Each year at the beach, the whole crew goes souvenir shopping at Callahan’s of Calabash. It’s tradition. We load up on tees, hoodies, ball caps, beach totes and usually buy a blown glass Christmas ornament or two. We try to find an ornament that commemorates a special occasion, accomplishment or event during the year. For the past several years, my cousin Ruby and I have selected a piece of costume jewelry so that we can ‘twin’ across-the-miles when vacation is over.
This beaded bracelet with wooden buckle clasp was our pick a few years ago. Over time the elastic has become slack on a few of the strands, so it’s time for a restring. While I’m repairing mine, I thought it would be fun to show you how to make these easy bracelets. This project is simple enough that older kids can make them, with a little adult assistance in tying the knots.
Here are the materials you’ll need:
Jelly Cord – I’m using 1mm
E-6000 – optional, to secure knots
Toothpick, or other small implement for applying glue – if using E-6000
Beading tray or kitchen towel – I don’t have a beading tray, so I use a terry cloth kitchen towel to stop beads from rolling off my work surface.
Now it’s time for math class! To calculate the length of beads needed: Using your favorite bracelet length, subtract the length of the buckle clasp when closed and multiply the result by the number of strands in the bracelet. (If you are using very chunky beads, make your bracelet a little longer than normal because of the larger bracelet circumference. The cord will sit farther away from your wrist. Does that make sense?!)
I like a 7.5″ bracelet. The buckle clasp is 1.5″ long when closed, so my strands of beads would be 6″ long. I have 5 holes in the clasp, and 6 x 5 = 30, so I need 30″ of beads. I bought a little extra in case there are any wonky beads. Make sure the bead strands will be narrow enough to fit into your clasp without crowding – I’m using 6mm beads, but I could have gone a little wider. Okay, class dismissed. Now it’s time for the fun stuff!
Taking your bead length measurement from above, cut a generous length of jelly cord. Keep in mind that you will need extra cord to feed through the clasp ends and for knot tying. I cut mine at about 40″.
Slip one end of the jelly cord through an end hole in one of the clasp pieces. Tie a large knot in the jelly cord, and pull it tight. Tug on it to make sure that the knot will not pull through the hole in the clasp. String the first row of beads, measure for length, then weave the jelly cord through the other clasp piece.
Repeat the process for each row. Before tying the final knot, lay the bracelet flat and make sure that the rows are uniform in length, and the cord is pulled firmly through, but not stretched. I used the toothpick end to tighten the jelly cord loops, row by row. Tie a large knot at the end. Trim the excess cord off of each end, and place a dab of E-6000 on each knot to help secure it. Your bracelet is complete!
Do these beads look like Sixlets to you, too? Don’t you think this is the adult version of wearing a candy necklace? This bracelet is a fun way to perk up weekend denim or a plain jersey and would make cute, girlfriend gifts. Happy Crafting!
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