15 Most Popular Bracelet Projects

There are so many amazing DIY jewelry projects these days, with Pinterest being full to the brim with inspiration. A lot of these tutorials are pretty easy to follow and yield beautiful results. Here we’re going to look specifically at popular bracelet projects to see which ones are the simplest to make and which will take a little more effort, or a trip to the craft store for supplies.

Each method of bracelet making has a difficulty rating:

  • Beginner – easy
  • Intermediate – mildly tricky
  • Advanced – very tricky

1. Friendship Bracelet

Difficulty rating: Beginner to Intermediate

The friendship bracelet never seems to lose any popularity and remains, to this day, a great DIY project which takes little materials to complete. The most popular form of friendship bracelets are the woven or braided ones which often feature a multitude of colors with designs of varied difficulties.

To make a woven friendship bracelet you will need:

  • Embroidery Floss (or similar yarn)
  • Scissors
  • A pin or hook – to hold your threads while you braid
  • Patience!

Depending upon your choice of design, your braiding or weaving will require different levels of patience – it can be tough to get into the flow of weaving or braiding your threads and keeping them from tangling.

Friendship bracelet designs can span anywhere from a simple 3 stranded braid to 8 or more strands creating a woven design which might contain a flat pattern or raised design. There are heaps of tutorials for weaving friendship bracelets but one of our favorite designs creates heart shapes in the woven pattern.

2. Beaded Bracelet

Difficulty rating: Beginner

One of the simplest ways to make a bracelet is to string beads onto some tigertail or cord and add a fastening. Beaded bracelets never seem to go out of fashion as there are many variations of this simple design. Smaller beads will of course, create more delicate bracelets and large beads will create something which is a bit more statement.

To make a beaded bracelet you will need:

  • Beads – any shape or size
  • Cord or wire suited to your bead size and project
  • A fastening – lobster claw, spring ring, toggle, magnetic or barrel are probably the best suited to a beaded bracelet
  • Crimps – if using tigertail
  • Pliers
  • Calottes – to hide crimps
  • Jump rings
  • A lighter – if using cord knots to attach the fastening
  • Cutters or scissors
  • A bead board – optional, to lay out your design before making

Beaded bracelets can be made to look as simple or extravagant as you please, it all depends on your choice of beads. Laying out your design is a great way to start, as it allows you to envision the final piece and make changes without needing to restring your whole design.

If you decide to use larger beads, make sure to keep checking the length around your wrist as you might need more cord than you expected due to the bulk of the bead. Depending upon the size and material your beads are made from, you may want to consider different techniques or finishes.

  • Glass or Semi-precious Gemstone Beads – pearl knotting would be a good option to keep the beads from cracking or wearing down where they would touch if simply strung onto cord or wire.
  • Seed Beads or Small Beads – using a softer cord is better suited than tigertail or wire, as smaller beads tend to be lighter. Small beads threaded on to tigertail can often results in gaps in between the beads and a “springy” looking bracelet, which doesn’t look or feel all that great.

3. Stretch Bracelet

Difficulty rating: Beginner

If you prefer to make beaded bracelets without a fastening, then you might want to consider making a stretch bracelet instead. This is a very similar bracelet making technique to the above, but instead of needing a fastening, you just thread your beads onto elasticated cord and finish the row with a knot.

For a stretch bracelet you will need the following materials:

  • Beads – any shape or size
  • Elastic cord – type will depend on your bead choice
  • A lighter – might be needed for thicker, fabric wrapped elastic

A stretch bracelet can use any types of beads to create different results, but you want to be sure that your bracelet has longevity and won’t break. Larger, heavier beads such as glass or semi-precious, will need a stronger elastic than, say, seed beads would need.

4. Multi-strand Bracelet

Difficulty rating: Beginner to Advanced

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous a multi-strand bracelet might be something that tickles your fancy, as you get to use loads of beads and create more intricate and wild designs. These bracelets can either be made using cord/wire or elastic, and you can add as many rows as you please. There are some extra materials needed if you want to create multiple rows of beading:

  • Beads – easiest to use similar shaped beads throughout the design e.g. round or seed beads
  • Cord, wire or elastic
  • Fastening – same as beaded bracelet, although some designs will require a multi-row fastening connector or magnetic bar
  • Multi-hole spacer bars – may be needed to keep rows in place
  • A bead board – if you want to lay out your design first

A stretch, multi-strand bracelet with 5 or more rows will make a gorgeous, statement cuff bracelet or you could opt to create a chunky, bohemian 3 strand bracelet with semi-precious or wooden beads. Multi-strand bracelets don’t have to use beads, you could use multiple rows of cord to create your bracelet – check out our tutorial here!

5. Charm Bracelet

Difficulty rating: Beginner to Intermediate

A charm bracelet is a really nice project to create something super personal to you or for a friend as a gift. The base of a charm bracelet is normally chain, onto which the charms are attached, but you can of course, create beaded charm bracelets too. Some people also like to make their own charms, which is why we have rated this project as beginner to intermediate.

