I’ve gotten hooked on crafting different bracelets this summer and these Beaded Braid ones are my current favorites. I first saw them on Pinterest and followed the link back to Honestly WTF, the home of this and many other great bracelet tutorials.
I think these are even easier than the macrame bracelets I made during 30DoC. At least once you get going…
My local bead store only carried a few colors of Irish waxed linen for this project, and now, sadly, I see they’re consolidating with their store in Berkeley and closing the local shop. I finally stopped procrastinating about ordering online and followed the link on Honestly WTF to Ornamentea. What yummy colors: Emerald, Turquoise, Cobalt, Lavender, Garnet and Pomegranate.
I understand about wanting to start crafting something right away. Go ahead and purchase supplies locally if you can. But think about looking online and placing a little supply order for some waxed linen and beads so you can make more, beautiful bracelets. The supplies will arrive before you know it and you can start braiding these sweet, little bracelets.
The closure is a button so you don’t even need any special findings or tools. Just the waxed Irish linen, the beads, a button and if you want, a little charm.
I think the clever and creative ladies at Honestly WTF must be especially dexterous. I’m good with my hands and I’ve made a lot of things but I can’t manage to do some of these macrame and braided bracelets unless I tape them down or pin them to something. I always feel like I just don’t have enough fingers!
By the way – I made most of the bracelets using 8/0 seed beads but in several of the photos, including the one above, I used flat spacer beads made out of nickel which you can also find here at Ornamentea.
When I first tried making this bracelet it didn’t look anything like their photos. I kept undoing it and starting over. So I read through the directions carefully and made another attempt and it finally worked! I’m hoping my directions and pictures will help you do it right the first time.
Here’s how you can make your own Beaded Braid Bracelet.
Beaded Braid Bracelet
1.5 yards Irish Waxed Linen (4 ply, aprox. 1mm in diameter)
55 to 70 8/0 size Seed Beads
1 2-hole Button (aprox. 1/2 inch, or between 10 and 13 mm)
1 Small Charm (optional)
Tape (optional but highly recommended) to tape your bracelet to your work surface – I found it difficult to hold it while I tried to add beads, keep the braid tight and keep the bracelet from twisting. Washi tape is just the thing for keeping the bracelet in place while you work. Masking tape or painters tape would also work.
The 1.5 yards of cord is a little more than you’ll need but it is easier to work with and have a little to trim off than to skimp and be just a bit short.
Cut the Irish waxed linen cord into two pieces: one of 26 inches and one of about 18 inches.
Fold the longer piece in half, lining up the two ends evenly. Take the shorter piece and line one end up with the other two and curve the other end around the fold of the longer piece forming the loop which is one end of your bracelet.
In the picture below you can see the longer piece folded in half. The shorter piece has one end lined up with the two ends of the long cord and the short end bending around the fold of the long cord.
Hold the two cords together at the bended end, forming a two-strand loop.
Tie a knot about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from the loop. In the picture below, I’ve tried to mark where you first tie a knot… (follow the PINK tape) than you trim the short tail off, just below the knot (follow the neon green tape).
Which leaves you with with a double loop of cord, a knot and three strands ready for braiding.
(Side note on braiding. I assumed you would know how to braid. If you’d like directions on braiding three strands, you can go here. You just keep repeating the steps until you have the length of braid you want, which in this case is about1/2 inch as follows.)
Already know how to braid? Continue here: Braid the three strands tightly together for about 1/2 inch. At this point I find it easiest to tape it to my work surface to I can keep the braid fairly straight and even.
Now you will start adding beads to each strand as you cross them over. Start with the left side and put a bead on the cord.
The trick with this bracelet is pushing the bead all the way to the base of the braid and when you cross the cord to the center of the braid, the bead should be behind the x made with those two pieces of cord.
In the picture, above, I put my first bead on the left side. It isn’t pushed all the way down here. In the next picture I’ve pushed it down to the base and crossed the left cord over the center cord.
You can see the two cords make a little X with the cord that is now on the left pushing back on the bead. The next bead is added on the right and that cord will than cross to the center.
Again, the bead is pushed tightly to the base of the braid and the cord is crossed to the center with the cord now on the far right pushing the bead back and the two cords forming the X in front of the bead.
Continue adding a bead before each time you cross the cord to the center. Push the bead down than cross the cord to the center, keeping the bead behind the X of the cords and keeping the braid tight. The wax on the cord helps keep the braid snug and the beads in place.
This next step is optional – I am not sure it really saved me time, and I don’t think saving time is really my goal when I’m crafting. But you can try it if you like: once you have the rhythm of adding a bead and crossing the cord over you can add several beads to each strand, pushing them tightly down one at a time as before.
Other people have told me they enjoy doing it this way. I found I would get lost trying to figure out which strand I was on. So again, this is an optional step.
Either way, continue beading until you’ve reached your desired length, keeping in mind that after the beaded section you’ll still have another half inch or so of braided cord and the button. I don’t want a tight bracelet so I measure my wrist and add about 1 inch to that length to get my finished size.. You can un-tape your bracelet from your work surface and measure on your own wrist or, once you’ve got one completed that is the right size, measure against that one.
Finish the bracelet with a half inch of plain braid (without beads) like at the beginning. Add a charm if you want.
Braid a bit more after the charm so it doesn’t get lost under the button. Tie the three strands in a knot and slide on the button – 1 cord through 1 hole and two cords through the other hole.
Tie a knot on the other side of the button. Pull the strands apart to tighten the knot.
Trim the ends and you’re done!
Make some more. Stack them together or wear them with other bracelets. Like these.
The bracelet with spacer beads is made the same but the spacer beads are narrower than the 8/0 gauge ones so it takes a few more beads to make a bracelet.
Thanks for the visit. Let me know if you make one of these fun bracelets!
UPDATE: Check out my Readers’ Gallery to see pictures of some great bracelets made by readers’ of my blog.