Get step-by-step instructions on this easy bead bracelet which quick and inexpensive to make and perfect for layering with other bracelets.
Every year I participate in an annual gift exchange with some ladies I met while planning our wedding over 14 years ago. We live in various parts of the country and our lives are busy but we try to do an exchange each year to reconnect. Last year, my friend who had my name made me so many amazing gifts including a few of these braided bead bracelets. I’ve been meaning to create some in other colors because they are great for layering with other bracelets and they’re quick to make, but I hadn’t had a chance to do it until I was off work this week on vacation.
I found a great tutorial at Honestly WTF. I made a few slight modifications shown below.
- 48 inches Bamboo, Hemp or Waxed Linen thread. Make sure it’s somewhat stiff as it will make it easier to thread through your beads.
- 50-60 – 6/0 or 8/0 seed beads.
- Coordinating button for clasp.
Start by cutting your thread in two pieces, one that is 36″ and the other 18″. Fold the 24″ piece in half. Then take your shorter piece and fold one end over the loop with about 3″ on one side and the rest on the other side. (click on the photos to enlarge, sorry the black is a little hard to see).
Tie a knot leaving about a 1″ loop, just large enough for your button to fit through comfortably. You will have three long strands and one very short one. You can trim the short one near the knot. I cut mine and then used a dab of bead glue to make it secure. Take your three long strands and braid down about an inch from your knot.
Then put beads on your outer threads and continue to braid and add beads to the outer threads each time, keeping your beads on the outer edges. (click on images to enlarge)
Braid down about inches with your beads. Measure against your wrist to see how long you want your bracelet. The rest of the your bracelet will add an additional 1.5 inches or so. I have a small wrist and I wanted it to fit fairly snugly, so you may need to adjust accordingly for your own wrist. You will likely have plenty of extra thread. I liked having my strands longer because my threads unraveled periodically and I had to cut the ends off a bit to continue threading.
Without beads, braid an additional inch with your thread. Then take your button and put one of your strands through one hole on the under side of your button.
Take your thread through the other hole on your button over the top and bring your button all the way down near the braid. Take your single thread in one hand and the other two strands in the other hand and tie them together in double knot close to the bottom of your button. Pull them tight and trim off the excess thread. Again, I used a little bead glue to keep it secure.
From start to finish each of these took about 20-30 minutes. Now I have them in several more colors to wear stacked with other bracelets.
A few tips:
The waxed linen cord will fray less as you’re trying to thread through your beads. I used bamboo thread which I bought in a pack with a variety of colors. Some colors frayed worse than others. I tried both waxing and gluing the ends of my threads. Both of which worked fine.
If you have a clipboard, you can clip your top loop under it while you braid. I found this made it easier to keep my braid tight and beads in place better. I did a few using it and a few without. Both worked fine, but I found using the clipboard made things go faster.