I was so inspired by this week’s Iron Craft challenge of bling that I did two projects. I showed you my first yesterday, the icicle bracelet. My second one is a set of shiny friendship bracelets, they have a little more bling factor than your typical friendship bracelet. I’ve done friendship bracelets before for a challenge for I figured this is just a secondary project.
As usual, this was not really the project I intended to do when I started. I wanted to do some braided rope bracelets bangles I saw Martha make on her show. They braided rope, ties it into circles for bangles, dipped it in fabric stiffener, let it dry around a round form and them painted them silver and gold. I liked the idea, but then realized in order to make the bangles big enough to fit around my hand they’d be really huge around my skinny little wrist, there is a reason I don’t wear bangles. So, instead I searched for shiny cord to make friendship bracelets. Not only did I want it to be shiny, but I also wanted it to be thicker than the embroidery floss I usually use for these, so I would have chunkier bracelets.
Well, the solution was actually right next to the embroidery floss at Joann’s, this cord for plastic canvas. I got it in sliver and also a white with a opalescent lustre that really doesn’t show up in these pictures well. The cord also can in a shiny black, gold and various other colors. This cord worked really well for the bracelets though it does make them stiffer than the floss one. I mixed in some doubled strands of black and gold embroidery floss I had at home for some variation in color.
You can read my previous post on making friendship bracelets for instructions on how to make the patterns. What I wanted to talk about in this post is the two beaded bracelets and adding clasps to the bracelets.
For two of the bracelets I added beads. The gold one was super simple. I did a basic striped pattern in the lustre white and gold. I chose a gold bead with a hole large enough to put all the strands through, a needle is helpful here. I just knotted until I was at about the middle of the bracelet, put the bead on and then continued knotting. The knotted part of the bracelet is wide enough that the bead can’t move from where it is placed.
For the snowflake bracelet, I did a twist pattern in the lustre white. For this pattern you just do half hitch knots over two base strands. Once again I knotted until about the middle of the bracelet. I put the bead I wanted to use on a jump ring then the two base strands of the bracelet go through the jump ring. From there, you just continue to knot. It’s a friendship charm bracelet!
Now let’s talk about closures. I’m not a big fan of the dangling string ends on friendship bracelets and if you don’t wear them everyday like me, then taking them off and on is a pain. I wanted to add traditional bracelet clasps to them.
It was simpler than I thought thanks to a little fabric glue. To do this you need 2 jump rings, a clasp and fabric glue. Put the clasp on one of the jump rings. When I make friendship bracelets the beginning and end of the knotting are secured with overhand knots. To add the closures, I just put all the strand I’m using through the jump rings and then secure them in the overhand knot.
Then I cover the knot with a good amount of fabric glue. Once it is dry I snip the cord ends close to the knot and add a touch more fabric glue at that point. These seem to be pretty secure and the knit don’t show any sign of loosening. Now, I have friendship bracelets that are easy to get off and on.
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish