Monday, August 15, 2011

All Wrapped Up

Chan Luu Wrap Bracelets
Wrap bracelets are everywhere, have you noticed? Well, they're everywhere except Sam Moon. I searched high and low for a $5 wrap bracelet carefully made with love in a Chinese sweatshop but came up empty handed.  The obvious solution was to make one myself.

I found several good tutorials online so I won't get too specific here. If you want specifics you should visit Sew Petite Gal who has a nice video tutorial that I found AFTER I had finished my bracelet. Figures. The Rings & Things Blog has some good instructions. Inspiration and Realisation has a tutorial but the one I found most helpful was from The Hollie Rogue.

The technique reminds me a lot of the macrame we did in the 70s. So much so that I almost wanted to light some incense, listen to the Doobie Brothers and pop open a Tab. You can still buy Tab, ya know, only now it has slightly fewer carcinogens. Actually it doesn't have any. Remember when the FDA announced that saccharine could cause bladder cancer and any product containing saccharine had to have a warning label on it? I remember. Well, I don't remember all the details (thank you Wikipedia) but I do remember when everyone quit drinking Tab because of the saccharine. Then in 2000 the FDA changed its mind and said that there hasn't been one single case where saccharine caused an increase in bladder cancer so it's okay to consume now. That retraction statement must have been whispered cuz I don't remember it at all.

Wrap bracelets. Right. I'm back on track now. You can buy a lovely wrap bracelet from Chan Luu for around $245.00 or you can make one yourself for free if, like me, you just happen to already have all the supplies on hand. See? Sometimes hoarding is good. When I come across some new craft or technique I want to try, nine times out of ten I already have all the stuff for it because I bought the supplies (or dug them out of a dumpster) ten years ago and even though I didn't need them right then, I knew there would come a day.

Supplies you will need:

Some cord (leather, cotton, whatever)
Some thread
A needle
A button
Some beads
Some super glue
A clipboard or binder clips
Some tape

How much you will need of each of those things depends on how long you want your wrap bracelet to be. Since this was my first try I opted for just a double wrap. I don't know what size my wrist is but I'd say it's about average, leaning toward the small side. For my bracelet I used 36" of cotton cord, 12 feet of beading thread, and about 65 beads. I got the beads off a broken garage sale necklace so I'm not sure what size they are. My best guess is 4.5mm. This produced a bracelet about 15" long which wraps twice around my wrist nicely. The measurements will vary depending on your wrist size, bead size and even the size of the button for your clasp. Just eyeball it.
Some of the tutorials have you start with the loop end, others have you start with the button end. I started with the button end. You just knot your cord and your beading thread in the button shank or on the back of the button if your button has holes.

Then put it on your clipboard or use some binder clips to attach it to something so you can spread it out like the picture. This helps to keep everything from getting all twisted as you work. From here I just followed the instructions on the tutorial and it turned out great!

 I did make one small change and I hate to even mention it because I can't explain it. If you ever did macrame you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you add the bead from the same side every time, your stitches on one side of the cord will be straight but they will be slanted on the other side. To fix that, I went back through the center of each bead twice instead of once so that the stitches on the cords would match. This means you will alternate from which side you add the bead. One time you'll add from the left, the next time you'll add from the right, etc.

I know, that makes no sense. When you make your bracelet just bring it by the house and I'll show you what I mean. I can show you, I just can't tell you.

As with most beading projects, the first 4 or 5 beads will probably look like crap. This is normal. After about 7 or 8 beads you will establish a rhythm and it will all come together. Trust me.
This is my finished bracelet and I really do love it! Oh, the superglue is for your final knot. Since I put the button on first, my last step was to make a loop for it with the end of the cord. I just made a slip knot, pulled it really tight, cut off the excess cord and put on a dab of super glue so it wouldn't "slip".

Since this was so easy I'm going to step it up a notch and make a quadruple wrap with charms on it. You heard me right. That's just my daredevil nature coming out to play.


Elena said...

Cute and so easy to make. In 5 minutes is ready!

andi said...

wow, thanks so much for mentioning my tut! I'm glad it was helpful. your bracelet looks great!

thanks, friend!

Shannon Green said...

No, thank YOU Andi! When you explained it as a figure 8 (over the right, under the right, over the left, under the left) I understood it better than any of the other sites I looked at.

You do good tuts, girl!

Thanks for stopping by!

Han said...

Thought you'd like some more inspiration! ^_^ Feel free to make me one and send it back to Laffy! ;)

Kimberly said...

Very cute! I really need to make one of these. I really like your buttons to end it off though, much cuter than just tied like I've seen a lot of them. said...

HI, so cute! I am now a new follower!

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

Great tutorial. I love wrap bracelets and am looking forward to making one. Thanks!


Lish said...

Those are fantastic! Brings back the days of making friendship bracelets on the bus ride to school! :D

Shannon Green said...

Thanks y'all, I'm so glad you like them!

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