Monday, June 9, 2014

Silk Macrame Bird Bangle Tutorial

Some of you may remember this bangle from my Spring Fever design challenge earlier this year and as it was so popular I've put together a tutorial so you can make your own.

  • Approx 12" 16 gauge wire
  • 1 bird bead 
  • 1 silk string cut into 2 equal pieces 
  • Size 5 Miyuki seed beads
  • Round nose pliers and wire cutters
Bird bead from Blueberri Beads
Silk strings from  Sowzere Designs
If you use different beads check your core wire will fit through the holes.
The silk strings used here are approx 50" long and sufficient for 1 bangle but you may require 2 strings if you use shorter ones.
The  amount of wire and the number of beads used will depend on the finished size of the bangle and the numbers quoted here are based on a bangle that fits my 7" wrist so adjust your requirements accordingly. There is a guide to sizing bangles here.

Step 1
Cut a loop of wire from a coil measuring approx 10"

Step 2
Starting at the centre of the coil tie a macrame square knot with the one piece of the silk using the the wire as the core - for a clearer diagram of a basic square knot see here. I hold to wire with my thumb and 3rd finger while knotting but it you find this awkward you can hold the wire in a vice to free up both hands for knotting.

Step 3 
Thread a seed bead onto the wire and repeat step 2.

Step 4 
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have 14 beads (or your required number) on the wire finishing with step 3.

Step 5
Turn the loop around and add your focal bead and then repeat the same process on the other side of the bangle with the second piece of silk.

Step 6
Bring the silk strings to the top of the wire and tie off in an overhand knot.

Step 7
Trim the ends of the wire to approx 6/8", files the ends smooth and turn a simple loop at each end - one on the vertical and one on the horizontal.

Step 8
With the remaining wire turn a simple loop at one end.

Step 9
Using round nose or bail making pliers curve the wire in the opposite direction from the simple loop to create a hook clasp. Bend the end up slightly, trim and file smooth. Hammer on the curve to work harden

Step 10
Use a jump ring to attach the hook to the horizontal loop of the bangle. The vertical loop forms the eye for the hook closure to connect with keeping it flat against the wrist.

Step 11
Trim the silk tails as you prefer - you can leave them long, cut them close, add beads or knot as you choose.

Alternative finish
I prefer this 'open' style bangle as I have large hands and to get closed bangles over them they end up quite loose on my wrist but, if you prefer a closed bangle you can simply forgo the hook and connect the simple loops to each other as shown here. If you choose this finish you will need to add extra beads to ensure the bangle will go over your hands - in my case 3 on each side. If your bangle gets misshapen while you are working on it you can ease it back using a mandrel or cylindrical item (baked bean cans work well) taking care around the focal.

And there you have it - you can of course adapt this to use any bead of your choice and I hope you'll give it a go and have some fun with this simple design. The bangles featured here are available in my Etsy Jewellery Shop.

The Gossiping Goddess


  1. These are great Lesley! I could wear a whole stack of them!

  2. ooo lovely tutorial, Can't wait to have a go.

  3. OOO great tutorial, can't wait to have a go.

  4. this is great. I too have large hands and have never found a bangle that I can even get to fit over my scrunched hand. I love the look of stacked bangles as well, though these ones won't clang musically.

  5. Thank you Lesley - this gave me a ton of inspiration!!!

  6. Thank you Lesley this gave me a ton of inspiration!!! So nice of you to share your art.

  7. Always grateful for lessons on new techniques! These are really sweet.

  8. Lovely bracelets, thank you Lesley for the tutorial

  9. Very nice! Thanks for sharing your technique. Good step by step photos, as well. I cannot wait to make one or five!

  10. I love this Lesley!! You know I love fiber, I might have to try this with recycled sari silk!! Thank you!

  11. These are fabulous, Lesley! Thanks for sharing your technique.

  12. how fun! I don't have a good working relationship with fiber, but have some silk cord that I might try this with!!

  13. Beautiful! Great tutorial!

  14. thnx so much for this, I've been trying to visualize this knot & poof, here this was!!

  15. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial!

  16. This is beautiful. I will definitely try and make them

  17. This is so simple and wonderful.

  18. Thanks for the tutorial! I love these. So simple and yet so beautiful.

  19. Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing. I love a good bangle bracelet. Who am I kidding, I love a whole stack of them!!!

  20. Thanks for the tutorial. I love that it inspires ideas in my head. Now on to the work bench.

  21. Thank you, Lesley :) Thank you! You are so generous to share your technique for creating these beauties. And your instructions are excellent.
    You make us all fly well!
    Love, Rita

  22. Gorgeous bracelet and awesome tutorial! Love these sweet little birdie bracelets! xo Genea


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