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How to Make a Leather and Bead Wrap Bracelet

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Make this trendy wrap bracelet by stitching beads onto cord using the same technique used to weave beads on a loom.

Tip: If you're an absolute beginner -- or just in a hurry -- feel free to make a shorter bracelet thaN the one shown here. You'll uses fewer materials, and you won't need to stop and add a new thread before you finish.

Please click on any image in this tutorial for a full-size view.

1. Gather Your Materials

A completed bracelet with four wraps
A completed bracelet with four wraps.

Beads

You can use any colors of 4mm Czech fire polished glass beads and magatamas for your bracelet. I chose three specialty finish colors for the Czech beads.

The quantities below are per 7 inches of bracelet band. For a longer band, divide the total inches by 7, and multiply that number by the quantities below.

4mm round Czech fire polished beads:

  • 15 of color A (I used olivine copper)
  • 15 of color B (I used HurriCane raspberry mint ice cream)
  • 15 of color C (I used aquamarine celsian)

Look for these or similar colors online at Fusion Beads or Beadaholique.

3mm Magatamas:

  • 12-15 of color D (I used opaque turquoise)
  • 12-15 of color E (I used gold luster green tea)

Look for these or similar magatamas at Artbeads.com.

Supplies

  • 6-pound black FireLine beading thread
  • Size 10 beading needle
  • 2mm round Greek leather black cord*
  • Sturdy side cutters (also called flush cut wire cutters)
  • An office clipboard
  • Masking tape or painter's tape
  • A measuring tape
  • Ruler or yard stick (to measure the leather cord)
  • Thread burner
  • 17mm antiqued pewter round leaf print button (I ordered mine at Beadaholique)
  • Optional: C-Lon beading cord in black (available from Caravan Beads)

*Look for Greek leather cord at Rings&Things or Fusion Beads.

2. Measure and Cut the Leather Cord

Bulk Greek leather cord
Bulk Greek leather cord.

Start by wrapping a measuring tape around your wrist as many times as you'd like wraps in your bracelet. Adjust the tape so that it looks just a little looser than you want your bracelet. (Be aware that the thickness of the beads has the effect of subtracting some of the length.) Take that measurement.

For the bracelet in the example, my measurement was about 22 inches.

Add 12 inches (30.5 cm) to your measurement, and then double that number. This is the length of leather cord you should cut. This is a little more cord than you'll actually use, but gives you plenty of room to make the final knots.

Example:

Wrist measurement: 21 inches

21 + 12 = 33 inches

33 x 2 = 66 inches of cord

Cut the cord with side cutters.

3. String the Button

The button strung on the leather
The button strung on the leather.

Thread the cord up through one hole in the button and down through the other. Make adjustments until the button is centered on the cord.

Optional: If you'd like, you can tie a tight overhand knot with the cords just below the button. From my experience, this is mostly a question of aesthetics; I haven't noticed any real difference in the way the bracelets lie with and without the knot. (Also see my optional wrapping method in Step 17.)

4. Secure the Cord on the Clipboard and Begin the Thread

The leather clipped and the thread tied on
The leather clipped and the thread tied on.

Clamp the button end of the cord beneath the clip on your clipboard.

Use the side cutters to cut a strand of FireLine that is at least two arm's spans long. (Longer thread is more difficult to work with, but reduces the number of times you need to start a new thread.)

Thread the needle for double-strand beading, but do not attach a bead stop.

Bring the ends of the thread together, and use a square knot to tie them around one strand of the leather cord close to the clip on the clipboard. Leave a pair of thread tails at least eight inches long, so that you can weave them into the beads later to hide them.

Tip: If you're right handed, tie your thread onto the left cord (as shown); if you're left handed, tie it onto the cord on the right hand side.

Use a piece of tape to tack down the thread tails.

5. String and Position the First Bead

First bead in position
Press each bead up between the leather cords with your finger as you make each stitch.

Pick up 1A with the needle, and slide it all the way down on the thread. (Alternatively, you can hold the bead in place with one hand and use your other hand to pull the thread thread through it.)

Pass the needle beneath both strands of leather cord, and use your finger to push the bead up between them.

Because I'm right-handed, I passed my thread beneath the cords from left to right. If you're left handed, you should pass them under from right to left.

6. Make the First Stitch

Thread path for stitching the first bead
Thread path for stitching the first bead.

Pass the needle back through the bead on top of both leather cords.

Use your fingers to hold the bead in place while you pull the thread taut. Pull slowly to avoid tangles, and make sure that both strands of your double strand of thread pull down snugly against the leather cord. If the thread does begin to tangle, stop and straighten it out before the knot tightens down.

7. Scoot Up the First Bead

The first bead stitched on
The first bead stitched on.

Slide the first bead a little closer to the clip on the clipboard. Do this for the first few beads that you stitch so that your beadwork begins relatively close to the button.

8. String the Second Bead

Thread path for the second bead
Thread path for the second bead.

Pick up 1B and slide it down. Pass the needle and thread beneath both strands of leather cord again, and use your finger to push the bead up between the cords.

9. Make the Second Stitch

Thread path for the third bead
Thread path for the third bead.

Pass back through the beads, and slowly pull the thread taut again.

10. Stitch the Third Bead

Use the same technique to string and stitch 1C.

Continued on page 2

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