How to Make Bracelets with an Elastic Cord and Beads

Written by lauren vork
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How to Make Bracelets with an Elastic Cord and Beads
Stretchy bracelets are convenient, fun, and easy to make. (bracelet image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from

Elastic beading cord is one of the most useful innovations in jewellery making, especially when it comes to bracelets. Stretchy cord makes it easy to quickly put on and remove bracelets, but the material does provide a few challenges. To make your own elastic bracelets, get the length just right, and learn how to stop cord ends from fraying.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Elastic beading cord
  • Beads with large holes
  • Scissors
  • White craft glue

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  1. 1

    Snip off the very end of the cord to remove any frayed strings to make threading the beads easier.

  2. 2

    Test the elastic cord around your wrist to get the right length. Wrap the cord so that it reaches all the way around your wrist without needing to be pulled. There should be enough slack to insert a finger between the cord and your wrist without stretching the elastic, but the cord should be short enough that you need to stretch it to remove it. Mark this length with a knot in the cord, but cut the cord an inch and a half past the knot to make extra room for tying when you're finished. If you're using large beads, add an inch or so to the length above the knot; you can always trim if you have too much.

  3. 3

    Prepare the cord for beading. Rub some white glue into the end of the cord with your fingertips, pinching the cord to form it into a point while the glue is wet. Let the glue dry this way, making the point stiff. This will help you insert the cord into the beads' holes.

  4. 4

    Plan your bead design. Lay out the measured elastic cord on your work surface, formed into a circle. Lay your beads in a circle around the cord, and experiment with their arrangement until you get a design you like. For best results, use all identical beads or create a repeating pattern that's an inch long or less. If some of your beads are larger than others, use more large beads than small or an equal number of each.

  5. 5

    Pull the cord out from the middle of the circle of beads, and then thread the beads onto the cord in the correct order. Tie a knot after the last bead.

  6. 6

    To finish your bracelet, hold the two "tails" that extend beyond the knots on both ends of the bracelet. Press them together and stretch them out as a single length. Tie them together into one knot and pull tightly. If possible, tie a double knot. Trim the excess cord.

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