Repurpose An Old Bracelet!

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For today’s project, we’re gonna take a random old bracelet and give it a little makeover!

One of my favorite things about this type of project is that it doesn’t require a lot of time or money.  You can make your bracelet as elaborate or as simple as you’d like, but for the sake of readability, I decided to go for something simple.  If you want a quick little craft project that’ll help repurpose some old jewelry into something fun and new, read on!

IMG_1118What You’ll Need:

  • Chain Bracelet.  The one I used here was just a random old bracelet that I picked up at a thrift store or garage sale a while back and never wanted to wear.)
  • Beads.  If you’re looking for something in particular, head on over to your local craft store or bead shop to pick out something fun and new.  If you’re strapped for cash, you can still do this project!  Check out your local thrift store for used jewelry, or better yet, just take apart an old beaded necklace that you never wear anymore.
  • Pliers.  You’ll need the needle nose kind as well as a pair of round nose pliers.
  • Jewelry Wire or Headpins.  Headpins are great to use if you’re just applying regular beads that you want to dangle off of your bracelet, like this.  Wire, however, will be better to use if you would like your bead to be secured to the bracelet on both sides (like mine).  If you choose to use wire, choose a gauge that’s thin enough to be able to bend (and to fit through the holes of your beads), but thick and durable enough to be able to hold on the beads.   Be sure to cut your wire pieces long enough that you can comfortably create one loop, string the wire through your bead, then create another loop on the other side.

What To Do:

  1. IMG_1120First begin by laying out your supplies.  Take a look at the beads you’ve acquired, and begin laying them out into a pattern.  (I only used one type of bead for this project for simplicity’s sake, but feel free to choose as many different beads as you’d like).
  2. Once you’re ready to start applying your beads, start with the largest beads first.  Insert the wire (or headpin) through the hole of your bead.
  3. Stick the end of the wire through one link of your chain.
  4. Use your round nose pliers to create a 90 degree bend in the wire.
  5. Continue holding the wire with your round nose pliers.  With your other hand, wrap the end of the wire around the barrel of your round nose pliers to form a loop.
  6. Once you’ve looped your wire, remove the pliers and adjust it so that the link of your chain is trapped inside the loop.  (I like to hold the straight side of the wire in one hand, with the bracelet dangling from the loop at the bottom.)  Insert the tip of your round nose pliers back into the loop (place them on top of the chain link).  Bend the wire so that the loop is closed.
  7. IMG_1123Using your other set of pliers (or your fingers), grab the remaining part of the wire and wrap it around the part of the wire that’s between your bead and your loop a couple of times.  (If you’re new to jewelry making or need more clarification, there’s a great step-by-step tutorial with illustrations on how to make a wrapped loop here.)
  8. If you’re just applying a dangly bead, that’s it!  If you’re securing your beads to the chain (like mine), use this method to attach your wire to your bead in both places.  For beads that have two sets of holes (like the ones I used), do this for each hole to secure them.
  9. Repeat steps 2-8 until all of you beads are attached to the chain.

You’re done!

Now get out there and show off your pretty “new” bracelet!

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