Sunday, February 13, 2011

DIY Beaded Bracelets

I hosted a Lia Sophia party last fall and got a TON of jewelry with all their free gifts, 50% off deals, etc.  After that party, I made a promise to myself that I had to wear at least one piece of jewelry each day – there’s no excuse for me not to accessorize my outfit every day :)  In the past few months, I noticed that I bought more silver jewelry at the party and had lots of necklaces but no bracelets or earrings to match.  I was having a tough time figuring out what to wear with my brown and more neutral outfits. 

My parents gave me a Michael’s gift card for Christmas, so I used that to buy some beads.  While at the store, I made sure to look for brown, pink and ivory beads, as those were the colors I was missing in my jewelry collection.  I had the rest of the materials at home already, but if you have never made jewelry before, here’s what you will need for beaded bracelets:

bracelets set up

- elasticized string (I used Beadalon brand – 0.5 mm)

- beads (enough to cover your entire wrist with no gaps)

- scissors

- clear nail polish

- ribbon (optional – I use the Straight & Narrow brand from Michaels)

Let’s Get Beading!

1. Cut a piece of the elasticized string that is long enough to cover your wrist plus an extra few inches of slack. (Note - I do not tie a knot at one of the ends of the string now, I wait until all the beads are on the string.)

2. Start adding beads onto the string however you like – for some bracelets I use the same beads while for other bracelets I will do a pattern and mix different beads together.  Just be careful that the beads don’t slide off the other side of the string while you are adding more on.  Keep adding beads until the strand of beads covers your entire wrist and there are no gaps.

3. When you are finished with the strand, tie the two ends of the string together as tightly as possible.  Triple-knot the string. 

4. Pull apart the string slightly so the knot is exposed and no beads are touching it.  Dab a dot of clear nail polish directly onto the knot.  The beads can now touch the knot but let the it dry for a couple minutes.

bracelets knot

5. Once the polish is dry, cut off the extra strings with being careful to not cut the knot.  You’re done!

Some of the bracelets I made today:

bracelets complete

bracelets blue green  bracelets blue silver

bracelets pink 

Extra step - If you are making several bracelets, you can cut a piece of ribbon to tie all the strands together.  It’s your preference on how big you want the bow – usually I start by cutting the ribbon longer and then experimenting to see if I want it shorter or not.   

I never double-knot my ribbon strands, so they’re always easy to take off or add back on, depending on where I’m wearing them to.  I used a black ribbon for my silver strand bracelets last year and wore them to a wedding.

bracelets silver

bracelets display

For the newer brown-toned bracelets I made, I cut a piece of ivory ribbon.  I also had a few leftover beads so I made some matching earrings:

bracelets display 2

bracelets brown display

Making your own beaded bracelets does not take a lot of time, they are easy to construct, require very little materials, and you will save tons of money by making your own bracelets compared to buying them in a store.  I always wait until there are sales at Michaels, because they will have 50% off their bead strands and you can usually make 2 bracelets per strand.  Best part is you can customize to match your wardrobe and special occasions.  Enjoy!

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  1. Love your jewelery, super cute. Found you on Tatertots & jellow:)

  2. I've never made handmade jewelry, but I love it. I'm gathering ideas. Thanks for sharing yours (and the sale tip. I never go down the bead aisle so I've never noticed how things go on sale)


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