If you want to start making your own charm bracelets, you will need:

  • Chain – long enough to fit around your wrist
  • Chain cutters
  • Charms – various shapes and sizes, depending on your design
  • A fastening – lobster claw, spring ring or toggle will be the best suited
  • Jump rings
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Beads – if you’re making your own charms or a beaded charm bracelet
  • Head pins or ball pins – for DIY charms
  • Round nose pliers – for head pin charms

Charm bracelets are so versatile, as they can be delicate and elegant or chunky and funky! Create themes with your charms such as anchors and seashells for a nautical vibe, or handbags and shoes for a super girly look. If you’re making charms with headpins and beads, you can create stunning color schemes to suit anyone – they make the perfect gift.

6. Leather Wrap bracelet

Difficulty rating: Intermediate

Leather wrap bracelets can be made from a thin strip of leather (similar to that of a belt skinny belt) which naturally forms an overlapping cuff style bracelet. These are great for guys as well as girls as they can be made to suit the intended wearer. Another really popular style of wrap bracelet uses leather cord and beads, these make a really great project that you can do while you watch your favorite Netflix series!

If you want to make a beaded leather wrap bracelet, you will need:

  • Leather cord
  • Button shank – for fastening the bracelet
  • Beading thread – such as Nymo
  • Beading needle
  • Scissors
  • Beads – of a uniform shape and size
  • A clip board or somewhere to hold your leather in place as you bead

These bracelets can be made as simply as you like – using bigger beads will mean your bracelet will be completed more quickly. You can choose to wrap your bracelet around your wrist as many times as you like, just remember you will need a decent length of cord and a bit extra to make loops and knots for the fastening. You will also want to make sure you have enough beading thread in the beginning as adding more thread part way through your project will be difficult.

The beading thread loops around the leather cord and goes through your beads twice to secure it in between the two length of leather cord.

7. Memory Wire Bracelet

Difficulty rating: Beginner

This might just be one of the easiest bracelet projects to make as there are just a few steps involved. The memory wire already comes in a spiral which is the perfect size for bracelet making and all you need to do is thread your chosen beads onto the wire and secure each end with a loop.

The tools and materials you will need are:

  • Memory wire – in the bracelet size
  • Beads – any size or shape
  • Charms – optional addition
  • Round nose pliers
  • Memory wire cutters

To begin, you will want to decide how many rows of the coiled wire you would like for your bracelet and use memory wire cutters to cut the length. Using round nose pliers, make a small loop at one end of the wire length to hold your design on the wire and start beading. You can add charms throughout your design or just add one charm to each of the loops you created at either end of the wire.

8. Macrame Bracelet

Difficulty rating: Intermediate to Advanced

Macrame bracelets may look understated, but they can be quite tricky to make. Using different knots and weaving techniques, you can form stunning bracelets. For a bohemian look, use hemp cord and wooden beads, or for a more slick, modern design use brightly colored nylon cord and shiny charms. The basic materials you will need to make a macrame bracelet are:

  • Cord of your choice
  • Connector or charm – optional
  • An embroidery needle
  • Scissors

To fasten a macrame bracelet, use a slider knot so you can resize your bracelet once it is on your wrist. Using a charm or connector in the center of your bracelet will help to keep things as simple as possible, although you will need to practice the different knot making techniques before being able to make a nice neat bracelet.

Other Bracelet Projects to Try

There are so many projects to try that use the same techniques as those listed above, but create completely different end products. Your choice of beads, thread, cord and charms can really make a project your own. Here are a few more bracelet projects to get you crafting some more:

9. Morse Code Bracelets – These bracelets use the same technique as a single row beaded bracelet and use Miyuki Delica seed beads to create colorful patterns where dots and dashes spell out a word of your choice.

10. Slider Bracelets – Usually made from leather or nylon cord, these bracelets are often beaded (or macrame) and then the ends are used to form a sliding knot to allow for the bracelet to be taken off and put on easily as well as being resizable.

Another great slider knot bracelet project for beginners uses two lengths of cord which are attached to a simple loop or charm with lark’s head knots. The loose ends are then used to create the slider knot.

11. Beaded Braid Bracelet – Use a simple braided friendship bracelet as inspiration but add beads intermittently throughout your design. You could even try using thicker cord and larger beads to make a completely different look.

12. Rhinestone Bracelet – Macrame bracelets don’t have to be made of simple cord alone, you can weave around a string of rhinestones to create a delicate and sparkly design.

13. Peyote Stitched Friendship Bracelet – Instead of creating patterns using woven embroidery floss, why not try some peyote stitch beading? This is definitely a more advanced bracelet project, but the results are totally worth it.

14. Wrap Bangle Bracelet – This technique is super simple and perfect for beginners. Using an existing bangle, plastic or metal – tie on some embroidery floss securely, then start wrapping it around the bangle until it is completely covered. You could change the color of your floss at different intervals or add criss crossing patterns similar to that of a hair wrap. Add charms using jump rings for a jingle jangle bangle!

You could use strips of fabric instead of threads to change up the design even more.

15. Woven Chain Bracelet – If you have a chain bracelet which needs a little sprucing up, then why not try threading some ribbon or flat leather cord in and out of the chain links?! Another way to incorporate chain into weaving would be to create braids of cord or fabric and add chain into one or two of the braiding sections.

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