As previously mentioned, I am distracted a leeeeeeettle easily. Which means I like to do lots of things, none of them exceptionally well. I think of "dilettante" as a compliment.
Aside from food, I love crafts. I have an entire plastic tub full of craft shit. Figuring out how to replicate things is fun and besides, I'm sort of cheap. Recently on Pinterest, I pinned a gorgeous wrap bracelet by Chan Luu. And then immediately made it myself.
All $234 of those dollars can kiss my ass.
It looks a little different, of course. The main reason is that I have freakishly tiny carnie wrists. They're like bird bones. I have to wear children's watches, or have women's ones significantly altered. I think the average watch or bracelet is 7 inches - my bracelets are about 5 1/2.
The other reason is that I got my materials at Michael's and they're most likely of a significantly lower quality. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe.
In case you want to get in on the fun, here's how I did it.
- leather cord
- a needle
- your desired beads (I used about 5 inches of each)
- a button with holes big enough for the leather
- A safety pin
- about 3 hours
Start with your leather. Decide how many times you want it wrap around your wrist, then actually wrap it around, loosely, to see how long it will need to be. Add 6 inches and then double the total length (wrist + 6 inches). For this entire project, too much will always be better than too little.
Fold your leather cord in half. Using your button as a size guide, tie a knot at the fold to create a loop that your button can comfortably fit through, but won't slip out of. Don't pull it too tight quite yet.
Now onto getting your thread ready. For me, this was the biggest pain in the ass of the whole project. I used regular all-purpose sewing thread, which is not nearly strong or thick enough as a single strand. You would probably be fine just doubling it, but I am a nervous person and felt the need to quadruple it. You need a LONG piece of thread for this project - about 6.5 feet for my 20 inch bracelet, or 4 inches of thread for every beaded inch of bracelet (this should allow for plenty of extra, which is nice). That means I had to measure out 26 feet of thread initially. Want to know what gets tangled really easily? 26 feet of thread with two dogs playing in it.
I ended up taping one edge to the wall and walking out half the length I needed, taping the midpoint to another wall and walking back and cutting it. I then used a needle threader to drag the folded thread (both strands) through the eye of the needle. I grabbed both my new ends (the cut end and the looped end) and pulled it through until the needle was at the mid-point. Tie off the end of all 4 strands and you have your thread. And you're probably sweating and swearing under your breath.
You now still have 6-8 feet of thread you're trying to work with - take care to make sure it doesn't get tangled. Once there's a tangled knot, the whole bracelet goes down the toilet. But honestly - if I could do it, so can anyone over the age of 6.
Secure your leather strands to something reasonably stable by safety-pinning the loop to it. I used my sewing box, but a couch or pant leg or towel-with-something-heavy-on-it will work too.
Loop your thread around the lowest strand of the knot in your leather. Pull the needle between two of your four strands of thread to secure the thread to the leather and tighten the leather knot. Get your beads ready.
Wrap your thread around the left strand of leather a few times to get to the starting point and to keep the first bead in place. Thread the first bead and position it between the two strands of leather with the thread behind the leather. (You'll notice a few steps are missing in the picture, like securing and wrapping the thread and the safety pin. Pretend they're not.)
Pull the thread all the way through until it's tight. Now, go back through the bead in the opposite direction on the FRONT side of the leather.
Pull the thread through until it's tight, taking care to make sure all 4 strands pull through evenly. Occasionally you'll get little loops in one of the strands and will need to check each strand individually to remove it.
Repeat with the next bead. And then the other 150.
Keep an eye on your length. I used 4 different beads, so I kept checking my length to see when I needed to switch beads. In order to do this, I wrapped the leather loosely around my wrist to find my approximate end point and shortened it up a little to account for the fact that you actually want your button to be your end point, not your beads. I marked that length by holding it with my fingers, the folded the leather in half and in half again to four equal lengths, one for each of my colors of beads. Use these lengths as a guide for when to change beads. They don't need to be perfectly even - you'll never notice once it's wrapped.
When you've finished your beading, tie a finishing knot in your leather using both strands. Then finish off the thread by going back through your last 5-10 beads in a zig-zag that matches the thread that's already there. Tie a knot and trim the thread.
Check your length by wrapping the bracelet around your wrist and marking where your button should be on your remaining leather. Thread one of the remaining ends of leather through your button and tie both ends off together to keep it in place (that knot is hidden behind the button). I then added a final knot a little further down, just for kicks.
Trim your ends to the desired length and you're done, bitches! Now you have a ridiculously bad-ass bracelet and most likely, a deep understanding about why this bastard cost $234 in the first place.