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Stacker Bracelets

by: Dwyn Tomlinson

I have a bunch of stretchy bracelets here - yes - more stretchy bracelets - I have armfuls of them now, and people are fascinated by them.They are very relaxing to make, and fun to wear! I usually wear 6 or more at a time, and I see that on etsy they are being called "stacker"bracelets.

A friend had me repair one for her that she bought - it is a"big name" with an accent bead with a logo on it - I nearly had heart failure when I heard the price - around 50 Euros. Gasp, ack, cough.

But it inspired me to make some variations on the bracelets I'd been making - and I also spend some time comparing the different stretch stringing materials we have.

We have two primary stretch cords, the Opelon "stretch jewelry fibre" - which is white - and the stretch bead cord - which is clear, and comes in .7 mm (medium), .5 mm (skinny) and 1 mm (fat).

The Opelon is quite "soft" - it makes a more relaxed bracelet - but if you really crank on it - you can snap it. The bracelets end up very comfortable to wear - and it is a good choice for smaller beads (lighter)with bigger holes. It is not stiff enough to thread without a needle - so you need the big eye wire needles, or make your own, so the hole needs to be big enough for the thread to go through doubled (as in the eye of the needle). This does mean you can string the bracelet on doubled strands if you want for a little more durability.

The Stretch Bead Cord is clear, which is nice, and the variety of sizes gives you lots of options in terms of bead-hole sizes. The fat size - the 1 mm - is quite strong and all three sizes are stiff enough that you can thread them through a bead without a needle. My solution is, as always, to go with lots of choices, so I usually have all four on hand so I can pick and choose for the project.

For the knot, I do a square knot, with a surgeon's knot on top, and a touch of hypotube cement to prevent it shifting. If the accent bead has a large hole, you can sometimes work the knot into the hole, and it is invisible!

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