walpole, MA, I highly recommend checking out Bead Addiction for your jewelry-making needs. One of the few bead shops around that is open on Sundays and has an amazing selection of beads, findings, and cords.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
-Leather cord (1 single piece of cord, I used 36" of 2mm blue leather cord, bought on Etsy, here)
-Nylon or other durable beading thread
-Beads (I used a variety of beads, including Polaris Beads--which I'm obsessed with)
-Clipboard (for holding the cord still)
The amount of cord you will use depends on how long you want your bracelet. My wrist measurement is 6.5". Because this is a wrap bracelet, I want to increase the length of cord depending on how many times I want the bracelet to wrap around my wrist. I also want to factor in the knots I'll be adding for the closure button and loop. Also remember to use one single piece of cord, you'll be folding it in half.
For a double wrap, I used about 36" of leather cord. For the triple wrap I'm working on I used about 52 inches of cord.
Step 2: Button Closure
Slide the cord through the button holes until the button is evenly placed between the cord and you have two strands to work with. You can tie your cord in a knot to keep the button in place, really this is an aesthetic choice and not necessary.
Secure your cord to a clipboard, this helps keep your lines straight, and tie your thread to one side. I picked the left cord to secure my thread to and every time I had to start a new length of thread, I started it on the left, so all the knots etc are on the same side.
For more knot security you can add clear nail polish or jewelry/super glue. I added glue to all of my knots and tried my best to hide the evidence inside the beads.
Step 3: Sewing Beads
Add one bead to your thread and pull it all the way down (picture 1) and then wrap the thread under the right cord (picture 2) and sew back into the bead. Bring the needle/thread back under the left cord and pull through.
Bring the thread back over the left cord, add a new bead and repeat the above process. Continue these steps until you have run out of thread.
When you get to the last 2-3" of thread, stop beading and tie the thread off in a secure knot. In as close to the same place as possible, tie on the new thread and secure. For this bracelet, every time I needed to add more thread I also changed the beads.
Step 4: New Thread, New Beads
With your new thread added, you can either continue with the beads you were previously using, or start new ones as I did.
I continued the over, under, over, sewing pattern until there was only 3" or so left of leather cord.
Step 5: Button Loop
When you get to the end of your cord, tie a knot at the end closest to the beads. Tie a second knot towards the end of the tail, making sure to leave a small gap (wide enough to accommodate your button) between the knots.
Step 6: Ta Da!
Wrap your bracelet around your wrist, secure the button, and you've got a double wrap leather bracelet.
Runner Up in the
Rainy Day Challenge