Bracelet re-design

A while back I was in Michaels and saw these kind of hidious ‘rhinestone’ bracelets.  I really thought they were awful… but I LOVED the clasp.  I looked at how it was constructed, crossed my fingers, and picked it up (using the 40% off coupon of course!) to deconstruct at home.

original and redesigned

original and redesigned

The original is constructed of these plastic rhinestones glued to a piece of faux suede.

The finished bracelet and the 'leftovers'

The finished bracelet and the ‘leftovers’

The clasp however is pretty great, and I wanted to use it if I could…

Close up of the back of the clasp

Close up of the back of the clasp

The trick to this clasp is these TINY screws – the rhinestone strip wasn’t glued into the clasp, but only screwed in – hurrah! This meant I could unscrew the clasp, remove the rhinestone strip, and put in my own material.

Redesigned bracelet

Redesigned bracelet

Want to make your own?

You’ll need:

  • Original rhinestone bracelet
  • Tiny screwdriver (watch-repair tools)
  • Leather, or other material for the bracelet.  (I recycled purse straps for mine!) This will need to be the same width as the rhinestone strap, although SLIGHTLY smaller will also work. You can tell from the second photo that my leather is slightly narrower than the original. The thickness of the material is more important – it needs to have enough body to ‘grip’ the screws, without being too thick to insert into the clasp.
  • Scissors to cut your material down to size

Variation:

The size and width of the material you use for your bracelet is relatively important – but you aren’t stuck with just leather… you could interface and back fabric, or wide ribbon too.  You could also attach narrow ribbon to a wider ‘header’ which could fit in the clasp, or attach beadwork to a header too.  The clasp is fairly heavy, so you’ll want something that can hold the weight – but there are lots of variations!

If you skip the glue, you could also switch out the bracelet material when you get bored with it.

Optional:

  • Surface to work on where you won’t loose those tiny screws! (Or just be super-careful!)
  • Very fine needle-nose pliers or tweezers to hold the screws in place when putting them back in again.
  • Glue if desired (I didn’t use any)

Steps:

This is really easy!

  1. Open the bracelet and turn it over, exposing the tiny screws.
  2. Remove screws from one side of the clasp, and set the screws aside
  3. Remove the rhinestone strap from that side
  4. Trim your bracelet material so it has a clean edge, test to ensure it fits well.
  5. Optional: add a few drops of bond-to-everything glue into the clasp’s crevice. 
  6. Slide the material into the clasp, paying attention to the right side and wrong side of the clasp and bracelet.
  7. Replace the screws

For the second side, repeat steps 1-4, but before securing the bracelet, test the fit. Trim the edge as needed to get the perfect custom fit. Then continue with steps 5-7, making sure that you are continuing the right and wrong side.

Wear!

I love that this is a leather bracelet, but a bit more elegant than some of the punk-style ones I’ve worn before!

Wearing the new bracelet

Wearing the new bracelet

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