Tapestry Bracelets: DIY Project That Also Makes a Great Gift

April 28, 2020

Tapestry Bracelets: DIY Project That Also Makes a Great Gift


Who knew everyone's favorite home decor was also a jumping-off point for bespoke jewelry that you can make yourself?

If you like the look of cuff bracelets and you're a textile freak who is into weaving, you can combine the two interests into a DIY project that also makes a great gift.

If the artisans can make unusual items with beautiful details, who says you can't make a name for yourself doing the same?

Pop a shopping list into your handbag and grab your keys before heading out to gather your supplies.

Read on for a collection of options and tips to make beautiful items and cuffs inspired by tapestry, but at a lower price.


A LOOM ON YOUR WRIST

LOOM ON YOUR WRIST

One of the ways of making a tapestry bracelet is to start with a bracelet cuff "loom" and then weave embroidery thread into art inspired by tapestries that will look amazing when worn.

You begin by looping embroidery thread vertically between the top and bottom parts of the cuff. This is called the weft - it's one of the keys to understanding weaving.

You can use all one color or mix colors - the sky's the limit for making this item if you are fun and creative. When you've strung all the weft threads, it's time to weave.

Thread a tapestry needle and weave it over and under the vertical threads, using the tip to direct the needle.

This strand is called the warp, and it loops around the final weft to start a new row below. You can weave as many or as few colors as you'd like to create a simple pattern (you can go a lot of ways depending on your picture, the end product) or a variety of fun designs.

When you've woven to your heart's content, it's time to knot the ends and trim them carefully (but not too closely, you don't want the stitches to unravel).

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If you are a beginner and would like more care and detailed instructions on this method,check out this tutorial.


BEADED TAPESTRY BRACELET

BEADED TAPESTRY BRACELET

This method requires a special loom and materials, but the result is stunning.

This bead cuff bracelet pattern mixes beadwork with tapestry, and it makes impressive gifts for friends or anyone who appreciates textiles, exotic motifs, and handmade fashion.

If you would like the kit, check out the Mirrix Loom. You can purchase a jewelry kit on the site, which includes a small loom if you don't have one already.

You will need a 3 mm cotton cord, which you will use as a frame for the bracelet. You will be wrapping the cords around a circular mold that fits your wrist, or the wrist of the person for whom you are making the jewelry.

Pay attention to the size of the item.

The bracelet should not be too tight, but tight enough not to slip too far up your arm.

If you don't have a specialty frame, you can use an item like a cardboard tube or a small jar as your mold (the price is right if you can find an object around your home to repurpose for this).

Once you have the item or mold ready, wrap the cord and place a wooden button at one end. This item will be your clasp. You can sew the button to the cord at a loop.

Choose a two-holed button for ease of attachment to the loop. Wood looks beautiful on this kind of item.

Once you've done this, you can remove the cords and the button from the mold.

Next, take the foundation of your bracelet and tie one loop end (without the button) to the top of the loom and the other end with the button to the bottom. You are almost ready to start weaving.

It's best to start with the plain weave. Like in the previous method, you are going weave the threads over and under the vertical threads. Start the weaving at the top of the work, and work your way down.

At the start, the weave may be a little bit loose and untidy.

Don't worry.

We will fix this! Continue to work down the tapestry item.

After each pass across the work, gently pull the loose end to tighten the string.

This takes practice and care and a little bit of luck - as you work through the process, you will get a feel for how tightly to pull, and your edges will look neater.

All artisans have to begin somewhere - everything takes practice.

Once you're done, the next step is to tighten the vertical threads. Place the large tapestry needle over the loose ends at the loop end of the weave.

You can draw some tension on the weave and tighten up the vertical strings just a bit, so everything is even. Don't over-tighten.

You want the horizontal strand loops big enough for the button or closure item! Test this before finishing the weave.

For extra safety, you may opt to use a thinner needle and string to secure the end of the lines by sewing a few stitches through the cords.

Once you have reached halfway down the item, you can start to bring another color to enhance the design.

Continue with the new color until you get to the bottom of the loom where your button is.

Secure the end of the new thread by looping and sewing the ends to the same place where you sewed the button to the cord. You now have a finished tapestry woven bracelet!

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OTHER BRACELET IDEAS USING BEADS

OTHER BRACELET IDEAS

If you love the look of beaded tapestry bracelets, this tutorial from Art Beads will walk you through making gorgeous pieces that you can gift.

These tapestry cuff bracelets are unique creations that will spark attention from people who see them and want to know the details.

Tapestry beaded bracelets are also versatile - there are a million ways to wear them, so you have options.

You can go fancy with pearls and blinged-out rings, minimalist with a black dress and handbag, or casual with jeans and scarves.

The main thing is to let the piece of tapestry jewelry shine and project your unique style.

To make this piece, you'll need some seed beads, a smooth ribbon end crimp, a medium trigger clasp, and 12 jump rings.

Check your hobby shop or jewelry-making supply store for options and prices.

The patterns on the web site suggest three hue options for this design, but you can go your own ways and choose things that will help customize the design to your looks at a price that works for you.

The basics are in the tutorial, but you could turn it into a charm bracelet with the addition of different kinds of charms. You could also make tapestry necklaces using this tutorial, which also makes great gifts that are priceless.

There are many options and ways to spark your creativity (and making is a form of self-care!).

You'll want a beading loom for this tapestry project, which you can also find options for at a craft shop.

There are lots of other options for beautiful tapestry inspired items to add to your collection at a low price.

If you're recycling-minded, part of the fun might be to find any item you can re-purpose - like scarves or a worn-out cloth handbag that you can cut into ribbons and turn into a unique fiber item.

Crochet handbags are also easy to make and will get you into the realms of fiber arts - you might make three or four before you're ready to find other ways to be creative.

Picture yourself making necklaces with beautiful charms and gifting a tapestry charm bracelet that you made yourself to your loved ones.

Attach a handmade piece to your handbag. There are many types of ways to express your creativity without having to pay a high price.

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Sara Phillipps
A vegan freelance web designer and blog writer based out of Austin, Texas USA.


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