Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This adjustable wire bracelet project involves a strip of fabric from an old T-shirt, plus seed beads and a charm to dangle.
Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s fun to come up with contrasting / coordinating colors for the fabric strip and seed beads!

Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This bangle also has a simple adjustability feature, made with looped ends sliding over the wire – allowing the bracelet to expand and contract:

The adjustable clasp on Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The looped wire ends easily slide together to make the bracelet larger (for sliding the bracelet on over your hand when putting it on).

Or, to make the bracelet smaller, you can gently squeeze the sides of the bracelet, making the wire loops slide farther apart.

Supplies:

  • Wire for the bracelet frame:

    You’ll need a piece of wire that’s your wrist measurement plus 4.5″ (114mm).
    Example: If you have a 7″ wrist, you’ll need a piece of wire that’s 11.5″.

    Choose one of these two wire types:

    • 16-gauge round half-hard copper wire. You’ll need half-hard wire so the adjustable clasp will work smoothly on this bracelet. Half-hard wire springs back nicely instead of bending or crumpling like soft wire.
    • Alternative: You may want to use Memory wire for the bracelet frame in this project. (If so, be sure to use wire cutters and pliers that are made for Memory wire, so you won’t ruin your regular jewelry tools.)

    I used 16 gauge round half-hard copper wire for my bracelet frame.

  • A strip of fabric – cut from an old T-shirt.
    Also, many readers reminded me that sari silk or ribbons or fabric scraps could also be used for this project! Thank you for suggesting those!
    The width of the fabric strip should be about 1.5″ (38mm).
    The total fabric length should be about 4x your wrist measurement.
    Example: If you have a 7 inch wrist, the total length of your fabric strip(s) should be about 28″ long.
    You may need to use more than one strip of fabric to equal your total length.
    Also, if you’re using ribbons or fabric less than 1.5″ wide, you’ll probably need more total length than my recommendation above.
  • 20-gauge Artistic wire or craft wire:
    You’ll need a piece that’s about the length of your wrist measurement plus 15″ (381mm).
    Example: If you have a 7 inch wrist, your Artistic wire should be about 22″ long.
    I used “gunmetal” color Artistic wire.
  • Seed beads – Size 5/0 (or any size that will fit onto your 20 gauge Artistic wire), in colors that work well against your fabric.
    You’ll need enough beads to string several inches of them onto your Artistic wire.
  • A charm – to hang on your bracelet.
  • A large jump ring – to attach your charm to the bracelet.
    (My jump ring is 10mm size.)
  • Wire cutter.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.
  • Scissors – for cutting your fabric strip.
  • A Sharpie marker (or other marker) – for marking your wire and pliers.
  • 8-ounce tomato sauce can – or other round sturdy object with a diameter of about 2.75″ (70mm), to use as a mandrel.
    Note: If you’re using Memory wire, you can skip the mandrel.

How to Make a Gypsy Style
Adjustable Wire Bracelet:

First, let’s mark your pliers, so you can make uniformly-sized loops at the ends of your bracelet when we get to that step.

(You can easily remove the mark from your pliers later, using a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a scrap of paper towel.)

Use your Sharpie marker to draw a mark about halfway down one jaw of your round nose pliers:

Marking pliers for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now cut a piece of your 16-gauge half-hard wire or Memory wire.

Your wire length should be the measurement of your wrist plus 4.5″ (114mm).

Then use your Sharpie marker to draw a mark 2.25″ (57mm) from each end of your wire.

Now your wire should look like this:

Cutting and marking wire for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use a cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round both ends of your wire:

Smoothing ends of copper wire - Rena Klingenberg

Note: If you’re using Memory wire for your bracelet frame, you can skip this tomato sauce mandrel step.

Now get out your tomato sauce can (or other mandrel), and wrap your wire around it to shape the wire into a smooth circle.

Make sure you wrap the wire ends as far as they’ll go around the can; the ends of the wire should pass each other:

Wrapping wire around tomato sauce can mandrel - Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Tip: If your wire keeps springing back into a larger size than the can, wrap the wire around a smaller can or bottle, so that it springs back to the size of the tomato sauce can.

