ECT TV Episode 1: Elastic Stretch Bracelet

How to make a stretch braceletI’m so excited to present to you ECT TV Episode 1!

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How I got my start making jewelry (and started again).
  • How to make an elastic stretch bracelet (my first jewelry creations, in honor of the first episode.)
  • A tip for thrift store shopping to get inexpensive beads (or if you don’t have a bead store near by)

Here’s the video:

As promised, here is the photographic tutorial, which includes an extra tip to customize even more!  (If you are a newsletter subscriber, I will send the tutorials to you each week via PDF, easier to print and take to your work table.)

How to make a stretch braceletTools and Materials:

For extra customization, you’ll need these additional tools and materials (optional):

  • Charms – I used heart charms from my collection
  • 7 mm jump rings
  • Chain nose pliers and bent nose pliers (or 2 pair of pliers of your choice really)

The first part of this tutorial is the same as the video tutorial.  The end (for extra customization) is additional and not in the video!

Step #1

How to Make a Stretch BraceletCreate your bracelet design and lay it out.  You can use just all the same bead or any combination you like.  If you’re using just one bead and making a solid bracelet, this isn’t necessarily required.

A note about choosing beads:  Choosing beads with a larger hole will make it a lot easier to bead on the elastic cord.

Step #2

Cut the elastic cord to the desired length.  To figure out the size, measure around your wrist and then add at least a few inches on each side.  If this is your first stretch bracelet, add even more to the ends to make it easier to tie the knot.

Step #3

How to Make a Stretch BraceletString the beads onto the cord.

Step #4

Tie the ends in a knot.  I’m going to use colorful yarn here so you can see how to actually make this knot.

How to Make a Stretch BraceletHow to Make a Stretch BraceletStart a regular knot:  cross the ends and then pull one end through the loop.  (It’s like when you’re starting to tie your shoes)

How to Make a Stretch BraceletDo the same again, but do not pull it tight yet!

How to Make a Stretch BraceletTake one end and pull it through the loop and through again.

How to Make a Stretch BraceletAnd then do it with the other end.

How to Make a Stretch BraceletPull the knot tight.  Pull both the ends of the cord and the cord that’s hold the beads to pull tight at the same time.

Step #5

How to Make a Stretch BraceletPull on the bracelet a few times and make sure the knot is secure.  (If it slips, then try the knot again.)

Once it’s secure, cut off the excess cord and then hide the knot inside a bead.

That’s it!

Extra customization:

How to Make a Stretch BraceletOkay, grab a few charms and jump rings and your pliers and you can spice this up even more!

Step #6

How to Make a Stretch BraceletOpen a jump ring.  Hold the jump ring with 2 pliers (I’m using chain nose and bent nose pliers).  The opening of the jump ring should be centered and the pliers on each side.

(Or watch a short video on how to properly open and close jump rings here.)

Step #7

How to Make a Stretch BraceletPush one pair of pliers back and pull one forward, maintaining the circle of the jump ring and open it.

Step #8

How to Make a Stretch BraceletSlide a charm on the jump ring.

Step #9

How to Make a Stretch BraceletPlace the jump ring on the bracelet between 2 beads.  Close the jump ring just like you opened it, but opposite.

Step #10

Repeat for however many charms you’d like to add.

*Alternatively, you could place the charms on jump rings and add them to the bracelet as you are beading it.

Step #11

How to make a stretch braceletEnjoy your new bracelet!

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  1. Susan Stratton says:

    Great tutorial! But I have a question – why must you use jump rings to add the charms? Why can’t you simply use the ring that is already part of the charm, and string the elastic through that?

    • Kimberlie says:

      Hi Susan, Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, you can definitely use the jump ring on the charm if it has a jump ring. However, if you don’t plan ahead and want to add the charms later, you can open the jump rings and add them. If you get charms without jump rings (which is often the case for me anyway….) you will probably want to use jump rings so that you can see the charms and they’re not lost in the bracelet, if that makes sense. If you just use the hole on the charm the charm may not be able to be seen next to the beads.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

    • Kimberlie says:

      Hi Susan,
      I have never actually had a name for it, to be honest. I just quickly did a search and watched a video on what a surgeon’s knot is, and it seems like almost the same thing.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Susan says:

    Kim, thanks for answering my questions so quickly! I am a total beginner at making jewelry, and I am about to try making my first bracelets. I have saved your tutorial on my “Favorites” list, so I refer back to it. 🙂

    Do you have any favorite bead/charm websites that you like to buy jewelry supplies from, and can recommend? I am about to buy some charms from “”.

    • Kimberlie says:

      Hi Susan,

      I’m so glad you’re getting started! It’s so much fun! I like a lot. My favorite bead shop is So many beautiful and interesting beads from around the world there!

      Good luck to you!

  3. Susan says:

    Hi Kim, I attempted to make my first bracelet last night, but had a really hard time with tying the knot. The elastic is SO thin! I have small fingers, and still had so much difficulty with it. Then when I finally managed to tie the knot – the whole thing came flying apart, when I pulled on it to test how secure it was – obviously not very! It was such a bummer, because the bracelet looked so pretty. But I guess it just takes practice, like anything else we learn to do.

    Any advice on this? Maybe the elastic cord I chose is too thin? I bought Stretch Magic cord, in the 0.7mm size. The instructions also said that adding glue to the knot is optional. Do you ever glue the knot, and if so, which type of glue is best?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Kimberlie says:

      I’m sorry you had trouble. I hope I can help.

      I used 0.5mm Elasticity Bead Cord by Beadalon. I’ve only ever used this type and brand. Maybe getting a larger diameter cord will help. Or try doubling the elastic cord you have. Just hold the two strands together and bead and knot as one.

      Here’s a tip for tying the knot — leave a lot of extra elastic cord at the ends until you get used to tying the knot. You can cut off the excess after its tied. Just keep the knot really loose while you’re actually doing the wraps on the knot and then pull it really tight.

      {and that is why I say to pull on it to test! Much better it fly apart at home than while you’re out and about!}

      I have heard about adding glue to the knot, but I have never done it.

      I would suggest for you to watch me showing how to tie the knot again to make sure you got it and try leaving longer ends on the elastic cord and see how you make out.

      Let me know how it goes!

  4. Susan says:


    I finally learned how to tie the knots securely. But I seem to be making the bracelets either too long or too short. Either I’m cutting the elastic too long or short, from the start, or the problem happens when I tie the knot and shorten it too much or not enough, I guess. (I’m usually the type of person who learns best when I have someone sitting right next to me). 🙂

    Now I see why jump rings are needed on charms. They often don’t hang right, without jump rings. I have to go back to the craft store to get jump rings and pliers. Not sure about the correct size of jump rings, but I guess it’s trial and error until you know what you’re doing. Luckily, they are not expensive items, especially to practice with

    Do you have Michael’s craft stores in your area, and if so, do you like getting your supplies there? That is where I’ve been buying my supplies.

    Anyway, slowly but surely, I’m getting the hang of it! 🙂

    Thanks for all your help!

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