Every day it seems my jewelry making life changes in ways I would have never imagined.
I'm loving stretch bracelets right now, and a few years ago - I would have scoffed at the idea. I feel so much better as I open up to the possibilities of each material.
But, with each new material comes learning the ins and outs of how to make the most of it.
Here's what I think I've learned about making strech elastic bracelets so far.
1. Use the thickest elastic that will fit through your beads.
I've followed the same philosophy with wire as well. It looks neater, feels more secure and I am guessing will result in a higher quality finished product.
Use quality elastic too. I use Stretch Magic. My most used sizes of elastic are .7 mm and 1mm.
2. If the only elastic that fits seems too thin for the weight of the bead, find another use for those beads.
Not all beads can be used on a stretch bracelet. There are plenty of ways to still use these beads on a stretch bracelet securely, like stringing the front on soft flex or wire and then adding a section of beads strung on elastic for the back half of the bracelet. Think outside the box and don't compromise on the quality!
3. Pre-Stretch your elastic before stringing.
I don't know how many other people do this, but a pet peeve of mine is seeing a stretched out elastic bracelet with space between the beads or sagging on the wrist. Gently run your fingers down and pull the elastic taut from end to end before stringing. Depending on the thickness of the elastic, it will stretch a little or a lot. I find thinner elastics stretch more - but you don't want to remove all the give, so be gentle.
4. Use a surgeon's knot to keep the knot from slipping or untying.
A surgeon's knot is like a square knot with an extra pull through. It's used for securing sutures. It works.
5. Add a drop of crazy glue to the knot ends if you think it still might slip.
Your mileage may vary on this one. It works for me, and I wear test my jewelry for weeks, everyday, in the shower, sleeping in it, just to see how things will last in the worst conditions. Some people claim the glue breaks down the elastic. I haven't found that to be the case.
Another good glue to try is E6000. It stays flexible, unlike crazy glue.
6. Cover your knot if you can.
Grrrr. I just made a custom order and I didn't cover my knots. I want to run and get all of the bracelets back now that I've figured out a great way to do that. I'll show you my trick in a future post.
The easiest way to cover the knot is to slip it inside a bead after you've put that drop of crazy glue on it. BUT, if you've followed my first tip, it isn't going to fit! That means you'll need to cover it with another type of bead.
Please use the comments to let me know if you have a tip or trick that I didn't share. Also, if your stretch bracelets break - maybe you should read this: 7 Reasons Why Your Stretch Elastic Bracelets Break.
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