If you’re ready to try your hand at making your own jewelry, but not quite ready to tackle wire-wrapping or invest in a lot of equipment, elastic bracelets are the perfect place to begin. Over time, the stretchy cord will stop springing back as it did when new, but the beauty of these bracelets is that you can restring them in less than 5 minutes. Make a whole collection to mix and match and to stack.
Things You'll Need
- Elastic beading cord
- Bead stopper, binder clip or hemostat
- Beads -- glass, wood, plastic or crystal
- Jewelers' glue or permanent craft adhesive
For larger, heavier beads, use a thicker cord. Don’t use rough, abrasive beads with elastic cords; the edges may cut the cording. For extra-heavy beads, you can also use elastic cord from the sewing department.
Measure your wrist and add 4 inches. Cut a piece of elastic cord to this length.
Clip your bead stopper to one end of the cord. This way, you don’t have to juggle to keep the beads from falling off the end you’re not working at.
String your beads according to the pattern you like, leaving about 4 inches clear. Solid-colored bracelets take on visual interest when you use different sizes and shapes of beads, or you can mix and match colors, sizes, shapes and finishes.
Hold the open end of the cord down slightly so that the beads slide toward that hand. Center the beads on the cord.
Wrap the bracelet around your wrist to check the fit. Add or remove beads as needed to make the perfect fit.
Tie a surgeon’s knot or a double-overhand knot in the elastic. Add a dot of glue to secure the knot and allow it to dry completely before trimming away the excess cord and sliding the knot inside the closest bead.
Some jewelry-makers discourage the use of glue, claiming that it erodes the elastic; instead of glue, they suggest using crimp covers over the knot. This is a matter of personal preference, especially since you can replace the cord so quickly and easily.