The woven wrap bracelet has become a fashion staple in recent years. Made popular by jewelry designer Chan Luu, this trend doesn’t look like it’s going away soon. I absolutely love making these wrap bracelets. Whether making a multi-wrap bracelet or keeping it simple with a single wrap, these are easy to construct even if they can be a little time consuming. I find that I rather like sitting on the couch, whipping up one of these bracelets while binge watching one of my favorite TV shows. It’s a great way to pass the time and keep your hands busy.
One of my favorite tools for making wrap bracelets is the foam Macrame Board by The Beadsmith. Coming in a full size or mini, it’s perfect not only for macrame projects but bead weaving too. I love the flexible foam and the half-inch grooves along the entire outside border. The printed grid makes it easy to precisely measure your jewelry designs. I prefer to work with the mini sized board, it’s a little smaller than a magazine and can be used for any sized project. When my bracelet became too long, I simply wrapped it around the back of the flexible foam. Because the board is made of such a pliable material, it won’t damage the piece in any way. You can also use it to hold your needles if you need to set your project down for a while!
Approx. 150pc – 4mm Roller Crow Beads – Blue Iris
Approx. 100pc – 4mm TierraCast Turkish Heishi Beads
TierraCast Earth Button
.12mm C-lon Cord or KO Thread
1mm Leather Cord
GS Hypo Cement for Fabric
Big Eye Needle
Macrame Board by The Beadsmith
1) Cut about 70 inches of 1mm leather cord and about 1 yard of thread. String the button onto the leather and center it on the cord. Thread the needle with the beading thread. Place the end of the thread next to the cord and tie an overhand knot connecting them. (Images 2-3)
2) Place the button into the center groove at the top of the macrame board and secure the leather into separate sections on the bottom of the board. (Image 4)
3) Wrap the beading thread several times around both strands of the leather cord by bringing the cord from left to right over the top of the leather and wrapping it under. (Image 5)
4) String one bead onto the needle and bring the string over the leather from left to right. (Image 6)
5) Bring your needle under the leather and through the bead and under the leather from right to left. (Image 7)
6) String two beads onto the needle and repeat steps 4-5, above. (Images 8-9)
7) String three beads onto the needle and repeat steps 4-5, above. (Image 10)
8) Continuing stringing as in steps 4-5, using three beads per row and randomly adding the spacer beads into the design, until you have about 3 inches of string left on your needle. (Images 11-13)
9) Cut the needle from your string and re-thread it with about a yard of thread. String through the second to last row starting from the right and going left. String through the last row in the same manner as steps 4-5, above. Add a new row of three beads. (Images 14-17)
10) Place a drop of glue on each tail of thread. Allow to dry completely before trimming with the thread burner. (Images 18-19)
11) As the bracelet gets longer, adjust the piece on the macrame board. Wrap the tail end around the board and secure the button into one of the grooves to hold it steady. (Image 20)
12) The beaded section should measure 20.5 inches and have about 32 rows when complete to be long enough for a triple wrap bracelet. Adjust the amount of rows for a longer or shorter bracelet. Add additional thread if needed as shown in steps 9-10, above.
13) When you have reached your desired length, decrease the amount of beads in the row from three beads to two, following with a row of one single bead. (Images 21-22.)
14) Wrap the beading thread around both strands of leather cord and tie and overhand knot. Tie three additional overhand knots in the cord, spacing them about an inch apart to accommodate for the size of the button. String spacer bead onto each tail of leather and finish with an overhand knot. Trim. The additional knots at the end of the bracelet allows the finished piece to be adjustable. (Images 26-29)
15) Reenforce knotted areas and the places where additional thread was added for extra security. Allow to completely dry before wearing.
Here is a close up of the button closure. I love this Earth button from TierraCast’s Your World Collection. There are over 55 styles of buttons from TierraCast to choose from as well as other styles that can be found on our website. I have also collected vintage buttons for a long time and have used them in wrapped bracelet designs. So pick up something new or raid your stash for pretty buttons to use in your jewelry creations.
We recently got in a new size of roller crow beads that I wanted to use for this piece. Typically coming in 6mm or 9mm, the new 4mm crow offers an alternative to a simple round bead and I liked how well it matched up in size with the Turkish Heishi spacer beads. I love this Blue Iris color as well since it seems to have more turquoise and blue tones than other dye lots I have seen. My favorite aspect of the finished wrap bracelets is how different the same beads look with silver components versus the gold. The silver beads bring out more of the blues and purples while the gold highlights the green and bronze colors. Another bead of choice for wrap bracelets is the size 6/0 seed bead.
There is so much that you can do once you have mastered the wrap bracelet technique. Try combining different sizes and types of beads to create multifaceted designs. With so many colors and styles to choose from, its easy to mix and match colors of leather and threads and beads. Add to that, beautiful buttons by TierraCast and you will surely have a stunning piece of jewelry. It’s also fun to substitute different materials for the leather, like the Chinese knotting cord or waxed cotton cording. It really makes the possibilities endless!
Thanks to Chan Luu, who brought this style of bracelet into fashion, creating a trendy and easily DIY-able design for the masses. Wrap bracelets are easy to make and customize, so you can certainly have one to match your own personal style. Right now at Shipwreck Beads, all beads are 15-50% off. These prices won’t last much longer; the sale ends today!
Have you ever made a wrap bracelet? Let me know in the comments!