Using Stretchy Cord for Bracelets
There is something special about making your own bracelets. Many times it seems like it just isn't simple enough for everyone to do, but that just isn't the case. One great way to make lots of great bracelets is using stretchy cords. You can take them and make them into a wide range of great bracelets that meet your design desires and your tastes.
Stretchy cord comes in a wide range of sizes, styles, and even colors. The most common is clear and it is available in most craft stores. If you are looking for great colors you can find a lot of awesome products online (my favorite online place to shop is Fire Mountain Gems and Beads).
Styles-There are a few different styles to choose from and many of them are good. The only note that should be made is that it is a good idea for your to choose stretchy cord or elastic cords that are made for beading rather then other types of activities. This will make it so that your bracelet works out well, holds its shape, and doesn't wear out.
Sizes-You can get thin and thick types of elastic or stretchy cords. Often times it is easier to work with the smaller stuff, but the smaller the cord the less strength it has. When you choose a size you should choose the biggest size that will fit through your beads easily. This will give you the most strength for your project. If you have a small size and larger beads it is possible to double your cord for a stronger piece.
Colors-You can choose the color of your choice or go with clear for any project. It is really up to you and depending on what you are going to do having a fancy color can be fun or it can take away from the piece. When in doubt choose clear, white, or something else light colored. Save the bright colored ones for crazy bracelets (which are of course still fun to make!).
I have tried a number of different kinds of glue and love Bead Fix so much that it is my first choice for any project. It dries clear and holds strong. At the same time it doesn't discolor beads and when used with care it doesn't even leave a haze. Many glues can leave a nasty white haze or are known for discoloring beads. Not bead fix. It's great (and not because I want you to buy it!).
You Will Need
For making stretchy cord projects you will need your stretchy cord of choice (I currently use Stretch Magic), a good glue (I highly recommend Bead Fix), and the beads of your choice. That's it, it really is as simple as that!
Bead Fix-I highly recommend Bead Fix for all my jewelry making projects. This is because it dries fast and strong like super glue, but it doesn't discolor the beads or leave a funny film on them which can happen with super glues. You should still be careful with it, because it does work like super glue and can even burn holes in certain fabrics.
Tying Your Knots
It is important that you tie a good knot for these projects. This is what holds your piece together and you will want to make sure that you are doing it well.
Square Knots-Square knots are made by making two knots in opposite directions. This lets it hold the piece together really well. These work for most projects.
Creative Knotting- For multi-strand projects it is important to have some more creative knots. You will want to try to tuck them in as close as possible to the work and make them small. It is still a good idea to have two knots for each strand. However it is also possible to work the strands into the piece and make the knots for each strand at different locations making them harder to see.
Making a Simple Stretcy Bracelet
There are a few options for making stretchy bracelets. The simplest is of course to do a single strand of beads. Cut your cord about 9-10". You will want it to be a little longer then the finished piece so that it is easy to work with. Then you will add your beads one at a time to finish out your bracelet. Finally you will want to make a square knot to tie the piece off. The goal is to make this at tight as possible to make sure that the piece is well held together. Additionally you can hide a small knot better then a large one. You will then add a drop of glue to the knot for a little added stability. Cut the ends close to the knot and if possible slide a bead over the knot (this will depend on the size of the knot and the size of your beads. You have a simple stretchy cord bracelet.
It is always possible to simply do a lot of great simple bracelets. But there is nothing that says you have to leave it at that. In fact, the more creative you get with it the more fun you are likely to have and the longer you can make great stretchy bracelets (after all a dozen simple ones might just max out your simple bracelet needs as well as desire to make them!).
Woven-You can take two strands of elastic cord and make a light knot. You don't want this to be real tight because you will be taking it out. Then add some beads to each strand. After a ways add one bead (or a few beads) to both strands. This will give it a woven effect that is simple, but much more complicated then the simple stretchy bracelet, but also has tons of combinations to work with for a fun time.
Multi-strand-You can also make multi strand pieces in a similar fashion. Use a large focal bead (which can then be worn on the bottom or the top of the wrist). You can then add a wide range of bead designs for a three or four strand bracelet. It might be helpful to lay your pattern out on a bead board. It is also a good idea to be careful knotting this piece as hiding your knots gets complicated with this many of them.
Others-Being creative with the elastic cord can make it so that you can come up with a whole world of ideas. You can knot between beads for a different look or change how you use the elastic to come up with a completely different style such as the ladder stitch bracelet.
Have fun with making elastic bracelets quickly and easily. You can start turning out great pieces with just a dash of creativity and time.
- Fire Mountain Gems
There are a lot of places online to buy jewelry making products, but of all the places I have searched one of the best is Fire Mountain Gems were you have good prices, good shipping, and a huge selection.
- Love To Know
Directions for bracelets with stretch cords. Not often can you find good jewelry making sites, especially with exactly what you want to know on there, but this free pattern has good instructions for stretchy bracelets.
- Power Bracelet
Use these instructions to make your own gemstone power bracelet on stretchy cord or elastic.
Stretchy cord bracelets are great projects for beginners and experienced beaders alike. Have fun making great designs, coming up with new patterns, and trying new things. You just might surprise yourself! Plus these are good projects for older children (about eight and up). You can use any beads or styles that you like and have fun making these great bracelets.
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