I ordered some agate chip beads a while back, mainly because agate is the alternate May birthstone (my husband’s birthstone). Agate is a lot more reasonably priced to work with than emeralds, haha. These tree agate chip beads came from Happy Mango Beads. I’ve been trying to figure out how I wanted to use them and I finally opted for a simple, multi-strand stretch bracelet.
I figured out how to make my own spacers, because the beads are a little on the large side and everything I spotted in stores was too small. I finally realized I could make spacers out of shrink plastic – it worked great!! I have a couple suggestions to improve on them over what you will see pictured, I’ll mention those tips below!
What you will need:
Clear shrink plastic, scissors, and a standard hole punch.
.7 mm Stretch Cord
Tree Agate chip beads (I got mine at Happy Mango Beads) – or whatever kind of gemstones you like best!
First, make and bake your spacers. I made mine 4 inches long by 3/4 inch wide. My suggestion is to make them slightly smaller – 1/2 inch wide would probably be perfect for a 4-hole spacer – and before you bake them, round the corners! They ended up being a little bit sharp, and you don’t want to scratch yourself when you put it on or wear it. I made 4 spacers. You could get away with 3, but you need at least 3. The great thing about making plastic spacers is that if you are planning to gift your piece, you don’t have to worry that the recipient may have metal sensitivities.
On stretch bracelets, you can make them a little smaller – the exact size of your wrist, since you can stretch it to get it on. A standard size for a stretch bracelet is 6 – 6.5 inches. I cut 4 lengths of stretch cord 12 inches long – it’s much easier to work with it when there is some excess there.
I tie a seed bead onto the end of my cord so I don’t accidentally lose any beads. Start stringing, and add a spacer every 1.5 inches or so if you are using 4 spacers.
When you get to 6 inches (or however long you’re aiming for), just tie a really secure square knot (a double knot) to close it off.
Trim the ends, and work on your next strand. When you match the length of beads to what’s in your original strand, thread your cord through the next hole of your spacer. Finish off each strand the same way, and keep threading until your bracelet is complete!
That’s it! It’s simple! All you have to be able to do is string beads and tie knots to make this style, and I have a meaningful piece that makes me think of my husband every time I wear it. Happy beading!