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by: Pam Kearns
I like to use materials in unusual combinations and find uses other than what they were intended for. I was looking at the Paracord buckles and wondered what else they could connect to. I then thought of the new Lycra strips and knew they would work and could be braided. The result is this bracelet that is fun to wear with lots of movement in a fun colour. It also keeps in style with the Boho look that is popular right now. I've used antique copper accents and Swarovski rounds, but you could easily choose another metal colour and other beads or metal charms.
1. Pull the Lycra tight several times so that it creates a tight rolled tube - do this with each piece.
2. Pull each Lycra tube through one of the ends of the buckle. Secure with a jump ring - this is really fussy! Tack the ends to the tubes for added security
3. Braid the Lycra tubes together to a length that fits your wrist, allowing for the length of the buckle.
4. Pull the ends through the other end of the buckle, maintaining the braid and secure with jump rings. Check your fit and loosen or tighten the Lycra as needed - there is still a lot stretch in the Lycra. Also, the weight of the crystals will pull the bracelet too. Don't tack the ends as yet - wait until the bracelet is completed.
5. Open the jump rings and add one to each braid section by closing it around the Lycra tube - mine needed 30 jump rings along the length of the bracelet.
6. Place a crystal or 6 mm metal bead on a headpin and finish with a wrapped loop. Because the headpins went through the 6 mm metal bead, I added a 3 mm bead below and above the 6 mm bead.
7. Open then the jump rings you added in step 5, and add one of the beads. I put the copper beads on the ivory Lycra; the light turquoise on the aqua Lycra and blue zircon on the storm blue Lycra. Make sure you close the jump rings well so that the beads don't come off.
8. When you are satisfied with the fit, tack the ends of the Lycra tubes securely with a needle and thread.
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