Tips and Tricks for Making Stretch Bracelets
- Make sure the cord you are using is not “old.” In other words, consider how long you have had it, how it was stored, etc. Give it a stretch to see if it feels the same as when you purchased it. Just like rubber bands, stretch cord may dry rot over time.
- Choose thicker stretch cord where possible. 0.8mm diameter cord is my “go-to” size for the one strand stretch cord bracelet method. A very common bead hole size is 1mm, so the 0.8mm slides through the beads well, and provides more strength than a smaller diameter cord.
- Give your cord a preliminary stretch before adding any beads. By gently stretching out the cord in advance, you prevent the bracelet from becoming looser the more it is worn. Additionally, the knots you create will be more secure.
- Plan ahead. Decide how long you would like your stretch bracelet to be, then lay out the beads using a bead board. Line up the center of the bracelet design with the “0” on the bead board. Build the design out symmetrically on either side.
- Consider the knot placement in advance. In order to determine the order of the beads strung, decide where you will place the knot. Also, will you use a bail to cover the knot, or simply position a knot between two beads? If using a bail, allow for the additional length of the bail when planning the bracelet.
- Bead size matters. The larger the diameter of the beads used, the tighter the bracelet will fit. Larger beads will take up more room against the wrist than smaller beads.
- Use a household clip to hold one end of the cord, in order to prevent the beads from rolling off while you are stringing. The clip I am using came in a multi-pack from my local Dollar Tree.
- Snip the stretch cord at an angle for easier stringing. This is especially helpful when the stretch cord is almost the diameter of the bead hole.
- Test the length before tying the knot. Carefully slip the bracelet around your wrist, and decide if you are happy with the length, or if you should add additional beads. Reminder: if using a bail, allow for the additional length. This tip applies if you are making the bracelet for yourself, of course.
- When tying the knot, first make a single overhand knot. Then, tie a surgeon’s knot on top of it, as demonstrated in the video. Pull on the loose ends of the cord, as well as either side of the knot on the actual bracelet cords.
- If using a bail, and there is plenty of additional room inside of the bail, feel free to make additional knots over top of the first as space allows. If the knots are hidden, then why “knot?”
- If you are not using a bail, you may also use a crimp cover to hide a knot. This works especially well if the crimp cover coordinates with other beads used in the bracelet, making it less noticeable where the bracelet starts and ends.
- Use a dab of jewelry glue, such as E6000, or G-S Hypo Cement, on the knot, and let dry for 24 hours. This is optional, but it will add even more security to the bracelet.
Additional Stretch Bracelet Tutorials:
*Beebeecraft sent me some supplies at no monetary cost, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.