Hey friends! I have something really fun to share if you’re into science, space, or general geek related accessories. (I say geek accessories quite proudly, by the way.) A version of a solar system bracelet was showing up in my social media feed recently (it tells you what kinds of things I Google, ahem) and I just LOVED it. Of course my philosophy is that I don’t buy, I DIY, so I picked my own stones and created this simple stretchy bracelet. What’s nice about making it myself is that I have plenty of supplies leftover to make additional bracelets, so my kids and I turned it into a little home lesson on the planets and they’ve got their own bracelets to remind them!
I got all my stone beads from today’s post sponsor, Happy Mango Beads, which is – by far – one of the best sources for natural and unique beads online that I have found. I’ll leave links to what I chose below, and if you find that an item is out of stock, then you can choose any beads that fall into that size and color category.
Supplies needed to make a DIY solar system bracelet:
- 5 inches of 6mm round black onyx base beads
- 13-14 – 2mm metal spacer beads
- 1 – Star charm, 4mm jump ring, and spacer bail (optional)
- 1 – 2-3mm round moonstone bead (Mercury)
- 1 – 3-4mm round carnelian agate bead (Venus)
- 1 – 4-5mm sound sodalite bead (Earth)
- 1 – 2-3mm round garnet bead (Mars)
- 1 – 10mm round tiger eye bead (Jupiter)
- 1 – 8mm round peach agate bead (Saturn)
- 1 – 6mm round blue agate bead (Uranus)
- 1 – 6mm round lapis lazuli bead (Neptune)
- 1 – 2-3mm round moonstone bead (Pluto)
- 1 – 8mm jump ring (any gauge)
- .5mm stretch cord
- Jewelry glue or super glue
While the beads are of course not exactly to scale (Jupiter alone would never fit on your wrist), the difference in sizes of the beads still helps to illustrate that some planets are much larger or smaller in relation to each other. Mercury was a little large for my liking (as it’s the smallest planet) but it still shows that the innermost planets are significantly smaller than the outer planets in our solar system.
To make Saturn’s rings, I glued a jump ring around the bead. You can find open ring beads, but I wasn’t able to find one I liked in the right size – and using the jump ring takes the guesswork out of ordering. Just stretch the ring around the bead as best you can, double check to make sure it isn’t covering the bead hole, and add a drop of super glue onto the ring. It will settle in along the groove and ensure that Saturn’s rings stay where they belong! Allow it to dry before stringing your beads – this should only take a few minutes. If you’re making this piece with your kids or a group, you can take this time to talk about the names of the planets or anything you know about space, or take a few minutes to Google it and learn!
Cut a 12-inch length of stretch cord, and string the planets on in order. I used spacer beads to separate them, although this is of course not to scale, scientifically! It’s just for aesthetics, lol. Just to remind you, the order of planets is:
You can also add the dwarf planet Pluto, and if you’re feeling really cutting edge, they’re discussing a second dwarf planet outside of Pluto’s orbit named Eris! Another fun thing to Google and learn about.
Fill the rest of your bracelet with black beads (I’m using onyx, but snowflake obsidian would be fun to represent all the other stars in the universe). For my adult-sized wrist, I made a length of 7 3/4 inches. School aged kids’ wrists can be as small as 5 inches (or smaller, depending of course on their age and size) so the best best for kids’ sizing is to measure their wrists when you begin the project.
I added a spacer bead every few beads – swapping out one of the spacers for a small bail so that I could attach a star shaped charm. (And no, stars aren’t really star shaped, as my first grader is fond of reminding me. It’s artistic license, and it’s totally optional!) You can finish off the bracelet with a square knot – a basic double knot. Finishing it next to a spacer bead is great because the bead can help to hide the knot. Add a dot of glue to help keep the knot secure, and trim the excess strings away.
If you do choose to add a charm (don’t forget, an initial, a heart, a moon, or anything you’re into are all great choices) you can use a pair of chain nose pliers to attach it to the bail with a small jump ring.
I really like using the stone beads for this bracelet, keeping “nature” in my DIY solar system bracelet. It’s a fun conversation piece, and I have to admit – even I learned about how big each planet is, what it looks like, and some other space fun facts in my research!
I hope you enjoyed this geek gift idea, and I’ll be back again soon to share some other fast and fun DIY projects!