Now your wire should look like this, with your wire ends extending past the Sharpie marks on your wire:

Wire shaped into circle for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to turn the wire ends into the sliding adjustable clasp.

Now we’ll use your round nose pliers to make a hook shape at each end of your wire.

Form each hook around the spot where you marked your plier jaws with a Sharpie:

Making hooks in the wire ends for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:

Wire ends with hooks for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Spread the wire ends slightly apart from each other, so that one wire end hovers a little bit above the other:

One wire end higher than the other - Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll use flat nose pliers to bend the upper hook downward, and the lower hook upward:

Bending hook ends for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:

Bent hook ends for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Hook the upper hook around the lower wire, and the lower hook around the upper wire:

Making adjustable clasp for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and then use your round nose pliers to close the hooks into loops.

Now the sliding adjustable clasp feature is finished:

Finished adjustable sliding clasp for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next, we’ll start wrapping the fabric strip, the beads, and the Artistic wire around the bracelet.

We’ll wrap the entire bracelet, except for the area between the Sharpie marks on our wire (indicated by the blue arrows), where we made the adjustable clasp:
Where not to wrap the fabric for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Cut your strip of fabric from an old T-shirt (or other source; see the supply list above for fabric recommendations and length):

Fabric strip from old T-shirt for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now cut a piece of your Artistic wire.

Your wire length should be the measurement of your wrist plus 15″ (381mm).

Use your round nose pliers to make a loop at one end of your piece of Artistic wire; this loop will prevent the seed beads from running off the wire while you’re wrapping it around the bracelet.

Now string seed beads onto your Artistic wire.

The length of beads on the wire should be your wrist measurement plus an inch or two:

Seed beads on Artistic wire for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Start by wrapping one end of your fabric strip around one side of your bracelet, with the edge of the fabric on the Sharpie mark you made on the wire:

Start wrapping your fabric strip around the bracelet - Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

We’ll anchor this fabric end in place by wrapping the non-looped end of the Artistic wire around the fabric on the bracelet.

So lay about 4 inches of the non-looped Artistic wire end across the bracelet, over the fabric wrap you just made.

Hold the Artistic wire, the wrapped fabric, and the bracelet all firmly together in the jaws of your flat nose pliers:
Using wire to bind the fabric end to the bracelet - Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Keep your flat nose pliers firmly in place where they’re holding the wire, fabric, and bracelet together.

Use the fingers of your other hand to wrap the 4″ Artistic wire end tightly several times around the end of your fabric that’s wrapped around the bracelet:

Using wire to bind the fabric end to the bracelet - Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze the wrapped Artistic wire end tightly against the fabric, right next to the last wire wrap you made.

Now you can remove your flat nose pliers from your bracelet.

Your project should look something like the photo below.

I find it easier to keep the fabric strip rolled up as I wrap everything around the bracelet, so it doesn’t get tangled up with everything else:

Wrapping the fabric, wire, and beads onto Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now continue wrapping the fabric tightly around the bracelet.

After every few fabric wraps, make one wrap of the Artistic wire and beads tightly around the fabric wraps.

I like wrapping it so that you can see the Artistic wire as well as the beads:

Wrapping fabric, beads, and wire around Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

If you’re using more than one strip of fabric:

Wrap the end of your first fabric strip tightly around the bracelet; then wrap the beginning of the second fabric strip tightly over it.
Then make sure you have at least one tight wire wrap over the place where the two strips join.

Continue wrapping the fabric tightly around the bracelet until you reach the other Sharpie mark on the bracelet.

Continue wrapping the Artistic wire and beads tightly around the fabric wraps, stopping just above the last fabric wrap:

Wrapping fabric, beads, and wire around Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use scissors to cut off the excess fabric strip.

Use a wire cutter to cut off the loop you made in the end of the Artistic wire.

