Words by Alyse Brower
Shots by Alyse Brower and Erika Buyanzaya Batbayar
So, you have decided that your outfit could be stellar, if you just had the perfect accessory. Or you have decided that you MUST express your inner hippie and counter-materialistic greenpeace worker by being able to dress up your wrists with bracelets you, “Made yourself.” This month’s Expat Expertise will walk through how to make a Chan-Luu inspired Wrap Bracelet. This is a very easily personalized project. Not only do you get to choose the beads, you get to choose the cording, closure and thread. In other words, your bracelet is guaranteed to be 100% yours. Also, it is just a great method to have in your mental arsenal, if you are at all inclined to make things yourself.
1) The first step is picking out and up your supplies. This step could take you anywhere from that pile of art junk that you have been meaning to get rid of to the streets of city. I hit both, stopping by both my favorite bead store in Namdaemun and underneath my bed. This is easily the most difficult step and not coincidentally where the personalization comes in. When you get to any bead store, you are going to be bombarded with choices. So many pretty beads, so little time. I have found it is helpful to go in with a game plan. Look at pinterest for color combinations that strike your fancy or reference the colors of jewelry that you already have a penchant for.
You will need to pick up a few things: Cording for the outside of the wrap bracelet, the beads that will be woven in and a closure, which can be anything from a charm to a large bead. The best way to determine how much cording and how many beads you will need it so measure them against your wrist, allott an extra inch or two for the knots at the beginning and end of your bracelet. The same goes for the beads, simply measure them against your wrist, get more for a longer bracelet or ones that wrap multiple times around your wrist. After procuring your supplies and gathering up the typical odds and ends (scissors, some thread and a needle) you will sit down to actually make your what-will-be-amazing bracelet!
2) You did it! You got all of your supplies, you have settled on a color pattern. The rest is easy from here! Take the cording that you purchased and tie a knot in the middle, creating a loop like this. You will want to make sure that your loop, which will become what closes your bracelet, fits the closure you have chosen. I checked it against my button and it fit!
3) Now, cut a nice amount of thread, I usually use about twice as much cording as I intend to fill. So, if my bracelet will be about 8 in., I will cut about 16 in. of thread. Tie a nice large knot at the end of the thread and thread the needle at the other end.
4) You will now take the knotted cording and feed the needle and thread through the middle of the loop and knot like this. Be sure to catch bits of the cording with the needle for a secure thread. After feeding the thread through cording, move your thread underneath the left strand of cording. Like this:
5) The next step makes up the majority of the process! Take the thread, which is underneath the left strand of cording and wrap it over, so that the thread lays on top of the cording. Thread on one of your beads, letting it lay in between the two strands of cording. Then, while the bead and thread are still laying overtop of the cording, loop the excess thread and needle underneath right strand of cording, through the bead and underneath the left strand of cording. This should lasso the bead to the right strand of cord, while it is anchored to the left. After wrapping the thread back over the left strand, you are good to go again!
6) After the bracelet has reached your desired length, tie off the thread. I usually thread back through my last bead and tie a knot with the thread and one of the strands of cording.
7) Tie a knot with the cords at the end of your beads, loop on your closure, in my case my button, and then tie another knot to secure the closure! Trim up excess threads and you are ready to go rock your new accessory!
If you try this tutorial, I would love to see your creations! Post them to our 10 Magazine facebook, to get copious compliments from a fellow DIYer!
From exit 5 of Hoehyeon Station (line 4), walk straight and make a right at the first big intersection. Walking towards Sungnyemun, Fashion City will be in a building called “Trillion.”