How To Make A Beaded Bracelet in 10 Simple Steps. Why would you want to do this?
For just a minute, imagine a nice clothing store that features handbags, accessories, and jewelry that perfectly coordinate with each ensemble. Years ago, I was the assistant manager of a store which did that very thing. Shoppers could pull an outfit from a variety of collection pieces, all perfectly coordinating, and then, choose purses, scarves, and jewelry from that same line.
It made putting an outfit together so simple! There was also a sister store in the same mall, which specialized in Petites. I loved that store! Unfortunately, the stores closed many years ago.
An outfit isn’t really finished until jewelry is added though, is it? It’s like the decorative icing on a cake, the garnish on a great dish. A piece or two of the perfect jewelry in the perfect color takes an outfit from ‘nice dress’ to wow! I can’t tell you how many times someone has commented on how the jewelry I was wearing was perfect with the outfit.
One of my frustrations has always been loving bracelets and never being able to find one that fits my small wrists. Every time I would let my arm down, a bracelet would slip off of my hand. It was too annoying to deal with that constantly. Finally, a few years ago, I found little bracelets that had elastic string through them that actually fit.
After taking one jewelry class, I realized custom bracelets would be so easy to make! Finally, bracelets that would actually fit could be a reality and I’m not talking elasticized bracelets either! We are talking grown-up bracelets!
Maybe you are that ‘perfect‘ size and the market’s bracelets fit you perfectly but you would like something a little more custom and perfectly coordinated. Maybe you are a plus size and they don’t fit you correctly, or maybe, like me, the market’s ‘perfect’ size is too big and falls off your hand.
Well, it’s easy to make your own perfectly sized bracelets in any color, metal, or style you want! With a few basic tools and supplies, you can make custom bracelets you’ll love!
I was inspired this last week when I had my hair colored and styled. (Tiffany makes it a beautiful red-violet and I love it!) Mi Salon Spa here in Northern Kentucky has a little boutique, too. This cute little high-low dress had been tempting me. Tiffany coaxed me into trying it on in the fitting room. Sold!
I found some glass beads at the fabric and craft store which match the color of the high-low dress and the idea for a necklace and a matching bracelet was born. The dress has a black pattern, so, I chose silver spacers with black antiquing and toggle clasps. (I have wanted a bracelet with a toggle clasp forever!)
There are many other ways, but using the simple techniques that follow, you can make your own ‘perfectly sized‘ custom bracelet!
How To Make A Beaded Bracelet
beads of your choice
toggle clasp or lobster claw clasp
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Kate Richbourg has a video on YouTube, which shows how to string beads and will be very helpful if any instructions here are not clear. – Stringing Fundamentals with Kate Richbourg.
The first thing you need to do is measure your wrist, just below your wrist bone . Mine is a whopping 5-1/2″. (Most bracelets are 7″. That’s an extra 1-1/2 inches. You see why they fall off of my hands!)
#1 Using a ruler, measure 10″, which will allow plenty of extra wire to work with on each end, and with your wire cutter, cut a piece of the nylon coated beading wire.
#2 Thread one end of the wire through the crimp sleeve and through the ring on the end of the toggle clasp. Then, thread it back through the crimp sleeve, leaving a 1/2 – 3/4″ tail on one end.
The loop you have created should measure about 1/4″. You don’t want this too tight. The loop allows free movement of the wire.
#3 With the bead crimp tool, using the ‘C’ shaped notch, squeeze the pliar firmly over the crimp tube. The notch should completely cover the sleeve, the sleeve should not be visibly protruding on either side.
There are different sized bead crimp pliars. Be sure when you buy these that they are the right size for the beads or sleeves you are using.
#4 Place the crimped sleeve in the rounded notch of the pliars and squeeze again firmly. The sleeve should be placed in the notch sideways, not laying flat.
The two channels, created by crimping in the ‘C’ notch the first time, will fold in on each other. Be sure you crimp this securely. The crimped ends hold your bracelet together.
#5 Using wire cutters, cut the short end of the wire as close to the sleeve as possible.
#6 Add a crimp cover by placing the crimp cover in the rounded notch of the crimp pliar and over the crimp tube, completely covering it. Carefully squeeze the pliar making sure the cover completely closes over the crimp tube.
#7 Lay your beads and spacers out on a bead board in your desired pattern, (Bead boards are really inexpensive at the craft or fabric stores.) or lay them out on a piece of felt, velvet, or any plain fabric. The spacers are good to use with the glass beads, keeping them from grating against each other.
My pattern was very simple, spacer, bead, spacer, bead, etc. The beautiful beads are the stars of the bracelet, understated and elegant. Don’t you love it already?
#8 String your chosen beads the length of your wrist measurement. The toggle or clasp used will add another 1/2″ to the final length. Wrap the bracelet around your wrist and check the fit.
I placed a pattern of beads on the wire measuring 5-1/2″. When I placed it on my wrist, I felt it needed another bead and spacer to lay the way I wanted it to lay. (Isn’t it nice to be in control?) Depending on the size of the bead, the inside measurement which lays against your wrist, may be different than the total length. You can adjust that by adding beads.
Your bracelet should have enough give to easily lay in a rounded shape. If you pull the beads too tight, it will be stiff and not lay right.
#9 When the beads are where you want them, place another crimp sleeve on the wire. Add the other end of the toggle clasp and slide the wire back through the crimp sleeve. (Remember, just like before, the loop you have created should be about 1/4″. ) Pull up any excess wire. You want the crimp sleeve to be close to the last bead.
#10 Crimp the sleeve, trim the excess wire, and add a crimp cover by repeating steps #3, #4,#5, and #6.
That’s all there is to it! In less than an hour, you can have a custom made bracelet that fits perfectly! Even though I have always been intimidated by jewelry making, I have come to the conclusion that this is not rocket science and anyone can do it! Have you ever thought of making your own jewelry?
On the first attempt at this bracelet, I wanted to use the wire guards on the wire loops. That required adding a jump ring. It just added too much extra silver length and I didn’t like it. The beads were the star of this show!
So, after crimping the sleeve, pushing the beads up, and looking at it, I decided against adding the wire guard. I cut the wire, disassembled and began over.
And, this is the final beaded bracelet. It has a toggle clasp! I love it!
How To Make A Beaded Bracelet – 10 Simple Steps!