When I first saw Chan Luu wrap bracelets, I was pretty excited. Until I saw the price tag ($200+)!
These bracelets are great since they look like bangles but are much more comfortable. Because it is so long, it has a certain amount of flexibility to be worn as a necklace or anklet as well. It was very simple to make, and mine cost less than $15 in supplies and only took a few hours. The color combinations are endless - have fun with it!
Step 1: Supplies
All you need for this bracelet is:
• Leather cord (or any sturdy, thin cord): First figure out how many wraps you want to make. Measure that distance, double it, and add around 4' extra for the loops at the end. I found that four wraps on my wrist perfectly matched three wraps on my ankle, whereas five wraps on my wrist didn't work as an anklet. I needed roughly 2 yards.
• Beads: I used 4mm faceted czech glass beads. This online vendor seems to have a good selection, but any bead store would have these, and of course any type of bead will work! Similar bracelets I've seen use smaller beads than this, closer to 3mm.
• Nylon thread
• Beading needle: traditional or a separated eye style depending on the thickness of your nylon thread and size of beads.
• Button: the kind with a loop in back vs holes works best.
Step 2: Getting Started
Once you have determined your desired bracelet length (see previous step), cut your cord and fold in half with your button strung on at the center point.
Now it is time to start beading. Create a figure 8 around the two sides of cord and bead as shown. This is the most venerable part of the bracelet in terms of wear and tear, so start your first bead a short distance away from the button to reduce friction. I reinforced this first bead by wrapping the nylon thread through a few times.
Knot your thread, and you're ready to start. You can clean up the loose nylon thread end once the bracelet is almost finished.
Step 3: The Basic Stitch
Now comes the fun part. It may seem like a lot of beading, but it goes pretty quick. The basic stitch is to add a bead, wrap one side of the cord, go back through that bead, and around the other side of cord. Repeat!
While the stitch is simple, there are a few things I found in the process:
• Try to keep the stitches uniform in tightness
• Watch that the direction of the thread when you finish one bead and add the next always wraps in the same direction. You could also create an "x" effect by alternating which direction you wrap the cord between beads, but I preferred to keep it uniform.
• As you go along, I found the tightness of the two sides of cord would become uneven, causing it to bend. Periodically straighten things out.
• If you run out of thread, tie on a new piece with the knot close by the bead opening, and you can run the ends through when you're done.
Step 4: Finishing Up
Once you have reached your desired length, run the thread through the final bead a few times and tie it off. Run any loose threads through a few beads to tidy up. You can reinforce the knots with clear nailpolish if desired, but I didn't feel it was necessary on mine.
The last step is to knot your cord. I added three possible "settings" to give flexibility for how loose I want it. These are also useful if you would like to use your bracelet as an anklet or necklace, and the sizing needs a little wiggle room. Make the opening in between knots a little longer than the length of your button so it fits snuggly through, but isn't too difficult to open and close.
And with that, finito! Enjoy!