Monday, July 1, 2013

Bead Loom Bracelets

I have to admit, when I put "Make Bead Loom Bracelets" on our 101 Things to do This Summer list, I wasn't sure of what Bubba's reaction would be. After all, bracelets are for "giiiirlsss." However, I shouldn't have worried, Bubba loved making his bracelet! To give credit where credit is due, I got this idea from Making Friends

Look at that concentration!

This was some great hand-eye coordination and great for fine motor control

 Even The Little Princess had fun stringing the beads, though I had to do the rest for her.
Note to self, when taking pictures of the
Little Princess for the blog, fix her hair first!
Look at these great works of art! 
(Don't ask me why the picture is sideways)
 "Great pictures of the Daleks," you say. "But tell us how you made them! The bracelets we mean." Alright, alright, hold your horses!

First of all, cost. This wasn't free for me, but only because I did not have beads or string on hand. I spent,  maybe, $6 on the pony beads and string. Other things needed, are a ruler, pencil, scissors, tape (I used painter's tape. I love painter's tape. Seriously, I use it for ev-er-y-thing!), a metal yarn needle (not pictured), and a shallow box (I used a sandwich cracker box which wasn't quite long enough for a bracelet with beads all the way around. I'm thinking a cereal box with one side cut out would be perfect for next time.)

 After you've gathered all of your supplies, measure out 1/4 inch intervals along one side of the box. Repeat on the opposite side of the box. Remember to make one more mark than beads wide you are going to use. In other words, we were using five beads across, so I needed six marks.

Next, make a small cut on each of those lines.

Next, tape the string to the back of the box about half way up the box. If you don't, one of the strings will be too short when finishing the bracelets. (Yeah, made that mistake when making the Daleks' bracelets. I was still able to make it work, but this would have been a lot easier!)

 Turn the box over and begin threading the string through the first cut. Bring it across to the other side and thread the string through the corresponding cut on that side of the box. Bring the string around the back of the box and come back up the side you began on. Don't pull so tight that you bend the box. It's okay for it to be a little loose. It will tighten up as you go. Repeat until you have threaded all six cuts.
It should look something like this.

 After threading the last slit, bring the string around to the back of the box, about half way up. Cut off the string and tape it to the back of the box. I put the tape across all of the strings to make it a little more secure, but it isn't really necessary.
With me so far? Good!

 Cut another piece of string 18-20 inches long and tie it in a big ol' square knot on the bottom right hand corner of your loom, leaving a 2" tail. (Side note, of you're a lefty, you may want to tie it to the bottom left.) Then, slide the knot all the way down, so it is touching the box. Don't worry about that big tail, we'll tuck it away later.

 Now, the fun begins! Thread five beads onto your string and bring the thread under all the threads in your loom. Bring each of the beads up through the "holes" in the loom.

 Now, go back through each of the beads, this time making sure the thread goes above each of the threads in the loom. (The Daleks found it was easier if the string was on a metal yarn needle, but it can be done without.)

As you can see, by going under the strings and then over, the beads will stay in place.
 Slide the row of beads all the way down the loom, so it is touching the box, and pull the string taught. Don't pull so tight that the string on the left start to be pulled into the beads. It should be just taught enough so there are no loops on the ends.

Continue to string beads in any pattern you like. You can even freestyle it like the Daleks did.

When the bracelet is the desired length, tie off your string in another big ol' square knot, close as you can to the last bead. Cut the thread leaving a 2" tail. Using the needle, tuck the tails on both ends of your bracelet through the closest row of beads.

Turn the box over, remove the tape, and cut the strings at the center of the box.

Remove the bracelet from the loom and lay it on a flat surface.

Tie each end into another big ol' knot.

Finally, tie the ends together. At this point I feel I should mention, if this is a project that your little Dalek will love and wear often, you can at this point use bracelet clasps, found in any craft store, to finish off the bracelet. I knew my Daleks would wear them for a day or two and then forget about them, so knots are just fine.

Enjoy your work of art!

By the way, did y'all notice the white background in the pictures? Don't you like it more than my kitchen table? I'm going to have to remember to do this every time I take photos!

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