How to size bracelets

5 tips for the perfect fit by sizing bracelets. 

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Whether you make them for yourself, friends and family, or a customer, making bracelets to the right size can be a challenge. These five tips will help you create bracelets that fit every time.

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1 The law of averages

Industry guidelines for average bracelet sizes can be a good starting point if you want to make bracelets to fit a range of people of unknown sizes. If you’re going to sell bracelets at a craft fair or art show, for instance, consider making each style in at least two sizes.

 

Woman’s size            Bracelet length

Adult small/petite      7 in. (18 cm)

Adult medium            7½–8 in. (19.1–20 cm)

Adult large                  8½ in. (21.6 cm)

Adult plus                   9 in. (23 cm)

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2 Customize it

For the best results, customize your creations based on actual wrist measurement and preferred fit. Here’s how:

 

Step 1 

Measure your actual wrist size: Wrap a flexible tape measure around your wrist just below your wrist bone where you would normally wear a bracelet. Alternatively, wrap a piece of string around your wrist, and then measure the length of the string on a ruler.

 

Step 2 

Select your preferred fit. Most people have a preference on how a bracelet drapes on the wrist. Follow these guidelines to determine total bracelet length based on the preferred fit.

 

Style Add to actual wrist size

Snug fit ¼–½ in. (6 mm–1.3 cm) 

Comfort fit ¾–1 in. (1.9–2.5 cm)

Loose fit 1¼ in. (3.2 cm) 

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3 Bead size matters

FACT: Large beads take up more space on the wrist than small beads. This means bulky beads essentially shrink the inside circumference of a bracelet. If you are following the industry sizing guidelines when sizing thicker bracelets, they will probably fit tighter than anticipated. To compensate for larger beads or thicknesses, measure the diameter of the largest bead or the thickest section of the design, and multiply this number by three. For example, a 3⁄8 in. (1 cm) diameter bead will require that you add an additional 1 1⁄8 in. (2.9 cm) to the final bracelet length.

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4 Use a bracelet sizing mandrel

Instead of designing bracelets flat on your work surface, use an EZ Bracelet Sizer to easily check the inner dimensions of your design. The EZ Bracelet Sizer is a vinyl cone that includes measurements of actual wrist sizes ranging from 4–12 in. (10–30 cm) in circumference (for anklets). Remember that you may need to add extra length to create the preferred fit. Learn more at Gossamer Wings Designs.

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5 No measuring needed

If you already have a bracelet that is the perfect size, try the Styrofoam cup method: Slide the bracelet onto an upside down Styrofoam cup (or better yet, use a biodegradeable cup). Use a marker to trace around the cup where the bracelet sits. Use the cup as a form to make additional bracelets of the same size.

 

 

If you are looking for FREE downloadable bracelet projects, click here for hundreds of choices. You’ll find stitched, strung, metal- and wirework, resin, clay, cord and fiber options for jewelry projects right here on Facet.

 

 

 

Have a question or comment? Please contact us at editor@beadandbutton.com.

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