I got a new catalog a little while ago and found something I really liked but was aghast at the $30 price tag for a piece of jewelry that simple. Being the frugalista (alright, cheapo) that I am, I sallied forth to the local craft supply shop. Less than $6 later, I was back home with a package of safety pins, some seed beads and a spool of stretchy cord. The piece in the catalog was a watch but I thought the same idea could be applied to a bracelet. As I had suspected, it was a snap to make. Here's how it's done.
- Safety pins - mine are about 1" long
- Seed beads in your colors - I used a large tube of multicolored ones - make sure they are big enough to fit on the safety pins
- Spool of .5mm stretchy cord - I used clear
- Open the pins and slide on beads leaving enough room to close the pin without crowding. How many it will take on each pin depends on the size of the bead. How many pins you need will depend on how long you want the bracelet. I used to 70 or so to make mine about 7 1/2". This will take a little time to do, so put on a good movie and get comfortable. Actually, I made mine over the course of a few nights since I tend to lose interest pretty quickly in repetitive tasks.
- Now for the putting-together action. In order not to make the bracelet wider on one side than the other, I alternated the pins as I strung them - one through the hole at the bottom then one through the hole in the clasp end. Make sure you keep them all turned the same way so they will show on the front of the bracelet. To make things easier, I didn't cut the cord from the spool.
- When I had the length I needed, I wrapped tape around the end of the cord and cut it off the spool leaving a 6" tail to tie it off with. I taped that end too, and started on the other side, once again leaving the cord on the spool as I worked. When all the pins were strung, I adjusted the cord to make the ends even and tied off with a surgeons knot. I'd advise leaving the tape on the cord until everything is securely tied - not that I would have dumped half the pins in my lap or anything to learn this.
- Don't tie the cord super tight, leave a little slack so the pins have room to move or it will pinch the crap out of your arm when you put it on. Put a dab of glue on the knots and leave it to dry overnight. Trim the cord ends in the morning and prepare yourself for the wonderment, awe and covetousness you'll inspire in friends and co-workers.