Saturday, August 20, 2011

Best Friend Bracelets.

A crafty afternoon-turned-evening was in order for two of my dearest and longest friends. And thanks to Pinterest and these Chan Luu bracelets, we had our project: beaded wrap bracelets.


And, of course, the carnage of our nearly 7 hours of beading. Well, beading, eating, trying out the 3-D TV, running for supplies, and whatnot:


And here's a tutorial with the modifications and tips we used - 

Supplies:

-Leather cording. I bought a 3-yd pack from JoAnn's.
-Beads.
-Thread.
-Needle.
-Scissors.
-Tape measure.
-Binder clip.
-Magazine or something firm (cardboard works.
-Fastener of some sort (ie bead, clasp, button).
-Bead Fix (optional.

1. Measure your wrist and decide on the length of your bracelet. For my 6-inch wrist, I wanted a bracelet to wrap around three times, and used roughly 47 inches of cording. For a single wrap bracelet, I used 18 inches. The logic follows that the cording length should be three times that of your wrist for a single wrap, and seven times for a triple wrap. For my triple wrap, I added a few inches to my wrist so that it would be loose. And it's always better to have more cording to cut off than to be short.

2. Measure out your thread. I used 4 feet of thread for my single wrap, but for my triple wrap, I started with 12 feet and needed more. Thread the needle, fold the length of thread in half, and tie a regular knot.

3. Fold your cording in half. As I was using a bar-and-circle closure (for lack of better term), I threaded on the bar end at the top of my fold. Hold the end of the thread next to the cording fold, and tie a knot. This secures the bar, and the thread and cording are then tied together.


4. Clip your bracelet to a magazine or something sturdy.


5. Do some figure-8's with the thread around the cording. I do 8 for peace of mind. To start, lead the thread over the right, then under the right, then over the left, and under the left, for one figure-8. Push the string up to the top and keep it tight. Here's a picture of it loosely that may explain it better:



 This is what it should look like when the figure-8's are next to each other and tight:

6. Start threading your beads in the middle of your figure-8's. When you are bringing the thread from under the left (and heading to go over the right), string a bead. Wrap the thread over and under the right, then pass the needle and thread back through the bead before going over the left for the next sequence.
Keep stringing your beads this way, all the way down.

7. When you're done (and I know I'm done by periodically wrapping the bracelet and making a judgment call), do another 8 figure-8's. I then threaded on my circle piece, and tied a knot with the cording and thread.

8. Measure once more on your wrist, just to be sure, then cut the excess.


And you're done! I added some Bead Fix in the knots, just to be sure the thread and cording would stay together and tight. Be careful with that stuff - it's strong! 

As for the running-out-of-thread bit on the triple wraps, we tied the end of the thread to the cording, and started a new length of thread by tying it to the cording as well. We tried tying more thread to the end of the thread, but the knot didn't fit back through our beads (and maybe it would with bigger beads). We dabbed the knots with Bead Fix, and tried to make the transition as neat as possible. You can't tell on any of ours, but it was a frustrating trial-and-error session, made more frustrating by having 12 cumbersome feet of thread tangling and then dying out. The single wrap bracelet was definitely easier for this reason.

But it was all worth it. Now we all have chic friendships bracelets priced at $20, rather than the $250 retail. LOVE. 

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