I used to make and sell jewelry. I enjoyed it for quite awhile, but then I grew tired of it. I guess when I had my last baby I just was so overwhelmed I put jewelry making to the side and never really got back into it. I still have all my supplies though. I still enjoy it when I take the time to get my beads out and create something. If you are one of those people who hates crafting because you somehow don’t get your projects finished and they end up hanging around your home for 20 years then jewelry making is for YOU! It is so fun because it doesn’t take long to make something and then you have something you created that is finished! AND you can wear it!
Stretch bracelets are the easiest thing in the world to make! They take no time at all and no special tools. They are a great thing for kids to make, too, because they help with fine motor skills. Are you ready to learn how?
Here we go!!
You will need a couple things to make a stretch bracelet. The first is the stringing material. This is the one I like. Stretch Magic. It is pretty strong and doesn’t stretch out too much or too quickly. It comes in different thicknesses. I prefer .7mm because the .5mm is super fine and not very strong at all and the 1mm is too thick for the holes of many beads. Some beads won’t fit on .7mm, especially things like pearls.
You will also need some type of glue to secure your knot. I just use clear nail polish. I am sure there are jewelry glues you could use but most of you already have clear nail polish on hand and it works just great! (Don’t mind the teeth marks on the lid…You’d think a dentist’s daughter would know better!)
Now, you will need your beads. Pick whatever suits your fancy. There are millions of fun beads to choose from. Place them on a piece of fabric or something so they don’t roll off your table. Here are some of the ones I used in this bracelet.
OK, now you just thread them onto your Stretch Magic in whatever pattern you choose. I had to re-do this one like 5 times because I was having trouble getting it to come out to the right length and still have a perfect repeat. The average person wears a bracelet that is about 7'” to 7.5”. If your beads are super fat, you will need to make your bracelet longer because when you make it into a circle the interior circumference will be smaller the bigger your beads are, and that is the measurement that needs to match up with your wrist. This is the great thing about making your own jewelry…you can make it to fit you perfectly and fit the way you like it…looser or tighter, depending on your own preference. So, here you see I have 7 inches of beads and I have a perfect repeat.
Now, you simply cut your Stretch magic so you have about 2” on each end. Don’t cut it too short or you will have a heck of a time trying to get it tied.
Now, you are going to tie a knot around your finger like you would if you were tying a balloon. See, you wrap both ends tightly around your finger cutting off your circulation, like so. (Please ignore my dry scaly skin)
Now, pull it through just like tying a balloon and pull it tight. Not too tight. At this point you can make small adjustments to the placement of the knot by pulling your tails apart to shorten the length of the bracelet, or by pulling the bracelet on either side of the knot to lengthen your bracelet. You can move it about 1/8” by doing this, sometimes a little more. Once you get it so your bracelet lays nicely and the beads aren’t too tight against each other or too loose so that you can see plain cord it is in the right place. Now, just pull gently to tighten the actual knot a little more. The knot below has not had the final tightening.
Now, you dab a bit of polish on either side of the knot to secure it. You don’t have to wait for it to dry to proceed.
Now, trim the ends to between about 3/16”, that is right between 1/8” and 1/4”. It is nice to end your bracelet with the bead with the largest hole. This way, you can usually pull the knot inside the bead, if the hole is big enough. Then you don’t have to see those little ends at all.
And here is the finished bracelet. Isn’t it purdy??
I will be using this as one of the prizes in my next surprise giveaway for my followers!!
(PS. Keep your metal beads in airtight containers or they will quickly tarnish. Keep your jewelry in a tarnish free jewelry case or in airtight containers, like a little zip top baggie)