Glitz Me 101: Beaded Watchband Tutorial

The big fad that started our jewelry business was beaded watch bands, and they are still one of our biggest sellers.   They are really quite simple to make once you know how, but it can be difficult to figure out by yourself.  Today I have put together a full-picture tutorial to walk you through making your own watch band.

First a little watch band “lingo”

1.  This bead on the end of the band is the “bar bead” or what we refer to as the “barbie”.  We had to come up with a name, since it is just a regular bead.  The trick with this bead is to find something that is smaller than the bar on your watch face so that the hooks can get to it.

2.  This piece is the “spacer bar.”   There are so many different spacer bars available!  The important part is that it is usually long and skinny and it must have at least two holes drilled in it through the short sides.

3.  The “hooks” can also be referred to as “lobster claws” or “clasps.”  You use four in each band, two on each end.  These are used to attach the watch band to the watch face.  The important thing to remember about these is that they must be big enough to go around the bar on your watch face, and when you put the band together you need to make sure that the opening of all four hooks face the same direction (up or down).

Now that you know what I am talking about, on to the “how-to”.  First you need to figure out how long your band should be.  The easiest way to do this is if you already have a watch band.  Simply make your new band the same length as your old band.  If you don’t have one, the general measurements are: Large 5 1/2″, Medium 5″, Small 4 1/2″.   Medium to large is the most average size.  The watch face will add from 1-2″.   The size of the watch face and the diameter of your beads will affect how your band fits, so you may need to adjust the length a couple of times until you get it just right.

First lay your “bar beads” out in the length that you want your watch band to be, and lay your spacer bars down dividing that space into thirds.

Next I like to add my largest bead, basically what will be the focal point in your band.

Then I usually fill in the spaces one color at a time to make sure that you get all of your colors in and that they are spread out.  Make sure that the beads that each section is the same length on top and bottom.

I almost always have to change things around several times before I get it just the way that I want it, so don’t feel bad or dumb if this part takes a while.

Once you have the band layed out the way that you want it, it is time to string it.  Start by putting one “bar bead” on the elastic and move it all the way to the middle.

Then put a hook on each side of the bar bead, making sure that both openings face the same way.   This is the wrong way:

This is the right way:

Then start adding your beads from your layout, one at a time.

When you get to the spacer bar, put one end of the string through each end.

Then continue to add the rest of the beads and the other spacer bar.

Then put a hook, the bar bead, and the other hook on ONE side.  Make sure that the last two clasps face the same way as the first two.

To tie the knot, start with a square knot.  So first, do right over left:

The big trick to making your knot stay is to pull it TIGHT.  So pull the string until it stops stretching (it is really strong, you won’t break it!)

Then grab the strings with your pinkies and keep the first knot held tight while you do the left over right.

Now that you have your square knot, you will finish with what is called a “surgeon’s knot.”  Instead of wrapping the string around once like in a regular knot, wrap it twice.  I played with the color in this photo a little so you could see the knot better:

Pull the knot tight and you are done!

The ends of the elastic can be cut about 1/8″ from the knot.



2 thoughts on “Glitz Me 101: Beaded Watchband Tutorial

  1. I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)