How to Make Your Own Hand Painted, Wooden Bangle Bracelet

What Supplies You Will Need and How To Start!

When starting any art or craft project, your first thought should be, "What do I want the finished project to look like?". I feel that you need to start with a vision in mind of the finished project, whether it is a painting, a flower arrangement, a piece of jewelry, etc. You need to be able to envision the finished piece, because it can then give you a place to start. Once you have picked out your design for the look that you want, then you can go on to decide things like color scheme, supplies you will need, etc. Some artists like to sketch their ideas and designs. I just have a picture in mind and work from that. My brain is like a filing cabinet, full of designs and ideas, if that makes any sense, lol! If you are following along with me, you will notice that I not only give the directions, I have to explain WHY as I go. That's because I have to know WHYI am having to do a certain process!

So, here is a list of supplies that you will need for this project. If you do many projects, you will likely have the majority of these already. The one thing you will need is a wooden bangle. of the width and size that suits you. So, first things first, and I will explain as we go:

1. A wooden bangle bracelet of your choosing. I was lucky and had made friends with someone who did woodworking, and he made my bracelets to my own specifications in varying widths. The ones you see here are about 1-1/2 inches wide, with a beveled outside edge that slants inward. These fit a medium to larger wrist. I also have some that are roughly an inch wide that I haven't painted yet. It is best to get them in the raw, unfinished wood, but if you can't find one, buy a plain wooden bracelet, and get some fine sandpaper and sand it down on the outside to take off the clear varnish. That way the acrylic paints you are going to use will adhere much better to the wood. If you have to go this way, just make sure you have a smooth, clean surface on the wood to work with after you are through sanding off the varnish.

2. Acrylic paints for your design in the colors of your choice. I like the brands of Apple Barrel Colors©, or Anita's All Purpose Acrylic Craft Paint© the best, especially the Apple Barrel ones. They just seem to have a better quality for decorative painting projects like this.

3. Don't forget about the pattern of your choice. Choose one according to your painting level, so you won't get frustrated with the detail if you are more of a beginner. This is a small project anyway, and can be a bit hard to get the look you want if you choose the wrong pattern. You can free-hand the design if you choose, which is what I had to do on the Kokopelli design. I will go more into that further on.

4. Paint brushes of various sizes, depending on the degree of fine detail of your design. This is entirely up to you and what you feel comfortable working with. There are brushes made especially for miniature work, that are tiny (which I love to work with) that you can find at any good craft store such as Hobby Lobby or any good art supply store that sells brushes, plus you can find them online.

5. Clear acrylic spray paint, in either a gloss or matte finish, to seal your bracelet with when you are finished and happy with your finished product. Keep this on hand all the time to use with your acrylic paints. It really brings out the depth of the paint when dry.

Different Views and Samples of Wooden Bracelets I Have Painted

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wide wooden bangle with hibiscus flower designAnother view of hibiscus bangleWide, wooden Kokopelli, tribal design braceletNorwegian style design on another wide wooden bangleAnother view of Norwegian style bangleLast view of Norwegian design on bangle bracelet.
Wide wooden bangle with hibiscus flower design
Wide wooden bangle with hibiscus flower design
Another view of hibiscus bangle
Another view of hibiscus bangle
Wide, wooden Kokopelli, tribal design bracelet
Wide, wooden Kokopelli, tribal design bracelet
Norwegian style design on another wide wooden bangle
Norwegian style design on another wide wooden bangle
Another view of Norwegian style bangle
Another view of Norwegian style bangle
Last view of Norwegian design on bangle bracelet.
Last view of Norwegian design on bangle bracelet.

Painting and Finishing Your Unique Bracelet!

 There are two different ways to approach this project, depending on what you want your final outcome to be-

1. You can paint the whole outside of the bracelet in a solid color, or combination of colors, as in the Kokopelli, tribal design bracelet I have shown here, which shows none of the wood showing through on the outside, or

2. You can paint a design on, that also allows the wood to show through in places, as I did in the other two bracelets I have in the photos. I like the look of the wood through the design,(although I do like the look of the Kokopelli bracelet!) personally, but it is your bracelet, and up to you and your personal choice. That is what makes the creative process so wonderful! It is a total expression of YOU!

