Upcycle Studio – Easy DIY bracelet tutorial

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Fashion itself can be liberating; a way to express your inner goddess or weirdo, a way to uplift your emotions, or a way to fit in. But the culture of being fashionable has a really dark side. Since fashion trends change as often as we blink, we run the risk of falling into a really quick moving cycle of purchasing today’s coolest new __[ fill in any clothing or accessory item ]___ and disposing of it tomorrow when it’s become too blah.

It makes my gut hurt to think of all the new resources we put into the landfill too quickly before they’ve been used up, and when they weren’t even sustainable [ re: breakdown-able ] materials to begin with. That’s a wasteful habit to fall into so we’re going to fall out of it ok? And re-fashion what we can to stay in style without the waste.

diy jewelry tutorial

There are no real rules for this one, just tips so use what you have. I raided my craft cupboard and this is what I had:

  • An old necklace [ note: I saved the feather and beads and lots of chain for another project down the road ]
  • Jewelry wire
  • Pliers
  • Jewelry findings [ I think the little buggers are called ‘jump rings’. I call them the little chain claspies that roll away and are ridiculously difficult to find when they fall on the floor – thank goodness I have a bajillion of them ]
  • Turquoise colored seed beads
  • A recycled paper bead in off-white that I liked initially but decided not to use later on

First step – Make a tiny loop at one end of the wire with the pliers, and add on as many beads as you like.

Tip: clipping off the tiny end of the wire can leave a sharp point sticking out so I slid the end of wire inside the first bead where it would be hidden and unable to do any irritating poking.

Close the beads off with another tiny wire loop made with the pliers.

Tip: A second pair of pliers can be really helpful here: make your loop and grab it with one pair of pliers. Use the second pair of pliers to grab the end of the wire and wrap it around the strand a couple times before clipping off the end.

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Step two – Cut the chain. I measured all the way around my wrist with the clasps connected and in the middle. This gave me lots of extra but this is the kind of project where you would much rather have too much chain and cut it back in a minute, than not enough and have to start over.

Tip: if you DID cut not enough and have to start over here’s how. Cut your clasps from the now-too-short-chain. Use the jump ring claspy thingies to connect your clasps to a longer piece of left over chain. Measure the chain around your wrist and cut it off. Use another jump ring claspy thingie to add the other end of the clasp to the other end of the chain. Fold the clasped chain in half, with the clasps at one end, and cut in the middle.

Step three: Measure the beaded wire against your wrist. I eyeballed how much of the circumference of my wrist was covered by the bracelet and then measured the chain against the starting and ending point of the wire piece [ chain still clasped, clasps still in the middle ]. Then I cut each end of chain back just enough.

Tip: if you’re interested in making sure you get it right, don’t eyeball it, measure it. Use a seamstress measuring tape or a piece of string to get an accurate circumference of your wrist. Then subtract the length of the beaded wire. Divide the length that you have left and measure it against the chain starting at each clasp piece and cut off left over chain.

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Step four-  Add jump ring thingies in each looped end of the beaded wire and connect the beaded wire to the chain. You’ll notice in my second photo that I added a tiny pearl to my beaded wire. After finishing off the bracelet I didn’t like the pearl and cut it off. Turns out simple is my jam.

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If you like this bracelet but want to skip all these steps you can just skip over to my etsy shop savingsarahgrace.etsy.com to buy it.

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