Jul 29, 2011

The Five Strand Braided Bracelet

Here's something you might not know about me:

I love the look of a big chunky bracelet.
I know, wild, right?  The only thing is, I don't wear them very often because I find most uncomfortable.  Either they're too tight and clingy, or heavy and distracting, or I feel like they make my hand look...weird.  

While chatting with a friend the other evening, I noticed she was wearing a large yet stunning bracelet.  Throughout the evening my eyes kept wandering back to her beautifully adorned wrist and it hit me - what if I made a big chunky bracelet that was comfortable?  It would have to be light weight, noise free, soft, and not too constricting to my apparently claustrophobic wrists.  And so, with a plan in my head and an old thrift store t-shirt, I came up with the Five Strand Braided Bracelet.
Gracious, I am SO not a hand model!

So, I know the whole, five strand braid sounds a little intimidating, but it's really not too scary.  With a quick little lesson and a moment or two of practice, you'll have it down, no reason to worry!

For my bracelet I cut 15 strips from a thrift store t-shirt.  Each strip measured about 10 inches long, and approximately 1/2 inch wide.

Break the 15 strips into 5 groups of 3.  These groups create the five strands for your braid.

As a variation, you could just cut 5 strips, about an inch wide.  I did the groups of three to give my bracelet more texture and a little variation.

Layer your five groups of braid strands together.  Don't stack them directly on top of each other, but kind of fan them out.  To hold the strands in place I used a small chip clip, but pins would work too.

With a straight seam, sew your strands together making sure that you catch each strand so they're all secure.

So, here's the five strand braiding lesson, ready?  There is one main thing you need to know about five strand braiding, the position numbers always stay the same.  So, when strand number 5 goes over strand number 4, strand number 4 is now in position 5, so it has become strand 5.  The pattern is simple once you get the hang of it, it just takes a round or two of practice.  

Here's the pattern:

Step 1: Strand 5 goes over strand 4 and under strand 3.  

Step 2: Strand 1 goes under strand 2 and over strand three.

Remember that each of your newly placed strands are numbered by their new position, not by their old number.

Continue by repeating steps 1 and 2 until your braid is complete.

Once you reach the end of your braid, either pin it or clip it and sew the strands in place again.

Once all your strands are nice and secure, bring each end of the braid together to form a circle and sew it in place.  Trim the loose ends.

Turn the bracelet so the seam is on the inside and slip it on.  Because of the soft stretchy t-shirt fabric this bracelet is incredibly comfortable, easy to put on or take off, and it looks great too! 

 I'm so excited about my newest accessory!  I plan on making a rainbow of colors to mix and match.  These would make fantastic gifts for friends, and are just the right size to slip into a stocking come Christmas time. 

Thanks for stopping by today, have a great weekend!

Be blessed,

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Racheal said...

Love it!

Marilyn said...

Beautiful Jen...

Lindsay said...

So fun! I love the braided look, it's just adorable!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way!

Cristy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Love the bracelet idea. It looks great, I was wondering how you would join it>

LOTCP said...

I have been wanting to make some of these chunky bracelets too! Love your tut photos :-)