Beadwork for Beginners: Bead and Woven Chain Bracelets

The effect shown in the picture above is simple to achieve and produces an eye catching, fun piece of jewellery.  The examples in the picture show a bracelet with beads and charms interspersed with short amounts of woven antique effect chain and an anklet made mostly of silver plated chain with a few beads.  Antique effect chain is ideal for this technique and matches well with brown, amber or gold coloured beads and charms.

What You Will Need

Before you start, ensure you are using a good elastic beading cordStretch Magic (shown in the picture above) is my favourite because it very rarely breaks and is easy to knot.  The weight of chain can be too much for some elastics so it’s best to use a high quality cord such as this.  You will also need some beads of your choice, although you could make a bracelet entirely from chain if you wish.  You also need a chain; chains designed for charm bracelets are ideal as they have large links which look great when woven.  You will need at least a meter as it is very compressed when woven.

How to weave the chain

Simply thread the elastic through each link, like you are sewing.  You thread the elastic down through the first link then up through the second, so that the chain retains its shape when you pull it out but if you let go it slips neatly down the elastic, with the links resting against each other.  In order to demonstrate how to thread the elastic, I have illustrated the below picture showing how the elastic should be put through each link. 


How to complete the bracelet

Just keep going until you are happy with the (compressed) length of chain on the elastic and then using pliers break the next link of the chain and add beads, charms, more chain, whatever you choose, until the bracelet is long enough.  Then cut the elastic and tie in a good knot, just like you would with a normal elasticated bracelet.

This effect is so simple to achieve so have fun experimenting with different chain colours, sizes and lengths, until you find something you’re happy with.  Chains are available from craft and beading shops in all sorts of colours and simple, plated varieties are usually inexpensive, plus they can also be easily sourced online.  Although the weaving can be time consuming I think you’ll agree the end result justifies it and it is a pleasing variation on a simple beaded elastic bracelet.  

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