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How To: Make A Stretchy Bracelet

I have this box in a drawer of my bureau. It’s the broken-jewelry box. Nothing too precious in here, just bits and pieces of a few fun bracelets and necklaces that have snapped or lost their clasps over the years.
The contents of the box have grown, and for about ever, I’ve been thinking maybe I should bring these thingamabobs to a local beading store and see if I can have them restrung properly so that they won’t break again.
I know how to bead – didn’t we all learn this skill in kindergarten? – but to do it right, so the string doesn’t break and have your pretty beads go flying all over the room??
When one of my favorite beaded bracelets recently joined the broken-jewelry box, I decided that if I have learned how to drive a car, operate a compound miter saw, use a KitchenAid mixer….raise a child for goodness sake!…..I could probably learn how to string a bracelet well so it doesn’t break easily.
Here’s what I learned:  the secret to making a piece of jewelry that holds up over time is in the products you use. These two products come highly recommended from stretchy jewelry makers:
G-S Hypo Cement (bead stringing glue)
Stretch Magic brand bead and jewelry cord.
I bought both at Michaels for around $5 each; you can find them at bead and craft stores or on Amazon. I had read that the 1mm stretchy cord was a good multipurpose size; if you’re stringing beads with very tiny holes you may want to go with a narrower cord – I found it wouldn’t thread through itty bitty beads.
I am happy to report that I restrung all my broken jewelry several months ago and each piece is still going strong – no broken cords or pretty beads flying across the room!
This tutorial is for a bracelet but you could also make a longer necklace, that you don’t have to stretch to put on, in the same fashion.
First up, measure a bracelet you already have to see what size is comfortable for your wrist. One of my broken bracelets was still on it’s original wire cording and measured a bit longer than 6″.
Cut a piece of stretchy cord a few inches longer than your desired length. I gave myself about 4 extra inches.
Tie a loose knot on one end of your cord and bead away.
{ sidenote:  these pics are terribly blurry because I took them a while back with my phone. :/ }
 Make sure you start your bracelet with a bead that has a fairly large hole, like this big pink bead above. You will eventually hide the knot of the cord inside this bead. Add beads until you get to the desired length.
Move your beads to the center of your cord, and tie multiple knots. Pull tightly! Try not to leave any slack in the bracelet when you tie the knots or the cord will show when you wear it. You want the beads to be nice and snug, side-by-side.
Get our your handy dandy bead stringing glue and apply to knot. Hold the knot away from the beads for a few moments to let dry. Cut off excess cord.
Using a large sewing needle, push the knot into the large bead next to it.
And you’re done!

Another secret to making your stretchy jewelry last:  DON’T STRETCH, ROLL. Instead of stretching a bracelet over your hand, roll it onto your wrist. The bracelet will still stretch a bit over your hand, but this will help the cord to last a lot longer and your bracelet to continue to fit well over time.

And there you have it folks, another life altering tutorial 🙂


Before I depart, I wanted to mention Grayson, the little boy of my lovely friend Kristin at My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia. He’s been in the ICU for the past few days battling Kawasaki Disease and could surely use every prayer he can get. If you want to share some encouragement with Kristin and her husband Ray on Facebook, I’m sure they would appreciate that too. May little Grayson be well and home soon!!

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Tuesday 19th of March 2013

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Thursday 7th of March 2013

Love your bracelet, and I've been praying for dear Grayson!xo

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Wednesday 6th of March 2013

Love your bracelet Lisa!Thank you for all the prayers, such an amazing amount of support. The prayers have been answered, He woke up a new boy today. Waiting on some results. Love youKristin

Kelly @ View Along the Way

Wednesday 6th of March 2013

This would be such a fun girls' night craft! Great tips!

[email protected]

Wednesday 6th of March 2013

here's the thing: I have an embarrassing amount of beads for my daughter so she could have matching bracelets for outfits. My sister was gonna help me make a whole bunch and it's never happened. So pretty much, THANKS for the tut!