Sunday, June 23, 2013

DIY Bollywood Bracelets

Recently I saw an ad on Facebook for "Bollywood Bracelets" selling for around $20 + a pop.  These bracelets were made of brightly colored fabric braided with a shiny notion of some sort.  I figured I could make them much more easily and cheaply.  I was right!  And I got everything I needed in one stop at my local big box craft store. Here's how:

What you need:

  • 1/4 yd fabric (you can use a cotton fat quarter like we did, or you could get some cool old shirts from your local thrift shop and cut them up!) You'll actually need way less, but fat quarters are handy.
  • 1/2 yd trim/notion string (if your wrists are small you could likely get by with 1/4 yd)
  • Ribbon crimp ends (ask for these at the store if you need help - I suggest med or large size)
  • Jump rings
  • Some sort of bracelet closure that can be attached via jump ring - we used magnetic closures
  • Hot glue gun w/glue
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Iron & ironing surface (I used a hand towel on top of my crafting table)
  • Liquid stich (optional)

Step One:
Cut your fabric into strips about an inch to an inch and a half wide depending on how wide you want your bangle when you end up - keep in mind we'll be folding these in thirds though.

Step Two:
With fabric face down on your ironing surface, fold one edge in to about the middle and iron it flat.  Fold the second edge in over that one, again ironing it flat.  Do this to both strips.  You'll thus end up with two little fabric "ribbons".  Below the one on the far left is what you'll see when you iron them.  The one in the middle is "face up".  This is where you can use your liquid stitch to seal them shut if you want to.  I don't mind mine fraying and looking a little rustic so I chose not to. (NOTE: if you're using old shirts make sure they are cotton or another ironable fabric.)

Step Three:
Safety pin your three bracelet sections together (strip of fabric, notion, strip of fabric).  Begin braiding them together keeping your tension relatively tight.

Step Four:
Once you reach your desired length (remember you'll be adding on about an inch of length with your clasp and findings) cut your remaining fabric/notion off while pinching the braid closed.  Take the ends and hot glue them together allowing the glue to cool before moving on to the next step.  Try not to hot glue your fingers.  You will - but try not to.   Remove safety pin and glue your starting end in the same manner.

Step Five:
Take one of your ribbon crimp ends and place it over one end of your bracelet using pliers to pry it open a bit if necessary.  Using pliers, crimp the end over the bracelet tightly, hopefully getting some of the cool-ish glue in there in the process.  Do this to the other end as well.

Step Six:
Using pliers, pull open two jump rings and place them through the loop on the end of the crimp end.  Before closing the jump ring, put one end of your clasp inside the jump ring, then using pliers, smoosh it closed.

All done!!  Look at you fancy pants!

Here are the ones I made with my girls today.  All of this stuff INCLUDING the glue gun and glue was under $50 (and could have been even less if we'd use cheaper notion strips)