Anthropologie-Inspired Friendship Bracelet
Some time ago I had seen these bracelets at Anthropologie and I fell in love. Hard. But they were 50 bucks and I just wasn’t down with spending that kind of money on a friendship bracelet. Plus, I wasn’t over into the pyramid studs, either.
And then one day I noticed a pin where it showed the clearance price of less than SEVEN bucks for these guys and I was down. Super big time gonna get me one now spikes be darned! But they were sold out. Wah -wah.
So this past weekend I took it upon myself to make something similar. To be honest my chainmaille didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to (I was following a pattern and I STILL don’t understand what I did wrong) but I think it looks cool enough so I’ll show you how to make this patternless chain, too!
I’m not going to s how you how to braid here because that is an entirely different animal with a whole bunch of steps on its own. So, if you’re interested in learning to braid these bad boys you can go here to learn how to braid a bracelet with the chevron pattern and learn the details of the different knots (video) and you can go here to learn how to read some fancy schmancy patterns so you can have something awesome and different (video)!
If you’re totally not interested in braiding your own bracelets (and I wouldn’t blame you because they do take a considerable amount of time to knot up) you can purchase already made bracelets to craft with from Etsy or Ebay. The braid you see most in this tutorial is one I purchased from Etsy. The other coral and mint is one I made myself in that video for how to read the patterns. But let’s get on with this, shall we?
For this project you will need:
- Friendship bracelet
- 8 mm jump rings
- 6mm jump rings
- closure (I find that I can close
- a toggle clasp the most easily by myself)
- pinch crimp ribbon ends
Before we get too far into this, my jewelry making tools and findings have moved states without me so I wound up using things I just had lying around the house and grabbing my findings at WalMart. As such I had some finagling to do that you won’t if you purchase ribbon ends that already fit your braid. But this stuff is good to know if you’re in a pinch!
Take your braid and figure out where you want to place the crimp end. Use glue to keep the braid together in that area. Be sure to really rub the glue into the braid. Here I’m using Quick Dry Fabric Fusion, which I’m new to, but I already love because I was able to get to work in less than 15 minutes before it was completely dry. Nifty!
Once the glue is dry, take a pair of scissors and clip across your glued area as straight as you can.
Using a pair of jewelry pliers (or a pair of regular old needle nose pliers with each side covered in tape and crimp your ribbon end onto the end of the braid. Now make sure that the loop in the center evens up with the center of your braid.
As you can tell, these are way too big for my braid. If yours are also too large take a pair of metal nippers or tin snips and cut the excess away on each side.
I used serrated snips so my edges were sharp and rough. Yours might be completely smooth and ready to go, but if not you’ll need to smooth the edges down with a file of some sort.
Oh, and say hi to my cat Marla who just flopped in on me. See her foot that is obviously in motion?
Now say hi to my other cat, Max who is here for the chainmaille section of the tutorial 🙂
This is an 8mm jump ring. See how the pieces of metal aren’t quite meeting up? This is how the vast majority of your jump rings will be when you first get them. For this project we are going to need a lot of these suckers closed nice and flush.
So taking your pliers open the ring just a bit and twist back. The ring should form a nice, solid circle this way. Oh, and this is a 3-in-1 tool that is pretty darn handy. You can get this tool from the jewelry section at WalMart and it’ll get you going in jewelry making for only $5.
Take one 6 mm jump ring and open up. Run FOUR of the 8mm rings through and close the smaller ring around them. Add one more 6 mm jump ring so that you have two 6mm rings around 4 8mm rings.
Add another 6mm ring through TWO of the larger 8mm rings. Add two more closed 8mm rings onto the smaller and close that 6mm ring up.
Keep adding jump rings just like this to lengthen your chain.
To finish place a large 8mm jump ring AROUND your two smaller rings throughout the chain. Now this is where something went awry for me and I totally veered away from the pattern I was using in some mysterious way, but I like how it looks in the end anyway so whatevs.
Connect your chain to your ribbon end.
And place one half of your closure to the end.
Repeat for the other side.
And here is our fancy but not quite technically any kind of pattern chainmaille chain. I think it’s pretty darn pretty!
And here is the bracelet where mostly the braid is visible. So it still looks like a friendship bracelet…
But move around just a bit and it looks like a way more adult version of the bracelet! Plus no tying the loose ends. I don’t remember how I did that when I was a kid but I find it so difficult to do now. A toggle clasp is SO much easier!
And if you’re interested, they sell much prettier ribbon ends online, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Oh, and they sell them in sizes that are in millimeters. And just so you know, I freaking hate millimeters. They make no sense to me. If you have problems with them, too, just put the size into google search like this “8mm in inches” and it will tell you what you’re looking at inch-wise which I totally comprehend.
And here is my other bracelet with the braid I made for the video tutorial for reading the patterns.
And though the chain is exactly the same, with a different toggle clasp it looks way different which I think is very nifty!
And just in case you’re wondering what it looks like trying to get pictures with a crazed cat in your light box, here you go. See that booty sticking in up the air? That means she’s feeling particularly feisty!
In the end I think that I’m much happier with my knockoff, inspired by Anthro bracelets than I would have been had I purchased them. The colors are more to my taste and you can use the colors that you love for your own! I hope you loved this and that you’ll be wearing your grown up friendship bracelets all over town with me!