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Using Stretchy Cord for Bracelets

Updated on May 1, 2011

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.

Stretch Magic is one easy cord to work with and available at most craft stores in their beading sections.
Stretch Magic is one easy cord to work with and available at most craft stores in their beading sections.

Stretchy Cords

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!).

Beadalon Bead Fix 3 Grams with 2 Precison Tips
Beadalon Bead Fix 3 Grams with 2 Precison Tips

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.

Getting Creative

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.

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.

Comments

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  • profile image

    nettiel 

    6 years ago

    hi, i love the bracelets,i also make stretchy bracelets,i use all kinds of very pretty faceted beads,i also make earrings,merry christmas to all,and a happy new year.nettie

  • Nattie Rice profile image

    Nattie Rice 

    7 years ago

    I'm currently making a bracelet with clear plastic stretch cord I've tried sevrel times to tie the the bracelet off and I've used sevrel different types of knots but none of them are holding. Is there anything you can tell me that might help me out?

  • aidenofthetower profile imageAUTHOR

    aidenofthetower 

    7 years ago

    @Becca...I would love to do some video tutorials, but need a better location and better equipment to do so. :( Some day. I also need a better camera to get better pictures!

    I recently bought a stretch cord by fashion accessories (sold at Walmart) and it is strong, stretchier, and not as smooth so it is easier to knot. You will still want to glue it to make sure that you are securing it.

    Another option is to find a piece of elastic. Look for one that is made of cloth type of material and make sure it is as thick as it can be to fit your beads. This will allow you to have a very stretchy bracelet, but it can get stretched out over time. To help prevent that make sure that your beads are really close together and that there isn't a lot of extra space. Finally, you definitely want to use glue!

    Good Luck! I know there are a few more products out there, but I haven't had the chance to try them yet. The list of things I want to try is huge, but time and budget aren't always cooperative. :-P

  • BeccaG41 profile image

    BeccaG41 

    7 years ago

    I found this site after attempting and failing my 1st simple stretchy cord bracelet using the Stretch Magic cord. I too cannot get it to knot properly. It's very frustrating to have the cord come undone while trying to knot it and having the beads spill out all over, lol. Pics or a video on how to do a square knot would be most helpful. I do thank you very much for the info you provided here, esp the glue you suggested as I used super glue and it doesn't work well at all.

    I'm also interested in trying a diff. kind of cord altogether as the Stretch Magic doesn't seem to really stretch how I wanted. I've checked a lot of sites for a thin, stretchy white cord unlike the Stretch Magic but haven't had much luck. Can you suggest something that has more stretch to it and knots easier?

    Thank you for the info =)

  • profile image

    Pat 

    7 years ago

    I would like to have picture directions for the best knot to make when making a simple elastic beaded bracelet.

  • aidenofthetower profile imageAUTHOR

    aidenofthetower 

    8 years ago

    Londyn...I don't know if you will be back to read this. I have not been on here in awhile and therefore haven't been checking my posts.

    Knots can be hard to tie, especially with stretch cord that is thicker. Many times the knot will be a pretty good size and unless you have a larger bead will be hard to tuck away. However, it is best to tie a square knot. To do this you will want to knot twice and pull them tight together. Get it as tight as you can and then add a drop of Bead Fix or other jewelry glue to seal the knot together. This will allow it to take quite a bit of abuse and will still let it stretch well.

    Sorry if that isn't clear. I will add it to my list of article ideas so that I can add lots of pictures, which would be helpful.

    Danelle

  • profile image

    Londyn 

    8 years ago

    I also use Stretch Magic, but i find it really hard to tie knots with it.Can you help?!

    Thanks:)

  • Handmade-Crafts profile image

    Handmade-Crafts 

    8 years ago

    Fantastic Hub, and very helpful. I love working with the different types of stretch elastic when beading. Would have to say this is my favourite type of bead work.

  • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

    Jyoti Kothari 

    8 years ago from Jaipur

    Nice and step by step guide. I am a jeweler, written few hubs about Gems and Jewelry and I liked your idea.

    Thanks and thumbs up!

    Jyoti Kothari

  • profile image

    Jamie 

    9 years ago

    Thank you! Very good instructions on how to keep the bracelet from breaking. I have been dealing with this issue and there is definitely not enough info on the web dealing with it.

working

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