Day 19: Wrap Bracelet

Wearing this leather and ball chain bracelet made me feel cool.  I mean I know I’m Auntie Dianne and I wear glasses and have more grey than blonde in my hair.  I understand that “cool” is probably not even the cool way to indicate that something is cool!  Nonetheless, wearing a leather cord wrapped twice around my wrist made me feel like a more cool version of myself.

It has a kind of an edgy, hippy charm.  Maybe bohemian is the word I’m looking for.  It makes me think of my sister-in-law Victoria, who always wears an armload of bracelets.  She is cooler than I am but I’m craftier.  And even more cool than wearing the bracelet was the fact that I made it!

It is also the project I attempted the other day with the not-quite-right supplies.  Sometimes you can adapt things and make things work that aren’t exactly what is called for.  But it is usually a good idea to make it once the right way before you start adapting.

These supplies look a lot like the right supplies.  But in this instance I had leather cord that while trying to unbend some kinks, I broke.  So my leather had been glued and bound with some black thread.  It also still had bends in it.  The bead chain was ok but not as large as the hardware store version.  I will probably try a bracelet, now that I have two done, using the smaller bead chain, but I realized the small stuff was just making me cross-eyed.

Most importantly, I didn’t have any waxed linen thread.  The post I was following showed wrap bracelets using different colors of waxed linen thread.  When I was shopping for supplies I didn’t find any and didn’t have time for mail-order.  I thought the hemp cord I bought would do.  But I soon found it was too thin and just not grippy enough to work.  The wax helps to keep the thread in place when you wrap it around the ball chain and leather.

But I’m kind of stubborn and I tried making a bracelet anyway. The great pictures and steps on Honestly…WTF made it look pretty simple.  But I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough hands and my cord or thread wasn’t staying wrapped.

The other problem was my ball chain was twisting around and it didn’t look like anything on the tutorial I was trying to follow.

I scrapped the project for another and the next day got new supplies.  I went to Baubles and Beads in San Rafael and got waxed linen thread in brown, leather cord that wasn’t bent out of shape, and another cord  (C-lon, a 3-ply nylon bead cord) to try out in a pretty color plus a small lip-balm-sized tube of pure beeswax.  The helpful woman behind the counter suggested the cord could be rubbed across the beeswax to help the cord stay wrapped.

I picked up ball chain at the hardware store.  I’d seen this bracelet done with brass ball chain but the place I went only had the silver color and since I wear silver jewelry, I went with it.

Getting started was still kind of tricky.  I’m more of a visual learner, so I decided to look for wrap bracelet how-to tutorials.  There may be some great ones out there but came away with only one helpful piece of information: you can slip the loop of the bracelet over a door hinge to free both hands for wrapping.

Wrap Bracelet


45 to 55 inches 1.5 mm leather cord

15 inches ball chain

72 inches waxed linen thread (Etsy has vendors that sell waxed linen thread in many colors)

– or-

72 inches C-lon bead cord + beeswax (this is a little trickier but if you are impatient or stubborn like me, you may choose to go this route)

a large bead to fasten the bracelet or a 1/4″ hex nut to match your ball chain


large safety pin (optional)

Ailene’s Tacky Glue (optional)


Fold the leather cord in half and make a loop at the fold large enough for the bead or hex nut to fit through.

Now the basic concept is you hold the two pieces of leather together, lay the ball chain on top and use the waxed linen cord to wrap the chain in place, wrapping once around between every little ball.

To start, place the end of the linen thread towards your fingers holding the loop.  Now tightly wrap the thread around 5 or 6 times.  I found I needed a third hand and my colleague suggested safety-pinning the bracelet to my pants leg so I could have both hands free!  This was even easier to do than when I used the door hinge.  It also gets easier as you go along.  If you are using C-lon and wax, coat a few inches of the bead cord at a time as you proceed.

Lay the end of the ball chain right up to that first wrapped thread and start wrapping the ball chain to the leather. I also found it easier to control the bead cord when I wrapped it around a little piece of folded card stock.

Erica on Honestly…WTF made very straight, flat, even bracelets.  They’re beautiful.  Mine have a more quirky charm.

Keep wrapping tightly.  When it gets close to the end of the project, check the length.  If you need to, trim off a piece of the ball chain if you’ve got a long enough bracelet to wrap twice and fasten.

When you reach the desired length, wrap the linen thread around the last part of the ball chain a few extra times.  Now tie a knot in the the leather and linen thread together, slide on the bead or hex nut and tie another knot.  Trim the end.

If desired, dab a little glue on the wrapped thread at the end by the loop for extra security.

Here are the two wrap bracelets I made today.

This is a project I will do again!

Last year on Day 19 I created a big platter of veggies with dip, including the recipe.

Thanks for checking out my latest project on 30DoC!


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

14 responses to “Day 19: Wrap Bracelet

  1. Ooooohhhhh!!!!!! I like this a LOT! These would make great gifts. 🙂

    • Thank you! When, in the middle of 30 Days of Creativity I find something I want to do again, you know it is special. In fact, I could have posted last night the one I’d made in the morning before work but I WANTED to make another so stayed up late (had a rehearsal and didn’t get home until 9) to finish a second bracelet before I wrote the blog post.

  2. Very cool project! And don’t worry, you’re not just Auntie Dianne, and if you are, you’re the cool aunt.

  3. Victoria

    Yes! You are craftier……and cooler than me. I’m gonna try and make one of those today. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Becky

    I’m going to make some of these for sure! Love the look of them and who doesn’t want jewelry that automatically makes you cooler?

  5. Kathleen Faw

    “Mine have a more quirky charm” LOL!! Seriously, I like these, would be fun to make with Ariel and something she might actually want to wear.

    • Go ahead, laugh! I’ve had two people say that they like how they twist around. Good thing too since I can’t figure out how to make them without the twist! I hope you do make them with Ariel.

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