Fun fact about me that you might not have known: I used to design jewelry. I say "used to" because I've recently decided to let this hat fall for the foreseeable future as I focus on some of my other creative pursuits, but in the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite pieces with you and give a tutorial for a few of them.
Today, I'm sharing a super-simple project and something that is so easy to customize and make exactly how you like it - a DIY beaded wire bangle bracelet.
In addition to this piece being easy to re-create, it also requires minimal supplies. Here's what you'll need for this project:
- 48-56 inches of 20 gauge jewelry wire (find it in the jewelry aisle at your local craft store)
- 3-5 pre-drilled beads or 1 large bead like a geode (flatter beads work best on this project)
- wire cutters
What you'll first need to do is figure out how big your bracelet needs to be. Because it's a bangle, it needs to just fit over the widest part of your hand so you can get it on and off without it falling off during wear.
Cut 48-56 inches of your wire with your wire cutters. It's better to overestimate on the length and trim at the end of the project rather than cut too short. Wrap the wire around the widest part of your hands (usually the knuckles) and when the whole length has been wrapped, you can pull the wire so it's even and straight.
I have found the best bangles are three or four full rounds of wire. This makes them sturdy. From one of the loose ends, take three of four rounds and separate them. Strand one of your beads on the opposite end of wire. This will be your working end.
You're going to pull the bead until it meets up with the loose end of your wife in the rounds you've separated. There should be about an inch of loose wire opposite the bead. Bend this end into a 90° angle and wrap it around all the rounds right next to the end of the bead. You'll form a coil right next to the bead. You might need to use your pliers to pull it tight and to press in the pointy end of the wire. This will finish this end off.
Next, the wire that is coming from the other end of the bead needs to be wrapped the same way. This is a little more tricky because you have to pull your whole working end through the center of the bracelet to wrap it, but don't worry. If it gets bent up, we can fix that later. Do the same thing you did with the first end and bend your working wire at a 90° angle then make the coil as close to the bead as you can.
Now your first bead is set in place and you can take your working end of the wire and run it right along the rounds in your bangle until you get to the spot you want to place your next bead. If you are using three beads live I've done, you'll want to place them in a triangular shape on your bracelet.
Take the working end and bend it at a 90° angle and coil it around the wire rounds to start your next bead. String your bead on the working end and pull it until it is against the coil, then bend the working wire on the other side of the bead to make your end coil. Continue this process until all your beads are placed as desired.
Once your beads are all set, you can take your wire cutters to trim off any excess wire then use your pliers to press the ends inward so they don't rub on your skin. The 20 gauge wire is pretty soft and can easily be bent to curve those sharp end pieces.
Finally, pull and work the wire to straighten it out and round it as best as you can and you're all done!
A fun variation, if you have extra wire, is to make wrapped bangle bracelets like the one above. Mine is kind of messy, but when it's stacked with several others, I think it looks neat. However, you can wrap it as neatly as you wish. Just make your original rounds as the structure of your bracelet and wrap your working wire around them to form a desired pattern.
I hope you enjoy this fun jewelry project! If you make any of these bracelets, shoot a picture up on Instagram and tag me so I can see how they came out!
Have you ever done any DIY jewelry projects before? If so, what's your favorite thing you've made?
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