3. Ok, once you have made that hurdle, then you can go about putting your design onto your bracelet. You can do this in a couple of ways. You can just freehand paint it on, while looking at your pattern for direction, use a pencil to draw on your design as best you can, or try using a type of paper that is a transfer paper, that looks like tracing paper. The way this paper works is you trace your pattern onto one side of the paper with a special pencil that works with the paper, (the pencils come in red or black)then turning the paper over, and carefully go over the design again, holding it securely on the wooden area. You have to really press hard, using a regular pencil when going over the reverse of the design, to make the red or black of the design transfer pencil go onto your bracelet. Your best bet, really, is to try to just paint your design straight onto the bracelet. On your first bracelet, if you are more of a beginner, stick with an easy design, and it should work out for you.

4. Once you have your design painted to suit you, with any shading, etc. done to your design, then just finish it with a coat of the clear acrylic spray paint in a matte or gloss finish, whichever suits you. Be sure to do this after all of your painted design is dry. One tip-To spray on the finish, stand the bracelet on one end and spray one half with the clear. When that side is dry, turn it over, stand it on the other edge, and finish coating the unsealed side. Let sit undisturbed until completely dry and then, stand back and admire your work!

Just as a footnote, I like using gold or silver metallic acrylic paints for highlights on some of the bracelets. It really gives a nice look to some designs. You can also glue on flat bottomed rhinestones or beads and dress them up that way. Come up with some ideas of your own and share them with me! Enjoy!

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Comments 20 comments

tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

That is so pretty! Thanks for the hub:)


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

Simple, yet beautiful! Nice to see something different:)


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

tim-tim,

Thanks for reading, and thank you for the nice compliment. Always nice to hear from a fellow creative person!

heart4theword,

You are so sweet. Thank you for your kind words! Hope to be writing more like this soon


wordscribe41 6 years ago

Awesome hub, Laura. I make polymer clay and resin jewelry myself. Am always looking to try something new. Isn't jewelry making fun? I am pretty much addicted to it now, trying to get up my courage to join and sell on Etsy. Thanks for the great read. Laura


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Wordscribe41,

Isn't it neat how we artistic types sniff each other out on here, lol! Thank you for stopping by, and glad you enjoyed the hub! I could write about my different art from now til I die, and not run out of ideas! I would love to see some of your pieces. I have worked with the clay also. Would like to see YOUR creations!


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 6 years ago from NW Indiana

very nice of you to share this and your work rocks the house, thumbs up!


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thank you so much! I always feel better about my work when another artist critiques me.


kims3003 6 years ago

well written with a nice writing style. Great craft idea with easy to follow directions. A+!


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 6 years ago

this is a great idea.thanks for sharing.:)


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Stacie,

Thanks for dropping by, and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!


travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

You're a very talented lady. Thanks for sharing this idea!


StarryNightsDiva profile image

StarryNightsDiva 6 years ago from Wethersfield, CT

These are gorgeous!


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

StarryNightsDiva:

Thank you so much!


meer adil 5 years ago

we will supply unfinished wooden bangles for decoration.contact 009663163144.


C-Bless profile image

C-Bless 5 years ago from Canada

... ooooh, what exquisite work; truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

thank you so much!


penelapop 5 years ago

Do you have any ideas for jungle patterns for children about 8 years old. We are minding children in the school holidays and this looks like a lot of fun for them.

Thank you in anticipation.


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

You could do simple zebra stripes in white and black paint....


Rehana Stormme profile image

Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

A unique and beautiful idea! I reckon tribal designs on the bangles would look smashing too!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 3 years ago from North Carolina

That is just beautiful and so unique. Thanks for the inspiration!

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