Necklace? Bracelet? Both?… Brilliant!
We’ve all seen a cute wrap bracelet, but there are so few people that know how to create one that matches their exact style — we’ve made a DIY Guide so you can create away! A few years ago a different leather version of wrap bracelets were very popular. They are definitely beautiful and I love them, but they take FOREVER to make. Also, leather straps don’t look as delicate on the neck or arm. These wrap bracelets are a little bit fancier and a whole lot blingier!
We taught the old wrap bracelet technique in our summer camps when we had 6 hours a day or more with the kiddos but I wanted to come up with a fun and (let’s be honest) ‘faster,’ version that we could include in our after-school classes & birthday parties when timing matters most. We love making sure that people can get the most out of their time with us, so we made it happen.
I wanted to get this fun guide up in time for Valentine’s Day because love is very much in the air! You, of course, can make this project your own regardless of the time of year you’re seeing this. In the first version of this project, I decided to group the same beads together for about an inch, then separate them with a metal heart shaped spacer bead. After that I would add a new texture or size of bead for another inch and then separate again with a metal spacer bead. I’d alternate back and forth, and once it was all wrapped on my arm it was totally adorable!
The great thing about this project is that you can keep beading until the bracelet wraps around your wrist the typical 3-4 times, or you can keep going and wrap it around as many times as you like! Before you try to measure the unfinished bracelet on yourself, we recommend that you add a bead stopper to the end of the string so beads don’t slip off. No bead stoppers on hand? No worries, use a bit of tape! It’s not the best option because it does get the bead string a little sticky, but sticky is better than dropping your masterpiece on the floor and having to start over.
In case you happen to be reading this blog after Valentine’s Day that’s okay! We’ve included images to inspire your creativity no matter what time of year it is, and the best thing about this project is that this piece is so dang versatile. I’ve considered making one for each holiday, so I can just keep them in a box and pop them out when the holidays draw near. I’ll never have to match my jewelry again!
Let’s Get Started!
Cut a strand of flexible beading wire that is about 4-6” longer than the finished length of the piece you plan to create a wire, grab some bead stoppers, a crimp bead, lobster clasp, extension chain, and either chain nose or crimping & flush cutting pliers! The reason you want to cut the beading wire longer is to give yourself flexibility with the final length. Also, sometimes you need more beading wire than you think you do, especially when the beads you use are on the larger side. They take up space on the inner diameter once the piece is wrapped around your wrist.
String your crimp bead first, then your lobster clasp.
Pro Tip: It’s best to wait to add your clasp until after you have completed your design. The reason for this is that when you add the clasp you can only remove beads to fix mistakes or adjust the design by taking them off of one end of the beading wire. If you use a “bead stopper” on the end of the sting, it’s easy to slide beads off of their side when you want to make adjustments. Imagine that you’ve added your lobster clasp, and beaded 16” of beads, then you notice a mistake in your pattern and need to take ALL of those beads off in order to get to the area that needs to be corrected. With the “bead stopper” method, you simply take off the beads stopper and slip off the necessary beads, fix the design, and re-string.
Put the short string through the crimp bead, affixing the lobster clasp in a loop. Cinch the crimping bead close to the lobster clasp, but not right up against it. You want it to be able to move freely so that it doesn’t wear away at the flexible beading wire and eventually break. Crimp that bead!
Here’s what your crimp bead/lobster clasp should look like at this moment.
String your beads! (Have fun with the patterns!)
Once you’ve reached your desired length, grab another crimp bead, an extender chain, and your crimping or chain nose pliers! Put the crimping bead on first, then your extender.
Loop the remaining bit of your flexible beading wire through the crimp bead (making sure the extender chain is affixed in the loop created), then put the bead string through a couple of the beads that nestle up against the crimp bead.
Gently pull your flexible beading wire so the loop closes, ensuring it’s the same size as the first crimp bead loop with the lobster clasp from step three. Hold on to your wire and crimp that puppy tight!
Take your flush cutters and neatly cut off the excess wire.
Look like a Goddess! (Pfft, as if you didn’t already.)
Once you reach your desired bracelet wrap length, you can wear it as a bracelet or a necklace, and if you’re feeling really fired up, you can obviously make a second one and have a matching necklace AND bracelet to rock your Valentine’s Day Vixen Vibe with pride!
We’d love to see your creations! Post a photo of what you created and share your ideas and questions in the comments below!