LulaBelle Handicrafts

the place for crafty inspiration

DIY Easy, Stretchy, Beaded Bracelets

A girl can never have too many bracelets. I love them, especially pretty, beaded ones that look great stacked. I’m usually surprised by the price of them in boutiques and at craft shows. Rarely do I buy these kinds of bracelets anymore because making them is easier than you might think. Plus they don’t take a lot of beads, so bracelets are a great way to use up some of your leftovers or highlight a few high-dollar beads.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Supplies:

  • Beads
  • .5 mm Clear, Stretchy Elastic
  • 2 mm Crimp Beads
  • Scissors
  • Crimper or Pliers
  • Scotch Tape (optional)

Supplies for Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step One:

Cut a piece of clear elastic long enough to fit around your wrist plus about 2 in. I like to cut the elastic bigger than I need so that it’s easier to work with once all the beads are strung.

Step Two:

String your beads. This is the longest part of the process for me. I often start off with one pattern and tweak it to make the proper length to fit my wrist. Spacer beads are your friend. If you need to add just a little more length, pop a couple of them onto the end of the elastic. I know that I’m done stringing when I can wrap the beads around my wrist and the ends meet.

Step Three:

Put 1 or 2 crimp beads on one end of your elastic. You can use only 1, and your bracelet will be fine. I like to use 2 just in case when I’m really fond of the beads or they are heavy. Then thread the other end of the elastic through the crimp beads, and pull the elastic taut. 

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step Four:

Use your crimper or pliers to close the crimp beads. If you’ve never done this before, you smash the bead with the crimper or pliers. Then turn it 90 degrees, and smash it again.

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To make it a little easier, I tape one end of the elastic down with scotch tape and hold the other end in my non-crimping hand. This allows me to keep the elastic taut and beads on the elastic.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step Five:

Thread the elastic through the first couple of beads on each side, and cut off the excess. Your bracelet is now ready to be shown off to the world!

I love layering these with other bracelets. Rarely do I wear just one.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

That look is a little extreme. Really I just wanted to show off some of the cool beads I’ve acquired the past few months. This is how I usually wear the bracelets.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

I also like to gift them. Three bracelets in coordinating colors make for a lovely gift.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Happy bracelet making!

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Wool I-Cord Bangle

One of the easiest and most versatile things to make on a knitting loom is an I-Cord. They can be used as embellishments along hems or as handles to purses. I decided to try to turn an I-Cord into a bracelet using a thick, wool-blend yarn.

I’ve seen lots of yarn bangles on Pinterest, but most of them involve wrapping an actual bangle bracelet. A chunky, wool yarn as an I-Cord is ideal for this project because it will hold its shape well enough to give the illusion of a bangle without actually having to disguise an otherwise cute bracelet. Plus it makes these bangles an excellent fall and winter accessory.

I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool. If you have trouble finding this yarn, substitute Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or another super chunky, wool-blend yarn. You won’t need much of it for these bracelets, so you’ll have enough yarn left over to make a scarf or hat.

To transform this yarn into an I-Cord, you’ll need a knitting loom, knitting tool, and scissors. I used the smallest of the four looms that comes in the standard Knifty Knitter set. Isela Phelps provides an amazing I-Cord tutorial on her website. Almost everything I know about loom knitting I learned from her books and website. I highly recommend checking Isela out if you plan on getting into loom knitting.

Back to our bangle, use her instructions to knit your I-Cord until it reaches 9 in. in length. Bind off the I-Cord, and tie your two ends together with a square knot. Cut off the excess yarn from the ends. From start to finish, you can have a bangle done in well under 30 mins. Once you get the hang of making I-Cords, you might get addicted. The possibilities of what to do with them are nearly limitless!

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Another Hex Nut Bracelet

My love of the hardware store continues with this hex nut bracelet. The inspiration for it came from a tutorial at Trinkets in Bloom.

Her bracelet differs from mine a little bit, but only because I was trying to use supplies that I already had. When I can, I try to fight the urge to buy all new supplies for every project. It helps me save some money, but it also forces me to get creative with leftovers from past projects. The more old stuff I use up, the more new stuff I can buy, right?

My initial modifications stemmed from not having enough of the right sized jump rings. The smaller diamond version I came up with actually fits my wrist better, so I guess everything works out for a reason. You’ll also notice that I used more jump rings than she did. That sounds a little nuts (yes, pun intended!) since I just stated that I went smaller because of jump rings. Going smaller left me with extra jump rings, so I used them. I did this to help the hex nuts maintain their diamond shape. If your jump rings are too big or you don’t use enough of them, the hex nuts morph into all sorts of other shapes. Said shapes are not as pretty to me as the diamond. Here’s a close up so that you can see my jump ring placement.

The decision to use leather instead of satin cording was based solely off of what I had on hand. I very fond of the effect the satin gives the bracelet since I am a sucker for color. Next time I’m at the craft or fabric store, I’ll pick some up and try the bracelet with it. I might also play with the hex nuts and come up with other shapes. All in all, I really like this bracelet. If you have basic jewelry making skills, this will be a breeze.

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