How to Make Rave Kandi Bracelets and Patterns
Examples of Rave KandiClick thumbnail to view full-size
Video Demonstration for Leather Kandy Bracelet
How to Make Kandi
Rave Kandi (aka Kandy, Candy or Candee) in its simplest form involves anything colourful, often plastic beads, strung together to be worn as jewellery. Kandi bracelets are made to share as a gift to new (or old) friends. Kandi is often made with neon or fluro colours that are uv reactive so will glow under black light at clubs or raves. Black lights are easy to get - you can swap them with your ordinary light bulbs at home and throw a dance party!
When creating your own kandi, first collect your materials. Kandi can be as individual as the designer - so anything goes - anything threadable, accessible and light enough to wear. Acrylic beads are popular because they're easy to get and come in many varieties and colours. Any threading material will do, as long as it is not too thick for whatever you are threading. You could use wool, yarn, hemp cord, embroidery thread, string . . . you get the idea. Most of my simple kandies are made with strong elastic, specifically 0.8mm black elastic. So, beads and thread are the basics but if you want to use any other materials, you could need additional tools to attach them eg. glue, a threading needle, a hole punch.
Think through your design before you begin. This seems obvious, but it is good to remember - there is nothing more frustrating than putting time and effort into a project that doesn't turn out as you wanted. Know how you want your bracelet to look, decide how it will be worn and attached, will it require a clasp? Be sure of the design before you cut your thread so you have enough towards the end and leave extra to tie off. Decide on colours and think about your pattern if using beads. I use 9mm pony beads and find 30 beads makes a good sized bracelet to fit almost anyone. Many of my patterns are of 6 beads repeated 5 times or vice versa. You could write down or draw your pattern idea, this helps if you have to put your work down and come back later or if you want to remember your pattern to use again. Check that the pattern will 'make sense' at the end of the bracelet where the first row joins the last.
You have what you need and you have a design so next, start threading! When you are happy, tie off your thread or create / attach your clasp. The straight-forward elastic bracelets need to be knotted at least double. I knot mine 3 times. Stretch out the bracelet and check the knots, tension, fit and design before cutting off any excess thread.
Thankyou for reading, this has been an introduction to making kandy. Stay tuned for how to make more complex and specific kandi jewellery items. Start by viewing the instructional video (link above right) of how I make my knotted leather kandi bracelets.