As I mentioned in my last few posts, I lost my camera cord so I can’t upload photos. While I’m writing this, I am laughing at myself. Why? Because I lost it while spring cleaning. Only I could pull off losing things while trying to get more organized. I’m not a big fan of my iPhone camera, but it will do while I reluctantly order a new cord on Amazon. Just be warned: I am a terrible phone camera photographer. Excuse the poor quality.
So on to the topic of ring bracelets. These are also known as slave bracelets, but I will not refer to them this way. (If you want to know why, check out my post from a few weeks ago.)
I think it’s safe to say I’ve made a bajillion of these. I gave most of them away already but I kept my favorite. It gets tangled easily so it’s a little high maintenance, but I love it just the same.
This one takes quite a bit of planning, measurement and chain (which I’m running low on), so for this DIY I’ll stick to a more basic ring bracelet.
- Headpin or eyepin
- 2-3 jump rings
- Bead (you can use any bead or trinket for this DIY–I would suggest something that will sit flat)
- Pliers (I used round nose, bent nose and wire cutters)
- Ring (optional)
- Measure the ring portion by draping chain around your middle finger. Do not make this tight or it will be hard to put on and will pull when you wear it. Meet the chain ends directly under your knuckle and trim excess chain with wire cutters.
- Note: you can use an actual ring hear if you prefer. Attach to chain using a jump ring and bend it tightly to fit the ring.
- Slide bead onto headpin/eyepin and loop each end to secure. I originally attached ends to chain using jump rings (as in photos), but I didn’t like how it looked. Instead, I hooked the loops directly onto the chain.
- Measure the bracelet part by attaching the end of the chain to the bead piece and wrap around your wrist. Leave a finger or two worth of room and snip with wire cutters.
- If you are making this for someone else, use their wrist or ask to borrow a bracelet.
- Attach clasp on one end and jump ring on the other.
- Bask in the compliments and jealous glances directed at your masterpiece!
In my last post, I mentioned using macramé to loosen up. There are many different patterns, but I am going to show you a basic bracelet pattern. These make for awesome homemade gifts or look great stacked. Here we go:
- String (yarn or twine is okay, but is sometimes hard to work with. I use hemp cord, which you can find in the jewelry aisle of craft stores)
- Hard surface
- Beads (optional)
- Wine (optional)
The basic set-up:
- Measure about one yard* of cord and fold in half. Put a piece of tape about two inches from the top. Tape the two hanging strings near the bottom to hold in place. (This will be string “A”)
- Measure another three yards of cord and tie a knot under the tape, leaving the two hanging ends even.
- Pull the right end (string “C”) across A and underneath the left end (string “B”).
- Pull B underneath A and C.
- Pull ends to form a knot.
- Repeat the process, this time bringing B across A to the right side and pulling C through to form a knot. Continue forming knots, alternating between the right and left side.
*All measurements are approximate. 1 yard = nose to fingertip, 1 inch = middle portion of index finger.
Simply string beads on A and continue knotting.
When knotted part fits around your wrist, you’re ready to tie it off. The easiest way to do this is to knot the end around itself and use the loop as a closure, but I prefer a more finished look. Your other option is to make a sliding closure:
- Tie each end onto itself and right against the knots (on one end you will still have four strings, so tie all and trim the ends of the two shortest ones). Tie a regular knot on the ends.
- Tape the strings next to each other.
- Use a short piece of cord and make a few macramé knots (10-15) around the four strings. Tie off with two regular knots and trim the ends.
Your bracelet is ready to go! Adjust the slider to fit your wrist and tuck in the loose strings.
When I was in elementary school, my mother came home one day with a bag of old cigar boxes. She went out to the garage, tapped a nail into the top of each and tossed beads and twine inside. Then she taught my sister and I how to macramé, tying the start of each bracelet to the nail and showing us how to tie the knots and slip on beads.
The cigar boxes are long gone, but I still macramé. In the same way that athletes warm up by stretching and writers by free writing, I use macramé to loosen up before playing with wire and chain. It isn’t too tedious, so I’m able to relax and make the knots without over-thinking it.
If you get frustrated while learning how to bead and wire wrap, take a step back and macramé. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s cheap. Packs of cord cost around $5, and make about 1,000 bracelets (not literally, but they last a long time).
Macramé bracelets are also incredibly easy to customize. You can change the type of beads, color of the string or the braiding patterns. Check out my next post for a super simple pattern to get you started!