Yay! Happy Monday peoples. The Sweet Little Wood has been an amazing place to be over the weekend! Just look at those sweet big eyes over there browsing on the wild apple! And if you come sit over here I will share my freshly pressed grape juice with you!
We have another birthday this week as J. gets properly into the tween years. Yike- how did that happen?!? I spent our trip around the states planning and making something for her that would hit the right balance between pretty and grown up but not TOO grown up. I’ve been seeing all over the place on Pintrest, Etsy and the craftoshpere bracelets made with beads sandwiched between two medium strands of leather cord. And then I saw Sarah Evans in concert with a beautiful turquoise bracelet and all I could think was “WANT” quickly followed by “WANT TO MAKE!”
I got all my supplies from Michaels- not because it is the best but because its the best of what is available.
What You Will Need: Strong bead thread, leather cording long enough to wrap (doubled) around your wrist 2-3 times plus about 8 inches, beads- enough to wrap around your wrist 2-3 times, a hard steel needle with an eye small enough to go through your beads, closing clasp/button/concho whatever you choose to use to secure your bracelet.
The easiest fixtures are probably buttons for accessibility but I really like the look of conchos. If you do use a button you can actually keep your leather cord as one long piece and thread your button on first then tie a loop in the two leather lengths about and 1/4 inch past the radius of your button then start beading just after the knot. For J.’s bracelet I joined two lengths of leather cord with a jewelry clasp but only after I’d threaded all the beads on. For this bracelet tutorial photographed I put on a concho so I threaded the beads between to separate lengths of leather cord.
First secure the beading thread THROUGH the leather cord about 4 inches from the end:
Tie off in a slip knot the tail of the thread around the needle length of the thread so that the knot can be pulled and slipped down tight against the leather cord:
Thread through your bead and go THROUGH the other side of your leather cord:
Wrap the thread backward around the second cord and go back through the bead and in front of the first leather cord. Wrap your thread over and under the first leather cord like so:
When you need to lengthen your thread tie a slip knot in your thread to extra length and then a slip knot in the extra length around your thread so that the two knots slide together. When you reach the thread length that is knotted make an extra pass through the next bead to hide the knot (shown in next photo):
For the rest of the beaded length you want to repeat the pattern with your beading thread going:
over the first cord, through a bead, wrap under your second cord, back through the bead in front of the first cord as below:
When you reach the length you want that is long enough to wrap round your wrist a couple times with at least 4- 6 inches of length to spare take a moment to lay your bracelet flat and adjust the beads if you need to so they are evenly and well spaced. In general the larger the bead the harder this is to get right. Thread your final bead going THROUGH the leather cord again as at the start and secure with a knot. It is a good idea to do a second threading through all your beads again to give the bracelet stability and prevent a snapping thread making your bracelet dissolve off your wrist in a clatter of bouncing beads.
For a concho closure tie both leather cords together twice with enough gap between the knots so that the neck of the concho can only just fit through the gap then secure with the concho screw. For the final end closure with a button or concho tie both leather cords together twice with enough gap between the knots to securely hold your chosen closure. Or tie the leather cord back on itself into a loop which can be adjustable or fixed. Don’t cut the ends till you know you got your fit right- leather is monstrously difficult to tie off good and tight without enough length.
With thicker leather cord its a nice solution to just make a loop and a knot for the closure.
For J.’s to make it a little more dainty on her thin wrists I fixed the ends with jewelry alligator clamps (which I mangled with the tool I used, darn it), jump rings and clasps.
There is a slightly different method a a fantastic tutorial with really clear photography at each step over at Handmade Jade for those of you looking for something more detailed.