Pinterest, tumblr and fashion blogs everywhere are filled to the brim with close-up shots of “arm parties”—wrists stacked with bracelet upon bracelet. I love the look, but have always had an issue when it comes to this piece of jewelry because my wrists are unnaturally small. Every single year I would get a nice bracelet for Christmas. Every single year it would slip off my toddler-sized wrist and be lost forever.
For this reason, I love making my own bracelets, custom-sized to fit me. And after making these tribal beaded earrings, I’ve been on a serious bead kick, so this wrap bracelet was an easy choice.
Before you undertake this project yourself, be warned: it takes HOURS. You’ll make the bracelet using a square stitch, which essentially requires you to individually loop each tiny bead on to its surrounding beads one at a time. I made this bracelet over the course of a few days, doing a little here and a little there.
- Beads (colors of your choice)
- Beading wire (I used thread because I was too lazy to drive to A.C. Moore, but I don’t recommend you do the same. The bracelet will be far too delicate and easy to destroy)
- A button
- Cut a long piece of string/wire (as long as you think you can manage without it tangling). Depending on how many times you want the bracelet to wrap around your wrist, this DIY requires a LOT of thread/wire. You’ll need to add segments by tying ends together.
- Begin your square stitch, leaving at least 8 inches of thread/wire at the end (you’ll need the extra wire to attach the button at the end). I used a row width of 5 beads, but you can vary this depending on how thick you want your bracelet. I’ve drawn out what a square stitch looks like because I felt it was clearer than the photos I took. You’ll use this technique row after row. There’s a great animated tutorial over at Silver Hill Design that I highly recommend if my picture isn’t helping.
- When you get to the end (17 million hours later), secure the last bead by wrapping the thread through it several times. String on enough beads to form a loop big enough for the button to fit through. This will depend on the button you choose; I needed 16 beads to form my loop. Secure by looping the thread through the last row of beads several times, ending with a knot.
- Go back to the starting end of the bracelet and attach the button using the same technique used for the loop clasp: thread the wire through the last row of beads several times and through the button, securing with a knot.
For my wrap bracelet, I mixed up the patterns between color-blocked stripes and zigzags because I wanted an eclectic mix of color when it was wound around my wrist.