Have you seen these big balled (tee hee), funky, chunky, boho-trendy bracelets that are all the rage these days? You might have seen them with specific gemstones being used (called yoga bracelets) or stacked up together with alternating sizes and colors. They’re pretty cute and you can make them yourself if you’re up to it. Here’s how.
You don’t need any experience in crafting or jewelry making to make these, although it helps if you have done any prior bead-work at all, just from the standpoint of being familiar with the materials, sizes, and tools you want to use.
If I was going to rate this on a grade of beginner to expert, this would fall into the beginner category on the difficulty scale.
It’s actually really easy to do the stringing part; the hardest part I believe is just picking out which color beads you want, the accent pieces to use and where you want these placed.
It all comes down to personal preference on what you want your final look to be, and the materials you want to use.
This is one of those things where it isn’t necessarily cheaper to make than to just outright buy, especially when it comes to using up a good chunk of your time to make it. If you see a specific bracelet you LOVE, I’d say get it, because you might spend the same amount on materials and it might not even come out looking as good.
Some of the fancier agate slices, druzy pieces, or gemstone beads can add up fairly quickly in price – if those are the looks you are going for.
It’s worth it for me to try to recreate them because I personally love the challenge of making something myself, and doing it with my own personality sprinkled into it.
It also means more to create a handmade gift for someone, which makes it more caring than a simple store-bought item.
What Materials You Need
Your material list will vary depending on what your desired results are.
But, you will definitely need these items at a minimum:
- Elastic bead string – I am going to recommend this one from Stretch Magic (even though it’s not what I ended up using) – because I think it would have been much easier to use that one instead of what I went with for the black chip bracelet in the picture above, which was a 1 mm black elastic from Bead Landing. With the .5 mm you will double that cord to be 1 mm but it’s easier to thread.
- Beads – Whichever kind/color/size you are into to achieve your desired effect. The black ones below are similar to what I used.
Accent Beads & Charms – Again, these can be whatever you desire including jump rings, dangle charms, chain pieces, findings, spacer beads, etc.
- Jeweler’s Glue – One option is Hypo Cement, but you basically just want a glue that has a very firm hold, a small applicator tip, dries clear, fast, and doesn’t smell awful.
- Bead Board – Some people like these felt boards to do measuring and their bead layouts – I had one for a while but I never used it.
Where to Find Supplies
I’d suggest your local bead store for specialty beads and Michael’s or Joann’s for the filler beads and other basic beading supplies.
You can also get the generic beads from Amazon, but Etsy will probably be your best bet for high quality, specialty beads (if you can’t find them locally).
Also worth checking out is Fire Mountain Gems. I used to go there a lot when I made jewelry more often.
Steps To Make a Bead Bracelet
- Determine length by measuring the wrist area you want the bracelet to fit (if you are able to, otherwise, estimate based on generic sizing):
|2X – Small||4.5 – 5||11.4 – 12.7|
|Extra Small||5.0 – 5.5||12.7 – 14.0|
|Small||5.5 – 6.0||14.0 – 15.2|
|Medium||6.0 – 6.5||15.2 – 16.5|
|Large||6.5 – 7.0||16.5 – 17.8|
|Extra Large||7.0 – 7.5||17.8 – 19.0|
- Cut your string to the length you would like adding 3 inches extra on either end for tying off the knot.
- Stretch your elastic out as well as you can prior to stringing any beads, so that the elastic doesn’t stretch more when used and ultimately become too big. Don’t stretch it so hard that it breaks though.
- Knot the end of your string with a knot or a loop knot. For the double strand bracelet, I made two identical strings and then used a napkin holder to hold both loops while I worked the beads.
- Add your beads to each individual strand until you have 1 inch or so on each strand and they are close to even in size.
- Add your gold spacers by placing both strands into the one gold spacer loop.
- Continue until you get half-way through, then create your centerpiece or add your center bead (if you have one).
- Continue beading the rest of the way as you have done with the beginning half and then add your last gold spacer.
- Tie off the ends by joining each side in a knot, then add a surgical knot (this is a square knot and wrap the knot one more time for extra strength). Do a single knot three times on each side, then repeat this for the other string. I also knotted the two together to form one large knot (that was still small enough to squeeze into the gold ring).
- Tuck your final knot ball into the gold ring. If you wish, you can add a bit of jewelry glue to the knot ball to keep it together.
- Wear it or give it as a gift.
DIY Elastic Bead Stack Bracelet
DIY Elastic Bead Bracelet
Not Into DIY? Buy One Already Made
As I mentioned in the video, there are some cool stack bracelets out there already – one brand to fall in love with is Kinsley Armelle. You can find them on Amazon. Check them out for some stacking ideas.
If you created a bracelet or other bead project from this tutorial – please let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
Until then, happy beading!