Square Stitch Men's Bracelet

Jan 6, 2008

te Couple Cuffs
by Shelley Nybakke

Sometimes this job makes me feel like the equivalent of a beading fairy godmother. Beaders from all across the globe email me, asking me for different types of projects and I do what I can to fulfill those wishes. Over the last month, I've had a flurry of requests for beading projects for men. A perfectly reasonable wish, but one that I was having a difficult time fulfilling. And just when I thought I'd have to admit defeat--at least temporarily--the sky opened up (OK, so it was actually the Beadwork office)--and out dropped this fabulous square stitch men's bracelet by Shelley Nybakke. So for Rose, Karen, Amy, and all the others who wrote to me about men's jewelry, your wish is my command!

What makes this a men's bracelet? I'm not sure I know the answer--I actually like the men's version better than the women's in this his-and-her set. Here's what I think makes this bracelet "manly" (and please leave a comment if you disagree!):

  • Simple, clean lines (no fringy, foo-foo beads or fussy clasp)
  • Copper/brass color and metallic finish of the beads and clasp
  • Width--a nice solid inch--nothing delicate or dainty here!

I'd love to see your versions of this project--and I want to hear from the men on this list! Do you like this bracelet? Would you wear it? What kind of jewelry are you looking for? Tell us, please!

Instructor Tip: Knitting with Wire

"Wire knitting can be done with many kinds of wire: permanently colored copper, fine silver, sterling silver, gold-filled, even braided stainless steel. The important thing to remember when you are choosing your wire is to make sure that it is soft. It will harden as you knit, so starting with wire that is not soft will cause it to get too hard and break--perhaps before you've completed your project!"--Sharon Hessoun


Sharon Hessoun is teaching the classes Braided Combo Knit Bracelet (pictured above) and Silver Extreme Sparkler at BeadFest Miami in April. Space is limited--sign up for Sharon's classes and all the others at BeadFest Miami before they fill up!

Fiber Postcard Valentines


For those of you who like to play with both fabric and beads, Fiberarts magazine is looking for fiber postcard valentines to use in future issues or on its website. Editor Sunita Patterson said she'd love to see some fabric postcards with beads, as long as the beads are firmly attached!  Deadline is January 15, 2008. Learn more.

At left: Valentine fiber postcard by Carol Tamasiunas.

Current Poll: Do you listen to music while you bead?

Coming Wednesday: Readers share stories of their first beading sale.

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She is very tempted to make the men's bracelet for herself!

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Coley J wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 11:14 AM
I would say that I have to agree with you Michelle. This bracelet is more of a manly project. I do have to admit, being a woman, I wouldn't mind wearing it either but I think my husband would approve too. Thanks for this great project!
CarolM@153 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 12:19 PM
I am having trouble downloading projects. rounds of color, making headpins, to name a few. I have succesfully down loaded projects before, what is the problem?
Gecko3 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 12:41 PM
I am going to try this project with silver and hematite and see how it looks. Probably be manly enough in dark metals too.
PennyS@17 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 12:52 PM
This bracelet looked manly until I downloaded the project and saw the fiddly little button clasp. I can't imagine a man wanting to bother with trying to fit those little buttons into the tiny loops.
AmyK@53 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 1:20 PM
Funny, this came in today's email. I was just looking for something more 'interesting' to make.
on Jan 7, 2008 1:27 PM
Those aren't "fiddly little button clasps". Its a little metal snap that is perfect for a man's larger fingers. In fact, my mother who has bad arthritis, loves this kind of clasp.
Shelley Nybakke
on Jan 7, 2008 1:36 PM
Nice design, and I think my fellow would wear it. I've actually made him several choker-length beaded necklaces (do you call 'em necklaces, for guys?) that he wears, one every day. Bracelets have been trickier. He works with machinery, so can only wear them for dress-up. He has favored some of the stainless link-style (panther?) bracelets, with cables and plenty of black mixed in the designs, so I know metallics are good. And the closure has to be simple and very secure. Just my two cents' worth--and thanks so much for the free designs you guys offer. I'm disabled and unbelievably poor, so they are a wonderful resource for me.--Terri Kiplinger, Heron Moon Designworks (heronmoondesignworks@gmail.com)
MyLadyK wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 1:39 PM
This is a great start. I'm thinking of doing it with black and antique silver beads. Might use a magnetic clasp instead, or a (watch type) hinged clasp.
Anonymous wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 1:55 PM
I think the cuffs are gorgeous, but even with the beautiful copper beads, it is too sparkly and showy of a piece for man -- unless he's a rock star! Perhaps with matte finish beads, it might work for a guy. But, honestly, I would wear the wide one myself!
SallyH@32 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:19 PM
The men's bracelet looks great. Something I know my husband would wear. It's different for all those "manly men".

Sally H
MarleneZ3 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:52 PM
Okay I give up what is a "cornerless cube"? I thought w/o the corners it would be round. Sorry, for such a stupid question but I LOVE the bracelet. I'm a small women and I even like the wider bracelets in fact I would make this for me (maybe different beads colors)
WendyC@32 wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 10:17 AM
I just don't see this piece as being for a man. It is a beautiful bracelet. I think the clean lines make it modern, but still feminine.
MaryG@28 wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 12:17 PM
i think its man whom would wear it. chain maille is more to a masculine side but i made a man a chunky african bead bracelet with trading beads and it suited his style and he wore it!
SheraM wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 9:49 PM
I like the design, but in the photo, the copper beads look pink. Maybe it looks more manly in person, but a little too pink in the photo.
DebbieB@68 wrote
on Jan 13, 2008 5:12 PM
My husband is quite the manly man and he liked the design - I liked the idea of making something 'matching'. I've seen a few of Shelleys designs in print - they're great !!
DebbieB@68 wrote
on Jan 13, 2008 5:12 PM
My husband is quite the manly man and he liked the design - I liked the idea of making something 'matching'. I've seen a few of Shelleys designs in print - they're great !!
CarolT@47 wrote
on Jan 15, 2008 4:25 PM
I love the bracelet. Decided to make one for my guy. Went to every bead and craft store in the area and can't get the snap closures or find 3mm cornerless cubes except for very expensive sterling silver. Do you have any suggestions?
on Jan 15, 2008 5:53 PM
Have you checked The Bead Parlor - www.thebeadparlor.com ?
dqt_s wrote
on Jul 22, 2008 2:36 PM

I have to disagree.  I can't imagine any man wearing this bracelet.  Maybe if the seed beads weren't so shiny it could be considered manly but I don't think men are very fond of beaded bracelets.