Sunday, October 31, 2010

Copy Cat

Recently I have been dreaming about these bracelets by Chan Luu:

However, since they seem to start at $90 and rise quickly from there, the inner jeweler in me started thinking and studying the pictures. I also Googled a tutorial for this type of bracelet, and very few photographic tutorials were available. So here is mine!

I started with a trip to Hobby Lobby. I bought round leather and flat suede. This tutorial uses the flat suede, but in reality you can use anything, even ribbon if that is what you want. Each gives a very distinctive look.

I also chose some sparkly beads. Most beads like this are sold in smaller quantities. I made the red and gold double wrap, shown below, with 54 beads and the teal and gray single wrap with 55 beads. Take bead sizing into consideration when choosing your materials. Sometimes a large bead and small leather look really nice, or a tiny bead and large leather are more interesting. They are very easy and beautiful regardless of what you choose.

I also use heavy duty thread throughout. This is important because it is one piece that holds the whole bracelet together. I think this is a flaw in the design, and I would like to find a better way to do do it so that if one thread goes, the whole bracelet is not lost. We will stick with the simple way for now though.

Decide if you want a double or single wrap, or triple even! Then fold the cord in half and wrap around your wrist the number of times you want it to wrap. I added six inches to the length of the bracelet to allow for the top knot and the bottom knots. This may be a little excessive, but it would be terrible to end your bracelet and it be too small.

Keep the cord folded in half and make a knot at the top large enough to ease a knot or button through, but not too large.

Then get A LOT of thread. I would say a yard and a half for a single, and three for a double. You want to make sure you have plenty. I secured the thread to the top knot. Secure the knot of the cord to something stable. I used a safety pin and a heavy tray. A counter is ideal.

Run the thread behind the two cord strands like so.

Place your bead on the needle then run down between the two cords.

Take the needle, and come over the top of the right cord and back through the bead. Hold the cords and the thread tight.

To add the second bead, bring the thread over the top of the left cord and back under to the right and add the second bead. Position the bead between the cords and go back over the right cord and through the bead again. Continue this process until you have your desired length. I found it is also very nice to have different colors or bead sizes to add interest to your bracelet. You can add a charm into the mix as well.

Work your way down to the end trying to keep each bead stitch even. This is a lot easier on smooth cord than a suede cord.

Complete the last stitch like usual then wrap the thread down and around the left cord, and back through the bead to the right cord. From there make a series of tiny knots right next to the last bead and trim the excess thread.

From there you can add your button, which I did not use on either, or make knots or a series of knots to make your closure.

Voila! You have a Chan Luu inspired bracelet. Each took me about two hours and the process is rather simple and very inexpensive. Good Luck!


  1. What a great knock off! I've featured this post on Copy Cat Crafts today, you can view it here

    We'd love it if you'd like to display a featured button! You can grab your button on the right hand side of your post. Thanks!

  2. I like! Thanks for sharing - it's inspirational! Happy Trails!

  3. I have some flat suede which I didn't know what to do with, now I can go make some bracelets :)

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Great post! I just made one and it looks awesome:D Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great tutorial - thanks!

  6. Very helpful! Thank you for sharing! Olya xo

  7. I pulled it tightly but my beads are loose and they move back and forth. Any ideas on how to get them to stay in place?

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  9. Can you tell me where you buy your beads? Is there a good online store?

  10. I'm particularly interested in the red and gold beads.

  11. Love this and love your style. The tag line under your title rocks.

  12. Great tutorial bracelets look great!

  13. Lovely tutorial, thank you!
    I used 2 thread instead of 1, 1 went left to right, 1 went right to left at the same time. And swapped the thread to fishing line.
    I read somewhere somebody use GS Hypo Cement here and there to glue the thread to the leather part, so if it is broken you wont lose the full bracelet just some part of it and you could fill up the hole with some new interesting ideas.

  14. thank you for another inspiration. Creations like these really motivate me to do more and more. :) thank you! will share your creations to my friends. :)

  15. Great tutorial, thank you for sharing, I will try some too...

  16. Thanks I had taken a class and forgot the stringing techinique..did not have to sit through a 20 min you tube video. I use heavy duty paper clips and a sturdy card board to keep the beads straight and in place. In the class they used a clipboard. I also use 6mm beads and 1.5 -2 mm cord.