Alternative Bracelet Closures

Harriet poses this question:

Do you have a finishing tecknique for bracelets that is more rock and roll and not with beads and sweet stuff? it is a customer question to me, and I am thinking hard on this one. 1) a push button: one part (male) on one end and the other (female) part on the other if I make the fabric long enough? 2) a “borrelås” a band with one sticky part and one soft part? Hm not easy. Can my teacher help, please?

Harriet already knows this, but for the rest of you, I love questions like this! They invite us to think creatively to expand an idea, solve a problem, make new connections. This is my favorite part of designing. So let’s dive in and solve this problem so Harriet can satisfy her customer.

Miscellaneous Funk & Weber bracelets

Miscellaneous Funk & Weber bracelets

Harriet is referring to bracelets we make in our Embroider Me! Bracelet Basics & Beyond class, which is not yet listed here on the new site.

I think your proposed solutions are great. The “push button” you mention is called a “snap” here. I think your second idea is referring to what we call “Velcro.” That’s the name of a company that makes the product; the generic name is supposed to be “hook and loop” tape or closure, but the material is best known as Velcro. I think the Velcro might be a little bulky, though. We’ll have two layers of the embroidery plus the snap or Velcro.

The first idea to come to my mind is simply two braided tails coming off both ends, like friendship bracelets, that are then knotted together around the wrist. Friendship bracelets are typically worn all the time–through showers, mud baths, and everything else. Bracelets worn that way will eventually wear out, which is, of course, fine. Or, the bracelet can be knotted so that it’s big enough to slip on and off over the hand.

Instead of braided fibers, how about a leather cord?

Most, if not all, closures can be added to the end of the bracelet without the beads. If there is a “rock and roll” closure–and I won’t pretend to be an expert on identifying those–it might be applied to the end with just a jump ring. Equally important may be the kind of metal used in the closure. Shiny strikes me as sweet and feminine, but what about copper, dull brass, pewter, or stainless steel?

Glass bugle bead, "metallic black"

Glass bugle bead, metallic black, Miyuki #451

Or how about substituting metal tubes (think bugle beads) for the more dainty beads?

If pressed, I’d say toggle closures might be perceived as more “rock and roll” than, say, a lobster claw. I find them much easier to fasten, but slightly less secure.

Toggle jewelry closures

Rope-like toggle, pewter; Diamond toggle, pewter; Plain toggle, pewter with gunmetal finish; Plain toggle, copper

They can be nicely plain or rope-like. And what about pairing a plain bar toggle piece with a washer from the hardware store? While you’re at the hardware store look around and see what else you might use in embroidery. I can think of several uses for O-rings.

Ball-and-hitch and magnetic clasps

Ball-and-hitch clasp, gunmetal finish; Magnetic clasp, black gunmetal plated

Other potentially “rock and roll” clasps might be a ball-and-hitch or magnetic. Ball-and-hitch are also easy to fasten. I’m a little leery of magnetic clasps because magnets and digital devices tend to not be friends. I have no idea how strongly magnetized the clasps are or if there’s any danger to digital devices or cds or dvds, but it’s not an experiment I’m eager to make, either.

When searching for alternative findings, a good keyword right now might be “steampunk.” You’ll find gunmetal, antique brass, bronze, pewter, and black alternatives to the mainstream silver and gold.

All right. What other ideas do you have for more “rock and roll,” less sweet and pretty bracelet finishing?

Some places to find jewelry findings online (I have no affiliation with any of these, except as a customer):

4 Responses to “Alternative Bracelet Closures”

  1. Harriet, Norway

    Thank you, Jen!
    You are my cornucopia of techniques, tips and inspiration 😉

    My bracelet project is about 2,5 times wider than those we made in your Bracelet course, well about 3-4cm wide depending on the stitches per inch on the fabric, actually. I have to do the calculations on this, to make it easier to design.

    Because of the size, I would like the endings to be smooth and not: ”to be sticking out” with a hook in the middle… a sketch would explain this thought better than words, I believe…

    I am working on how to make the endings elegant/sporty/rock and roll … and of course I will send you pictures when the first attempt is finished, so we can develop some new solutions or “bettering up” the finishing techniques for my/our/others bracelet projects.

    Do you by the way remember my question about how wide a particular pattern will turn out on the different counting’s by 32/24/12 stitches per inch? … Maybe you have posted your answer on a blog and I have missed it?

    If this is too many questions to answer, you just put the theme in a class project and I will participate! I will not like to think I am using too much of your time and you do not earn anything! Knowledge is valuable and should be treated thereafter 😉
    All the best, from Harriet

    January 28, 2011 @ 2:20 am
  2. I do remember that question, Harriet, and the answer is coming next week in The Needlework Nutshell and here on the blog as a tutorial.

    Someone else asked the same question last week.

    January 28, 2011 @ 1:49 pm
  3. Cool! i make beaded necklaces with a button and beaded loop closure. The easiest for me to wear and close by far, even easier than a toggle. Haven’t tried it with a bracelet yet, but it’s on my to do list!

    July 22, 2014 @ 11:02 am
  4. Loops-and-buttons are a great option. Needleworkers can make a loop with blanket or buttonhole stitches.

    A trip down the fastener aisle at the hardware store should turn up some possibilities, too.

    July 22, 2014 @ 11:20 am

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