If you're looking for a gift with a personal touch, you can't beat the fun of a homemade Mexican name bracelet. They look effortlessly chic on everyone from children to adults, and always bring a touch of humour to an outfit. Put your craft skills to the test and organise a Mexican bracelet-making party to impress your friends, or simply design a few in secret for great surprise gifts.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Embroidery thread (3 colours)
- 1/3-inch-by-4-inch thin plastic sheet
Cut a thin sheet of plastic into a narrow bracelet-shaped, 1/3-inch-by-4-inch strip. Cut a narrow slit at the top of one end.
Choose which colour you would like as the bracelet's block colour and insert the end into the slit of the plastic sheet. For the purposes of illustration, this will be called "Thread A." Tie the thread around the width of the sheet and fasten with a knot.
Pick the colour you want to use for the letters and cut six threads to 8 inches in length. Lay the six threads side-by-side along the length of the plastic with an even amount of thread dangling off at both ends. Take Thread A and begin to wind tightly around the six threads along the length of the bracelet.
Wind Thread A around one-third of the length of the bracelet. Pull all threads taut and make sure that Thread A is tightly wound with no visible gaps.
To introduce the third colour ("Thread B"), lay it along the length of the bracelet and wind Thread A around it several times to hold it in place. Cut Thread A when the new colour is firmly in place.
Now you are ready to begin inserting letters. The six underlying threads are the ones that make up the body of each letter. Create a letter by weaving Thread B between the initial six threads to reveal the chosen letter shape. For example, to get the letter F, you will first need to weave Thread B underneath all six threads twice. Next weave Thread B over the top of all three bottom threads, under the fourth, over the fifth and under the top thread. Repeat this weave five times to complete the letter F. For thicker letters simply weave extra layers.
Weave other letters in the same way -- this gets easier with practice.
When you have finished spelling out the name, reintroduce the block colour of Thread A in the same way that you introduced Thread B. Lay Thread A against the plastic sheet and wind Thread B tightly around it to keep it in place.
Cut Thread B when you are ready to complete the third section of the bracelet. Continue winding Thread A around the plastic sheet all the way to the end. Ensure that there are no gaps.
Cut a slit into the sheet when you reach the end and wind Thread A through to keep it in place. Then cut Thread A.
Take a lighter and carefully burn the end of the plastic sheet on both ends -- making sure that you have moved the remainder of the six threads away from the flame. Run the flame quickly over the bracelet so that you get the desired effect without setting it on fire. This should melt everything together and keep the ends firmly in place without burning the thread. Trim any loose ends.
Braid the remaining six threads that are dangling over each edge of the woven and plastic body of the bracelet. Braid all the way to the end and seal each end with a knot. Place over your wrist and tie both ends together to complete your fun Mexican name bracelet.
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