I have created my very first piece of beaded jewelry – a triple-wrap beaded leather bracelet!
I have seen these bracelets and love the look of them, especially with semi precious stones as the beads. I also know they are very popular and can be found all over Etsy as well as different stores for a wide variety of price points, but they looked fairly straightforward to me and I thought I could give it a try.
I have used a variety of stones like this in my bead embroidery, and knew I probably already had some of the supplies to get started.
I rooted through my bead box and found a nice stash of small, 4mm round Mookaite beads to use. According to the insert that came with them from the store:
“Mookaite is a jasper named after the local area it comes from, Mooka Creek in the Kennedy Ranges in Australia. Metaphysically, Mookaite is said to be a very protective stone, and is particularly good as an emotional protector. Hardness: 7”
Interesting! Regardless of metaphysical properties, nifty as they are, I love these stones mainly because they are multi-colored. The strands I have are a swirled with a warm range of colors from maroons and tan/gold, to warm white and dark brown. So pretty! With that in mind, I bought some dark brown leather cording at a craft store to go along with the warm-colored beads.
I did some web searching to find some details on how to make these and found both an online text tutorial as well as a YouTube video that were really helpful:
Without getting into too much detail (that’s what the tutorials are for) I used:
Fireline thread in a dark color to blend with the leather cord. It is much stronger than the Nymo thread they mention and works better for a bracelet like this. You can also use contrasting thread to make it stand out for a different look.
For the closure, a ‘vintage’ button from a tin of buttons from my grandmother’s stash that I inherited years ago.
I did not glue the thread down on the ends as recommended, though I probably would do so if making another one. Either that or more securely sew the end beads so there is a little less movement.
I read/watched both and basically just decided to jump in and see how it would go. I can’t emphasize enough that you should measure accurately! Twice I had to restart because I was short on thread and/or cord…in too much of a hurry! As my Dad always said, “measure twice, cut once!”
It only took me probably less than two hours to make (once I had the right length of thread, etc.), even with interruptions from the kids. It was pretty easy to do. One nice feature of these bracelets is that they can be made with an additional space or two at the end for the closure so that it can be adjusted to different wrist sizes. I can’t wait to make another one!
Have you ever made one of these? What is your favorite type of bead to use?