How to make copper bangle bracelets with large hole beads

July 1, 2011
stamped metal bracelet

One of Sondra’s bracelets from Bead & Button 2011.

Hello, bloglandia! Our sales manager, Sondra, was fortunate enough to attend Tracy Stanley’s “Bangles with a Message” class at Bead & Button last month. We’ve been oohing and ahhing over her wristful of chunky metal, so yesterday we got together and made some of our own bracelets.

For a sturdy yet slightly flexible bracelet base, we used 14 gauge copper wire. Start with about 10-11″ of wire. Simply form a large loop on one end with round nose pliers and hammer slightly. Slide on lots of large hole beads: 14 gauge wire is about 1.63mm, so your beads need to have holes that are at least 1.7mm big. Anything marketed as a Pandora or European-style bead will easily fit.

bangle bracelets made from copper wire

Mixed-metal mania bracelets are fun to wear en masse!

We mostly used metal, but trade beads, furnace glass and crystal all look great too. TierraCast has some especially nice large hole metal beads. You can also add coils of wire as decoration beneath floating beads, or as stoppers between beads. Shape the wire into a bracelet shape around your wrist and finish with another loop.

You can connect the two end loops together directly, connect them with jump rings or add a jewelry clasp. It is better to err on the small side, since a too-small bracelet can be extended with a jump ring or two, while a too-large bracelet will just go flying off your wrist!

Lindsey used a few jump rings to make her bangle fit her wrist – and a rooster to make it fit her personality!

A giant lobster clasp is easy to open/close.

A couple of other bracelet-making tips:

  • Patina your wire, decorative coils and other components before assembling your bracelet.
  • Be sure to file down any sharp wire points or metal edges.
  • Have a whole bunch of beads ready, because once you start, you’ll want to make a bunch!

Metal, metal and more metal!

Check out Tracy’s teaching schedule if you’re interested in learning how she makes stamped word charms to fit on bangles. Our new brass and copper strips will save you a lot of sawing and cutting time!

~Cindy

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Pam roach June 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Do you ever put these in a kit? Just love them!!!!

    • Reply Polly June 28, 2013 at 5:44 am

      Hi Pam,
      The basic ingredient is simply 14g wire, then any (large hole) beads you want. You can even user thinner wire and coil your own beads to space between more expensive beads.
      ~Polly

  • Reply Clare December 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Do you ever sell these?

    • Reply Polly December 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Clare,
      We just sell the parts to make jewelry; we don’t actually sell the completed items. You might be able to find something similar at your local mid- to high-end arts & crafts shows, local galleries that feature hand-made jewelry, or on etsy.com.
      ~Polly

  • Reply kimmi February 26, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I just love these! Pure awesomeness!!!

  • Reply Diane T March 15, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Where do you get the metal message beads? Thanks!

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