Whether you are new to making jewelry, or an old-timer who just wants to whip up something fast, these stretchy bracelets are the easiest beading project I know of.
A nice & short supply list
One thing that makes them easy is the fact that you don’t need any pliers or wire cutters or crimps, etc. You just need:
- Some beads (I’m using black 6mm matte glass beads & flat diamond-shaped red glass beads)
- Stretchy Beading Cord – This comes in different colors and diameters, so make sure you get the right diameter for the beads you are using.
- Scissors and a measuring tape or ruler
You should be able to find every thing you need at your local hobby / craft store, but if not, you can certainly find it online.
One of the most important things about making a stretchy bracelet is to make sure you make it the right length. It needs to be long enough to fit around your wrist comfortably, but short enough that it doesn’t fall off your hand. If you are making the bracelet for yourself, you can measure your own wrist to get an idea of how long to cut the cord. If you are making the bracelet as a gift, or to sell, then you can usually go by the guideline of about 7-7.5″ for most adults. (7.5″ is usually a bit too long for these stretchy bracelets though) Cut the cord to at least 8.5 inches just to be safe – this way you’ll have enough for when you make the finishing knot.
If you are using really big beads, you’ll need to make the bracelet longer. If you use really small beads, you’ll make the bracelet shorter. So as
I actually only cut the cord to 7.5", which was almost too short. I barely could tie the knot!
you string the beads, keep checking the length of the bracelet by wrapping it around your wrist.
Once you’ve got it to the proper length, you’ll need to tie a knot. I use a basic square knot (right over left, left over right).
Now the awkward part… Before you pull the square knot tight, you need to put a dab of hypo-cement in the middle of the knot. Then pull the knot tight, and hold it for a few minutes as the glue sets. Try not to get any glue on the beads next to the knot.
Let the knot dry completely – say, about 10 minutes to be sure. Then try the bracelet on. Take it off, put it on, pull on the cord a little bit to make sure the glue & knot hold.
If you used a small enough (diameter) cord, with beads that have larger holes, you might be able to stick the cord ends back through the beads. Otherwise, trim the cord down so that there is only about 2 mm on each side of the knot.
Voila! You’ve got yourself a bracelet. You can wear just one, or make a few to mix & match.
A few extra notes:
- If you are planning to sell the bracelet or to give it as a gift, please take if for a “test drive” : Wear it for at least a few hours or a full day, to make sure the knot holds.
- You can use a crimp bead & cover on the larger diameters of cord if you want. This way you cover the knot up.
- Clean the tip of the hypo-cement off before trying to put glue on the knot. Having old, semi-dried globs at the end can make the knot look messy.
- You can string a lot of bracelets and then knot and glue them all at once (This way you only have to uncap & use the hypo cement once). I use those clamp-paper clips (the ones with the black clamp) at each end of the bracelet in order to hold the beads on the cord.
Some of the many stretchy bracelets I've made.