Beaded Wrap Bracelet // diy
by Ashley Weeks Cart
I first tackled this DIY over our Easter vacation in South Carolina visiting James’ family. I finally documented it over our summer vacation in Cape Cod visiting my family. And I made it a goal to post it before the official end of summer, i.e. before Labor Day!
I know I’m late on the Chan Lu Beaded Wrap Bracelet bandwagon. My crochet beaded bracelet from last summer was certainly a nod in that direction, but this project is definitely a more direct reference. It’s tricky to explain the beading, but think FIGURE 8s, and you’ll be fine. It may take some practice, it certainly did for me.
Let’s get started!
Beads (I ultimately found that I preferred smaller beads, with more wraps around the wrist). Experiment with different colors and textures to vary the wrap.
String for the borders (bead supports) of the bracelet. You can do leather, hemp, whatever appeals.
Beading wire. Super thin. I opted for black.
2 binder clips
Button of choice (for the clasp)
1. Start by determining how many times you’d like the bracelet to wrap around your wrist. Measure out that length with the string for the bead border, add an extra 6-8 inches, then double over. Then unwind at least 5-8 times the amount of wire in that length. It’s a lot of wire! Tie a knot at the end where the string doubles over with the wire. See image below. Snip the excess wire.
2. Now practice your figure eight skills by winding the wire between the two strings a number of times before you begin beading. Keep wire tight and even. Then use a clip board to clip the top of the bracelet to the top of the board, and use the clamps to hold the two strings at the base of the board. This will help you keep an even tension as you bead.
3. String on your first bead.
4. Slide the bead up the wire and in between the two pieces of string, with the base of the wire and bead tight against the strong on the left side.
5. Wrap the wire over the top of the right string and bring around back and up between the two strings. See below.
6. Now string the wire back in through the bead, from right to left.
7. Pull the wire tight and this will brace the bead in place. See below.
8. Finally, wrap the wire over the top of the left string, around back, and up the middle. Pull the wire tight to fully brace the bead. Then do the process all over again with the next bead (jump back up to Step 3).
It will take some practice to get an even tension and the hang of the beading. As the wire length shortens, the process will become easier and easier. Once you reach the desired length for the bracelet, do a few figure eights with the wire (no beads), then tie off the wire and strings in a knot, add a button that will fit in the hole at the top of your bracelet, and tie one final knot.
Then lie out and enjoy the sun! Play at the beach! Go for a swim! The great thing about these bracelets is that they are super wearable. Enjoy!
Photos and Tutorial: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart