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How to Make Stretch Bracelets that Won’t Break
Today we’re addressing one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to making beaded jewelry: how to make stretch bracelets that won’t break!
All too often, beaders find themselves stringing up a beautiful stretch bracelet, only to find that just days later, one unfortunate tug results in beads all over the floor. Raise your hand if you’ve been there, too! 🙋♀️
The good news is that avoiding broken stretch bracelets is simple! All it takes are a couple of quality supplies and some knotting tips, which is what we have for you today. Let’s get started!
- Stretch Magic Elastic String (see notes on string gauge in the first tip below!)
- G-S Hypo Cement
- Washi tape, small binder clip, or bead stopper
- Beads, of course!
- Crimp covers (recommended for covering your knot, if you’d like to do that)
- Flat/Needle Nose Pliers (if you’re using a crimp cover)
- Beading needle (optional, not necessary for Stretch Magic but makes beading easier with small beads like seed beads)
- Bead board (optional but recommended)
STRETCH JEWELRY VIDEO TUTORIAL
STRETCH JEWELRY STEP BY STEP GUIDE
The first tip for making Stretch Bracelets that won’t break is to use high-quality stretch string. We recommend Stretch Magic brand, as it is strong, durable, and affordable! Stretch Magic comes in a few different gauges (thicknesses). You’ll want to choose the thickest gauge that fits your beads. We recommend 0.5mm or 0.7mm for seed beads and other beads with small-ish holes.
To get started, cut your string about 3″ longer than the diameter of your wrist. Note that the string will stretch out longer in this next step: Before stringing your beads, stretch out your length of string by tugging on it vigorously. This ensures that your bracelet won’t stretch out later.
Next, create a stopper at the end of your string. You can use washi tape, a small binder clip, or bead stopper to secure the end of your string and prevent your beads from falling off while you string.
One thing we don’t recommend doing is taping the end of your string to your work surface without a stopper. It is easy to accidentally pull on your string and send your beads flying everywhere. If you want to tape down your string, be sure to make a tape flag first to catch your beads, should that happen.
When it comes to stringing on your beads, you can work without (left) or with (right) a beading needle. Beading needles help you to pick up beads more easily, especially when using small beads. However, Stretch Magic and similar elastic strings won’t fray as you bead, so a needle isn’t necessary — just helpful!
String your beads until you’ve reached your desired bracelet length. You can wrap your beaded string around your wrist to make sure the length is to your liking — just be careful not to drop your beads while doing this!
Once all of your beads are strung on, it’s time to knot your bracelet. Tying a strong knot is one of the key factors in making a stretch bracelet that won’t break.
You can find Stretch Magic’s recommended knot techniques on the back of their package. We like to use a variation on one of their recommended knots, which is a Double Surgeon’s Knot. You can find step-by-step instructions for that knot here in our Online Craft Studio!
Make sure to pull your knot nice and tight, then give your bracelet a firm tug — first close to the knot, then stretch the entire bracelet — to test that your knot is secure.
If all looks good, add a small dot of G-S Hypo Cement glue to your knot, then trim off the excess string. Warning: the glue comes out super quickly! Make sure to recap it quickly and wipe away excess glue so that the cap doesn’t glue shut.
The last step is to hide your knot. If your bead holes are large enough for the knot to hide inside them, you can guide the knot into a bead. If your knot is exposed and you’d like to cover it for a more polished look, clamp a crimp cover around the knot using flat/needle nose pliers.
With these simple tips, we hope you’ll bead up stretch bracelets that won’t break, but rather will last for years! Bead sure to drop any questions below and share your stretch bracelet creations with us by tagging @theneonteaparty on Instagram! We can’t wait to see your stretch bracelet arm parties!!
Peace, love & neon,