Remove the unused beads from the Artistic wire:

Finishing off the fabric and wire wrapping - Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Wrap the remaining Artistic wire tightly several times around the last fabric wrap (similar to how you wrapped the first end of the Artistic wire around the first fabric wrap):

Finishing off the wire wrapping on Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Clip off the excess wire, and use your chain nose pliers to squeeze the Artistic wire end tightly against the fabric, right next to the last wire wrap you made.

Now it’s time to attach your charm to the bracelet.

Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open your jump ring.

String your charm onto the jump ring:

Charm with jump ring for Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Place the jump ring over the bracelet.

Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist the jump ring shut:

Attaching charm to Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your gypsy style adjustable wire bracelet is finished!

It may look something like this:

Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And the adjustable clasp should look something like this:

Sliding adjustable clasp on Gypsy Style Adjustable Wire Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. Em Noll says:

    Great twist on the adjustable bracelets I have been making. My husband keeps asking how many bracelets does one person need, but they are so much fun to make. Thanks Rena, you always give us something new and exciting to try.

  2. Thank you so much, Em! Maybe make some masculine-looking versions of the bracelets you’re making – and put them on hubby’s arm while he’s asleep. 🙂

  3. Hi Rena,
    Ok, I have seen these bracelets and they intrigued me but I didn’t want to pay what I had seen for them. I in fact had just said to myself when I saw one for sale, “why can’t I just make one”. Your newsletter popped up and there it was!
    So much fun to be had in such a basic design. You are a wonderful teacher Rena. Thank you for this free tutorial.
    Diana R.

  4. Thank you so much for your kind words, Diana! And I love the serendipity of this tute popping up for you just when you wanted to make this type of bracelet! We’re on the same wavelength. 🙂

  5. This gives me new ideas for all the bracelet memory wire I’ve got, Rena. Thank you! I especially like how you turned the ends up and down so they can be attached. I never thought of that! 🙂

  6. Cindi Bernloehr says:

    I have been working with recycled Indian silk sari ribbon and this is perfect! Thank you

  7. Colleen says:

    Once again Rena, you have given us a fantastic tutorial and a fun new project! Now I know what to do with my saved fabrics!!! Think of all the fun ways we can come up with for this project! Thank you!!!!

  8. Awesome tutorial! This is something that I would love to try!

  9. Debbie K says:

    Love this ! And it has inspired me to go through all my charms and fabric scraps. Excellent as well as beautiful .

  10. Rena, this is an original take on a stacking bracelet design that I had turned my back on, because I shrink from doing “trends”. Such a fresh version-makes me want to do some after all! Yay!

  11. Sarah R says:

    I can’t wait to try this out! And perfect timing as I just bought my first bundles of recycled sari silk. Excited!!

  12. Carolyn says:

    Rena, I got nervous because I had not gotten an email from you in a while and was really missing your newsletter…so glad to get this today. I love the bracelet’s adjustable feature. Your instructions are always so detailed and photos to back up what you are doing. I truly appreciate you and look forward to more. THANK YOU!

  13. Sue Shade says:

    This project had been on my mind to try. Thanks for the tutorial!

  14. I just love this Rena! I had bought some fabric scraps, and the recycled sari silk too; but never made anything with any of it.
    The fact that this is adjustable makes it much better if you were to make this to sell or for gifts. I have a hard time keeping up with wrist sizes for the girls in my family and my friends!
    Thanks for the crystal clear tutorial. Your talent and generosity in sharing with us is a true joy!

  15. Thank you for all your lovely enthusiasm for this tutorial! I really appreciate it. And thanks also for your great suggestions for sari silk, ribbon, and fabric scraps – this project is perfect for those wonderful items, and I’ve edited the tutorial to add them!

  16. Thank you so much, Rena, for this thorough, interesting, and useful tutorial. Your talent and your willingness to share is very much appreciated! I saw this type of bracelet for sale on another site. I had the idea of trying to form it. You did it, and now, I will follow your tutorial to make one myself!

  17. Debbie says:

    Thanks Rena for the tutorial !

  18. Rosalind says:

    This is another great tutorial. I have been looking at these bracelets and wondering how to make them and you make it look like something I could do. I don’t know where to find 16 gauge hard wire, any suggestions?
    Thanks for your informative newsletters.

