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Monday, April 8, 2013

Faux-Bangle Bracelets

By: Kandis Hamrick

I adore bangles, in part because I have a fascination with Indian culture. I bought a few bangles after spending an entire weekend watching Bollywood movies, but it was difficult for me to find bangles that both fit and that I liked. Then I had gone to a thrift store one day and I saw what looked like a set of bangles that I loved. When I picked it up, however, it turned out to be one continuous bracelet made with memory wire so it could coil around your wrist without the need to mangle your hand putting it on. I was inspired so I went to the craft store and got memory wire and an assortment of beads.

The bracelet above was the original which served as our inspiration. I made several bracelets with a dear friend while she was in town and once we had that down, I invited some of the other divine ladies over for a bracelet making party. First we gathered our materials.

Next, cut the wire to the desired length. Memory wire will maintain it's shape, so we judged the length based on how many times it was coiled. If you  want a smaller bracelet that looks like only four bangles, then you'll use four rounds. Next you need to bend one end of the wire to act as your bead stop. In the original bracelet, this was just a loop at the end that also had a bead dangling from the end. We used some small pliers to bend our ends; we used charms at the ends on some, but left others with just the loop as a bead stop.

Once your end is finished, start putting your beads on the other end. You'll want to use your fingers to hold the beads at the top long enough for you to make sure you like the pattern you're creating first. Be careful not to tangle your coiled wire when you push the beads further down the wire.

When you've reached the end of your bracelet, you'll want to leave just enough wire to create a second loop to finish the bracelet, probably 1/4-1/2" of wire depending on how big your loop is. Use wire cutters to trip the excess and you're done!

This is fun and simple project that can be done fairly quickly. These make great gifts and would be fun project for kids too if you used larger beads. Below are the other bracelets we've made so far if you need some more inspiration. Some had a color scheme or theme in mind while others went more for the element of chaos. There's not right or wrong here, so just have fun with it!

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