In this article I will cover:
What do you need to make a bracelet?
First and foremost, you have to make the main material for a bracelet – it can be just a chain or a cord and a bead or a full-on bead woven tape or just a piece of ribbon or a thread strung with several beads. Decide on the style you want on your wrist.
Then decide on the fastener. Lobster claw clasp is my favorite fastener for bracelets. You will use this on one end of the bracelet and it fastens onto a jump ring on the other end. The other one is a bolt ring, you can use a simple bolt ring or a complicated one as in the picture below. Or you can use a Round-Ring and toggle Clasp – this consists of a ring on one end and a T-shaped bar which is inserted into the ring part to fasten. You can also use a hook-shaped fastener this will fasten into a ring on the other end, as usual.
Other things you may want to have for making bracelets are crimp ends, bead tips, crimp beads, and calottes.
Crimp ends are used at the ends of the cord – they have a hook/loop at the end to attach the fastener. It holds the end of the cold – it is pressed against the cord with a plier. The Bead tips are used to hold the knot secure and also to conceal a knot. You can also use a crimp bead. You will have to close the crimp bead with a plier. Cut off the extra thread projecting out. Another option is to use a calotte. This is a two-part cup-shaped thing with a hook – the hook can be used to hold the fastener. The calotte holds several threads together.
You can also use jewelers cement or epoxy. This is used on knots to secure them. You may also want a plier or two to manipulate metal findings.
For more details check out this post – Jewelry making tools and findings
Decide on the Length of the bracelet
The length of a bracelet depends on your wrist and it can range from 6 inch to 8 inch for an adult. The best thing is to measure a bracelet you own from one end to the other. The average bracelet length is 7.5 inches. You can measure your wrist and add 3/4 inches or 2 cms (depending on the fit you want).
Easy ways to make the bracelets
Elastic cord bracelet
This is one of the easiest ways to make bracelets. An elastic cord doesnot need any fastener – they simply slide on and off your hands. They look good when made with big beads.
When selecting beads for stretchy cord bracelets, I would use smooth beads without any jarring holes. You do not want the beads to wear and cut the cord.
Making this kind of bracelet is easy – just string the beads and then tie a knot at the end. Use some glue to secure the knots. If the beads are big the knots will be hidden. First test the cord on your hand, before stringing. You do not want the bracelet to slide off easily
This is another very easy-to-make bracelet. You can buy delicate or chunky metal chains in varying sizes and different metallic colors. Attach different charms you can buy on this chain using jump rings.
Attach the clasps and you have cute little bracelets.
The only difficult part is in choosing the best charms for your bracelet. There are so many you will be mighty confused, that is what I mean. If you have an edgy style, go for quirky motifs like skull, cross etc.
You can braid your bracelet with ribbons, cord, twine.
Check out these posts on different ways to braid: How to braid with 3 strands; How to braid with 4 strands; How to braid with 5 strands ; Make a 7 strand braid; Different types of cords; Different types of ribbons.; Kumihimo braiding
Attach your fastener at the end of the braid or add ties as I have done. I have attached the ties with stitching and hid the stitching with spacer beads.
A cuff bracelet is a wide bracelet that lies close to the wrist. It is like a wide bangle. You can cut out fabric or any other material this way and use it as your bracelet.
I have used the belt portion of my jeans to make this one. Cut out the belt part and a little extra to turn under.
Turn to the back and stitch in place with a hand sewing needle and thread.
After this attach any embellishments you want and the fastener.
You can make a similar bracelet with leather scrap pieces. Fold the leather pieces as you would when making straps/handles to get the cuff part.
You can showcase a special bead this way by stringing it on a cord. You can string the cord, make knots on either side, and then attach the fasteners as usual.
A very interesting way is to use an adjustable knot at the end of the cord – this will make fasteners unnecessary. You just need a cord and the bead. Check out the tutorial to make such a bracelet here.
For the bracelet shown below, I have used a bead with holes on either side here; and a leather cord.
I have simply knotted at either end of the beads. If the cord is thinner or the hole bigger, I could have made another type of knot, which looks far prettier.
For making this knot, get two pieces of thread/cord (it should be double the length).
Take the loop of your double thread through the hole.
Insert the ends of the cord through this loop.
Tighten and you have a nice knot at the end of the bead
Do it for either side.
I have managed to make that happy button sad. I hope I have done better with you.