Monday, July 11, 2011

Learn How to Tie a Secure Stretch Bracelet Knot that Won't Come Undone

Inside: Learn how to tie off a stretch bracelet securely with a hidden knot so that it doesn't come undone. Plus, tips on how to stop your elastic cord bracelet from overstretching.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to make jewellery is to string beads on stretch elastic and tie it off. Without a clasp to wrangle with, they are super easy to put on and take off.

Stretch bracelets are perfect for beginner jewellery makers (both adults and children alike!) because no jewellery making skills are required to make them!

The hardest part of making these bracelets is tying the knot.

If you'd like to learn how to knot elastic beading cord so it doesn't come undone, then read on for my tips on how to make a stretch bracelet and tie it off securely. 

A gorgeous stretch bracelet like this one takes just 10 minutes to make, so this is an ideal jewellery project if you don't have enough time to fit crafting into your busy life.

Simple design, stunning beads! Purple Kashmiri bead stretch bracelet

With a quick stringing project like this, you can treat yourself to some precious time out, as well as make yourself a beautiful bracelet. 

Shopping List

Here Are the Supplies You'll Need:

What Size Stretch Beading Cord Do I Need?

When buying beading elastic, always choose the THICKEST ELASTIC CORD that will fit through your beads. 

I've suggested 1mm elastic cord for this project because it's strong and will fit through most beads. 

If you have a mixture of beads with different size holes, find the bead with the smallest hole and choose the thickest elastic you can get through that bead. Stretch Magic is available in a range of thicknesses from 0.5mm - 1.8mm.

Stretch Magic beading elastic and strand of purple Kashmiri beads
Before we get into my expert tips for making jewellery with stretch cord, if you're here to learn how to make jewellery, you'll want my cheat sheet of 5 basic jewellery-making techniques. CLICK THE BUTTON below to get access to it NOW.
Sign up form to learn how to make your own jewellery. Left hand side has 4 skinny images. Top image is opening a jump ring, second image shows to copper eye loops, third image is tying a knot in stretch elastic, bottom images shows a loop being formed on the end of memory wire.

How to Make a Stretch Bracelet

Cut a piece of Stretch Magic the size of your wrist, plus 10cm (4"). 

About 30cm (12") is a good length to work with for an average-sized wrist. Measure and cut a 30cm (12") length od Stretch Magic

Pre-stretch the Beading Elastic

Elastic cord bracelets should sit firmly and comfortably on your wrist. After a few wears, the cord loses its elasticity and doesn't bounce back to its original size. If you've worn stretch bracelets in the past, you've probably seen this happen.

Overstretched bracelets will likely fall off or get hooked on something and break. 

The best way to avoid overstretched bracelets is to pre-stretch the cord by holding the elastic at each end and pulling it taut three or four times. This helps minimise the elastic from stretching as much after you've worn the bracelet a few times.

Stringing the Beads

Lay out the beads you've chosen in a line and move them around until you're happy with the pattern.
Place a beadstop on one end of the elastic. You'll be grateful you used this smart little gadget because it stops the beads from slipping off one end while you're still stringing the beads on the other. LOL! 

Thread the beads onto the elastic cord one at a time.

Large purple Kashmiri bead being strung on beading elasticTip: Make sure that either your first or last bead is a large-holed bead. That way, you can hide your knot inside the bead so it's not seen!

chain nose pliers closing a foldover ribbon clamp across a plastic tubing tear drop shape filled with gold and AB faceted bicone crystals.

How to Tie a Secure Knot

The challenge with making a stretch bracelet is tying a knot that won't come undone.

Collage of 6 images showing hot to cut beading elastic, threading beads, tying a knot, gluing and trimming it. Text overlay reads " How to Tie a Stretch Bracelet Knot that Doesn't Come Undone!"

Wrap one end of the cord around the other and pull it so that the beads are drawn together in a circle. This is the first part of the knot (a half-knot or overhand knot).
Tying a half knot in beading elastic
Tie a second half-knot. Tying it a second time makes it a double knot.Tying a double knot in beading elastic
Pull the knot tightly. Tightening the knot in beading elastic
Tie another knot and pull tightly again. Pulling the double knot in the beading elastic tightly
Repeat twice more, making sure you pull each knot tightly. 

Even with this many knots, beading elastic can still work its way undone with time. The secret to preventing that is to secure the knot with a flexible adhesive.

The best glue for Stretch Magic is G-S Hypo Adhesive because it has a super-fine needle tip to get it into tight spaces. 

Dab the adhesive all over the knot and leave it to dry.

Trim the ends of the elastic to about 6 or 7mm (1/4")Cut the elastic ends close6mm (1/4") from the knot.
Once the adhesive is dry, slide the knot inside the large-holed bead to hide it.Sliding the knot in the beading elastic inside a large bead to hide it
This method is the most successful way I've found to tie off Stretch Magic so that the knot doesn't come undone.

How to Care For Your Stretch Bracelet

With proper care, your stretch bracelet will be wearable for a long time. 

  • Stretch elastic breaks down when exposed to water and extreme temperatures (both hot and cold). Remove your bracelet whenever you're showering, swimming or whenever you have your hands in water.
  • Keep your bracelet away from chemicals, including that beautiful fragrance, body lotion, or liquid handwash. These will all break down the elastic in time. 

And here's one final tip to make your stretch bracelets last longer.

Remember I talked about pre-stretching the cord so the bracelet doesn't overstretch in time? Here's another tip to help prevent overstretching:

When you put on your bracelet, don't stretch it to fit over your hand. Instead, slide it over your fingers, and then ROLL IT over your palm and onto your wrist. 

To remove it, roll it off the same way. 

Rolling the bracelet on and off minimises the stretching of the elastic cord. PLUS, it reduces the stress on the knot... Double bonus!

Pin this for later!
String of beads draped across the page, featuring ornate purple clay beads with silver detailing, clear glass cube beads and round purple glass beads. Purple text overlay reads "The best way to tie a stretch bracelet knot"

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Would you like to comment?

  1. I wasn't aware of the tip about pre-stretching--thanks!!!

    1. Glad you found it useful Mary. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I didn't know about the pre-stretching either. Great tip! Now none of my bracelets won't stretch over time!

    1. It might still stretch a little bit but it will reduce it greatly Michaela.

  3. this looks really cool I'm just a beginner doing mostly chocheted jewelery for a winter craft show but mostly giving all my stock away !!!!!!!!!!! but thks Dee

    1. Your jewellery sounds interesting Dee. Good luck with your winter craft show!

  4. great gifts for my granddaughters !

    1. I made these for my nieces and they loved them. I'm sure your granddaughters will too, Sherry.

  5. do you use glue to knots before pushing knots into bead?

    1. Yes, I do, Polly. I use G-S Hypo Cement because it has a fine needle tip, it dries clear and it remains flexible. I've linked to it in the supplies list so you can see what the product looks like.

  6. So pretty! Thanks for sharing all your tips so others can enjoy making these beautiful pieces. Much love and joy..


  7. Love this bracelet and love the way you write your tutorials. So easy to understand. Thank you.

    1. I'm glad you find my tutorials easy to follow. Thank you for your feedback!


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