  19. You’re very welcome! I hope you have fun making this bracelet!

  20. Rosalind, thank you for asking – I meant to say half-hard wire. I’ve edited the tutorial to correct that. You can get it from Etsy, Amazon, and most suppliers of copper jewelry wire.

    Also, you can use Memory wire instead of copper wire for this bracelet.

  21. I am always so drawn to these bracelets. I’m so excited to try it on my own. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! Pinning for later!

  22. This is really beautiful! I especially love all the different types of materials you used!

  23. What a beautiful bracelet! I love the mix of materials 🙂

  24. What a beautiful bracelet! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  25. Visiting from Create with Joy – what a beautiful bracelet idea, love the adjustable idea – it would be a good gift for many who doesn’t know the recipient’s size.

  26. beautiful! love this gypsy style adjustable wire bracelet! appreciate your detailed step by step, always so easy to duplicate with your instructions!

  27. Wow! You give so much wonderful picture detail to show how to make this lovely bracelet! Thanks for the directions 🙂

  28. Great tutorial! I love the adjustable wire too!

  29. This is a GREAT tutorial!!! Pinning and sharing.

  30. I love this idea and the tutorial looks so clear! I hope to make some of these. One question — do you think it would work to make one with multiple coils, if the diameter of the bracelet was a little bigger to allow it to slide over the hand without opening it up?

  31. Jann Olson says:

    I love it! Makes me want to go find a band of gypsies and join in the fun!! lol! Thanks for sharing.
    hugs,
    Jann

  32. Hi Emily, thank you for your kind words about this tute! Yes, I think you could make a slightly larger, multi-coil gypsy bracelet that you could slide on and off. I hope you enjoy creating your bracelet! 🙂

  33. Rena,
    I love this bracelet. Just pinned.
    Debi

  34. Rena, this time you took it to an another level by using the concept of recycling in jewelry designing. Great work!

  35. Maritza says:

    Rena ,
    Thank you for the great tutorial and the clear instructions. I like the way it adjusts to put it on or to remove it. I have bought so many different materials to make jewelry with and have looked at it, felt it and have not had the guts to put it together. I will have a t least one bracelet before long thanks to your generosity in sharing your ideas. Thank you again and have a beautiful day .

  36. Where does one buy a memory wire cutter? In all my years of looking at tools, I’ve never met the item, although I frequently see it mentioned in tutorials. The cutters I find are always intended for regular wire.

  37. Catherine says:

    Rena, you make things look so easy and pretty! My Mom had a small coil of copper wire in her shed and asked if I wanted it. I didn’t know what to do with it until now. I also have bags of material scraps my Mom saved for making quilts…I might find something in there. I love all your wonderful tutorials and tips! Also I need to add, I tried making your wire rings….I shaped one like a heart, my Mom loved it!!!! Thank you for all the inspiration!?

  38. Hi Catherine! Thank you for your lovely compliment. I’m so happy to hear about your wire heart ring for your Mom – it sounds like you’re off and running! And great to have wire and fabric scraps to work with for projects like this Gypsy bracelet. I’d love to see how yours turns out if you’d like to share it with us! 🙂

  39. JC, if you have any local craft stores in your town, they will probably carry Memory Wire cutters. Also you will find them if you do an online search for “memory wire cutter” or “memory wire shear”. Amazon.com carries them, and so do many of the major online jewelry suppliers. You’re smart to get the memory wire cutters instead of ruining your regular wire cutters on the memory wire!

  40. Patti underwood says:

    Thank you for the measurements!
    I have been making these. They are quick and easy. But now that I know the wire length and the markings with sharpie, it will be better.
    I have been making them and covering the wire with Viking knit. And then bending the last loop. I then finish off the ends with wrapped wire.
    I have your tutorial on wire components, and have learned much from it. You are a wonderful teacher.
    Thank you,
    Patti Underwood

  41. Patti, thank you! You just made my day. 🙂 And I would love to see your Viking knit version of these bracelets!

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