Bracelet Length

This post has 8 Replies | 2 Followers
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 181
carolee1945 wrote
on Apr 19, 2013 10:57 AM

I love making bracelets, because then I can see my handiwork, and it inspires me to make more.  However, I am constantly in a tizzy regarding the length of them.  Either they are too short or too long.  I have finally started measuring, but sometimes the pattern is such that to complete one more unit makes it too long whereas one less unit makes it too short!!  Sometimes I find just the right clasp, but then it makes the bracelet too long.  Also, how the bracelet is constructed affects the needed length. Some bracelet types need to be 6 1/2 inches, some 7, some 7 1/2.  Any ideas on this topic would be welcome.

Top 150 Contributor
Posts 159
on May 18, 2013 12:34 PM

Too long a bracelet is ok, I think. Cos then those with bigger wrists can wear a normal sized one if the bracelet is adjustable. The only time I've ever had a super short bracelet, was when I first gotten a Mirrix beading loom, I just eyeballed the length... It turned out way shorter that I'd expected and I had to square stitch the last 20 rows on!

I also have a Beazu beading loom. It is exactly the right length for bracelets and I never have to worry about using the wrong length on my other loom, cos I measured this loom and use the size for the other loom. Its 17cm for a skinny wrist.

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 1,607
D.M.Z wrote
on May 18, 2013 3:24 PM

Carol, I almost always go with the "one shorter" option and then I add a bit of length in the area of the clasp. Most patterns will tell you what the length will be with or without the clasp. Guess that depends on who the designer is though. If you are selling, 7-1/2 overall is a "standard" but wise sellers also make an 8-1/2 inch "plus" size. 

If you are doing the bracelets just for yourself (like I do, mine rarely get sold) measure your exact wrist. When you look at the pattern see if it is the type that needs to be fairly tight to the wrist or if it can be loose. Measure your clasp from end to end closed and then do a bit of math. As you work the pattern, start figuring how much you need to adjust. It might be as easy as adding a bicone between sections........that is always totally lucky when it happens. If it is components like bezeled rivolis or something like that, make as many as the pattern calls for and make your adjustments between, where they are attached to each other. 

Like BlueElephant mentioned, sometimes you can add a section of square stitching......I like to do that anyway as square stitch is very strong compared to most others and putting some on each side of a clasp can be a huge help. 

Bracelets are in some ways harder to make than necklaces as necklaces fall a certain distance from the neck and if they are just a bit too big, it usually is not really noticeable. But bracelets that look like they are falling down off your hand just don't look good, nor do the ones that are strangling your wrist and cutting off circulation..........LOL. I am always a bit more lax in measuring a necklace than a bracelet. No matter how long you have been at it though, there is always an error to be made. The bracelet I wanted to make in the worst way and had a really tough time with too large and not by much (it is a type of netting and stretched after I was done with it), but enough to send the embellishments to the bottom, clasp to the top............ it is now a love/hate relationship with that bracelet. The pattern does not allow me to modify it, so what is left is to either hang weights (that could happen with this design) at the clasp area so it won't rotate or to put some backing like ultrasuede on it so it will not be able to rotate. But I don't like bracelets that are real snug,  nor do I like the loose ones, just me because that is just about all I wear are bracelets. Hope some of my rambling helped you out. Donna

Top 100 Contributor
Posts 304
KathyK1999 wrote
on May 22, 2013 12:31 PM

I feel your frustration!  I make a lot of bracelets and length is an ongoing struggle.  I have stopped making bracelets that consist of large individually beaded components because they're the hardest in terms of getting the length right.  Sometimes you have to give up on using just the right clasp, in favor of one that gives the right length (for example, the trailer hitch type clasp).


Top 10 Contributor
Posts 3,375
SCB1 wrote
on May 30, 2013 12:27 PM

Maybe u need to measure the wrist before u make a bracelet. Then the bracelet u make should be a little shorter than u have measured so that the bracelet will not be longer after u add the clasp to it. May be u should estimate the length of the clasp too.

That sounds good in theory, but the truth is if you have beads that are a little on the larger size, they take up the space and the bracelet will be too small. The best thing to do is to get a wrist mandrel,  Measure the wrist and then before you finish it off use the mandrel to made sure it will fit the size wrist you are making for. 

Happy Beading!!


Small-town USA. 




Top 150 Contributor
Posts 181
carolee1945 wrote
on May 30, 2013 1:15 PM

I do understand about measuring the wrist.  But I find the correct length is so variable!!! It depends on the size of the beads and the particular pattern.  So that a 7 inch measurement for one bracelet does not work for another bracelet. And then it all depends on the clasp. The directions say to measure the clasp, but each clasp lies somewhat differently.  I put the bracelet around my wrist and try to figure it out, but even doing that, often it does not work out right.  Since I may need to lengthen or shorten it, I do not have the clasp on the beadwork.  I saw an ad for wrist mandrels, but I am not sure that would solve the problem I am talking about.

Not Ranked
Posts 9
on Jun 7, 2013 12:52 PM

Are you making bracelets only for yourself, or are they sometimes for other people? If it's just for you, you could start with a bracelet that you feel is the "right" size, and then work with different patterns to get as close to that ideal length as possible. Because of the differences in patterns, it may not always be possible to make each pattern fit. For example, if one bracelet has units that are 1.5 inches long, adding or subtracting one of these makes a big difference in the final result.

You can also look at other bracelets you've made, and measure the amount of space different clasps consume. I like to use toggle clasps because I've never been able to work a lobster or spring-ring clasp with one hand. Most toggles consume about 1 inch of space in a design, including the way you attach the clasp to the bracelet -- with seed beads, or jump/split rings, or whatever.  So if you know you like bracelets that are, say, 7 inches long, and you know the clasp and attachment will use up about an inch, your bracelet body should be about 6 inches long. 

It's important to measure, though. I made a bracelet once that was a little over 7 inches long. I liked the way it fit, and I liked the design, so I made another. I used the same materials for the second, except that I used a different brand of seed beads. They were both 11/0 seeds, so I assumed I'd get similar results. Wrong! The second bracelet was about 1/2 inch shorter than the first. I learned that I need to measure, rather than assume.


Top 50 Contributor
Posts 707
shanks wrote
on Jun 7, 2013 8:18 PM

Just as a teaching tool for yourself,  Make a bracelet that fits you using 4mm beads. Then make a bracelet using 6mm beads the same length as the one that fits you, Do the same for 8 and 10mm beads. Place each one around your wrist and see how much longer the bracelet needs to be as the bead size increases.  This will give you the necessary information that will serve you well as get more experience.

Not Ranked
Posts 8
knock wrote
on Jun 20, 2013 6:31 AM

When it comes to the length of a bracelet - I would ask for a second opinion and also try out twice. Perceptions seem to change depending on the situation in everyday life.

I'm extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.

Page 1 of 1 (9 items) | RSS