Saturday, September 22, 2012

Beaded Wrap Bracelets

Have you been seeing these beaded wrap bracelets all over the place like I have?

You can get everything from the $200 Chan Luu version to the ones that are on sale right now at Urban Outfitters.  Or, if you're like me, you can take a close look at one of them, experience all of your childhood beading skills come flooding back to you, and make them yourself.  Why buy it when you can make it and have it look exactly the way you want it to for a fraction of the price?

To make these bracelets you will need:
  • Clear, stretchy jewelry cord, 0.5 mm diameter
  • Black cotton or leather jewelry cord, 1 mm diameter
  • Beads in 2 different colors with large enough holes to fit the clear jewelry cord through it twice (I used 6/0 Czech glass e-beads from Joann's.)
  • Silver magnetic clasps
  • Scissors
  • Tape

The basic idea is that there are 2 parallel black cords with a bead in between them.  You will use a stretchy clear string to make a figure 8 around those 2 cords, passing through the bead in the middle twice along the way.  (Picture #11 is a good illustration of how the figure 8 should look.)  Just make your figure 8s over and over, adding more and more beads as you go and you'll have a wrap bracelet.

Here are the much more in-depth instructions:

*These instructions are for making a 13 inch bracelet for a 6 inch wrist.  That way the bracelet can wrap around the wrist twice with 1 extra inch of wiggle room.  If your wrist is larger than 6 inches, simply double your wrist size and add one more inch to find out how long you want your bracelet to be.*

  1. Cut off 34 inches of black cord and fold it in half so it will be 17 inches long.  Then cut a 51 inch piece of stretchy clear string.  (The clear string should be 3 times as long as the doubled-up black cord.)

  2. Thread one side of the metal clasp onto the black cord so it sits in the fold you made earlier. Then tie the clear string onto the clasp as well.

  3. Wrap all three strings around your finger and tie them in a knot.  The knot should sit directly below the clasp.  Cut off the tail of the clear string.  Now you're ready to start beading.

  4. Tape the clasp-end of the bracelet onto a table.  Add one bead to the clear string and position it so it is sitting between the two black cords.

  5. Wrap the clear string around the left-hand black cord (going over the black cord first then under it second), then thread the clear string back through the same bead.

  6. Pull the string so the loop you just made tightens up and the bead sits right underneath the clasp and the knot.  Now wrap the clear string around the right-hand black cord (going over first then under second).

  7. Add another bead to the clear cord.

  8. Wrap the clear string around the left-hand black cord the same way you did it before (in step 5), and thread it back through the second bead.

  9. Pull the clear string so the loops tighten up and the second bead sits right next to the first one.  Continue making figure 8s with the clear string around the right-hand black cord, though a new bead, around the left-hand black cord, through the same bead again, and then pulling the clear string so everything's nice and tight.

  10. After you've added 8 beads using the figure 8 method, make the 9th bead an alternate color.

  11. Continue making figure 8s and adding new beads (with every 9th bead being the alternate color) until the bracelet is almost 13 inches long.

  12. Loop the clear string around the right hand black cord and tie it in a knot.

  13. Slip the 2nd half of the metal clasp onto the right-hand black cord and the clear string.

  14. Loop all the strings around your finger to tie a knot.

  15. Pull the knot tight, keeping the metal clasp at the top of the knot.

  16. Cut off the excess strings and you're finished!  Your bracelet should look like this now:

I made mine in shades of pink just because it's my favorite color.  If you want to make your bracelets look more like a fall accessory, try making them in deep purples or rich browns.  Look how fun mine look hanging all together on my jewelry tree:

Happy beading!


  1. Beautiful! I also saw those bracelets in shops and they are so expensvive! It's worth making them by ourselves :)


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