Lesson: Stretch Beaded Jewelry

Learn how to make classic stretch beaded jewelry with a polished finish.

Crafting Video Tutorial
tutorials_1
Stretch Magic .5mm .7mm

step one

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.

Stretching out Stretch Magic String

step two

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.

How to stop beads

step three

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.

How to Make Stretch Bracelets that Won't Break

step four

When it comes to stringing on your beads, you can work with or without 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!

How to tie a secure knot with Stretch Magic

step five

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.

Double Surgeon's Knot - Step 1

step six

To make a Double Surgeon's Knot, begin by crossing the ends of your strings left on top of right.

Double Surgeon's Knot

step seven

Bring the new right end behind the new left end and up through the center -- in other words: the first step of tying your shoes.

Double Surgeon's Knot

step eight

Repeat the last step: bring the right end through the center and up. You'll have two wraps total.

Double Surgeon's Knot

step nine

Now you'll do the reverse process to complete your knot. Cross the right end over the left end.

Double Surgeon's Knot

step ten

Bring the new left end behind the new right end and up through the center.

Double Surgeon's Knot

step eleven

Repeat the last step: bring the left end through the center and up. Again, you'll have two wraps total.

Double Surgeon's Knot

step twelve

Carefully pull your knot tight, making sure to pull all of the slack through before tightening completely.

How to Make Stretch Bracelets - 11

step thirteen

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.

G-S Hypo Cement on knot

step fourteen

If all looks good, add a small dot of G-S Hypo Cement glue to reinforce it, 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.

How to use a crimp cover over a knot

step fifteen

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.

How to Make Stretch Bracelets That Won't Break

step sixteen

With these simple tips, we hope you'll bead up stretch bracelets that won't break, but rather will last for years!

P.S. All of the beads featured here are available in our Bead Shop!

Bead sure to tag us @theneonteaparty on Instagram! We can't wait to see your stretch bracelet arm parties!!