$4.00 Golden Parade Bangles

Some women have a thing for shoes; I have a thing for bracelets.
I love wearing them. I love looking at them. I love the sound they make as they jostle around on the wrist. Wearing them all the time is impractical for me because I work with my hands so often, but when I do, I like to wear them five or ten at a time, like Madonna circa 1987.
Problem: I have huge wrists. 
Not freakishly huge enough to warrant a TV special on TLC or anything, just big enough that 50% of the bracelets I try on won’t fit. The other 50% will go on but they don’t jangle about and make delicate clattering noises as they do on people with small wrists. 
Darn you tiny wristed people with your delicate clattering noises!
So what do I do? I make my own bracelets. Lucky for me, the Jamaican Beauty Supply Shop (btw, I should really do a tour post of this amazing place) carries an entire wall of cheapo bracelets priced below $2.00, including some sets of metallic bangles big enough to fit a pachyderm.
Even skinny wristed JJ from “Good Times” approves of these bangles!

Credit where credit is due: I did not come up with this idea, I’m just demonstrating a variation on the project. There are several great tutorials out there already, including this one from Mark Montano that uses zip ties as the base for the bracelet – something I (and my unusually sized wrists) greatly appreciate.
  • Bracelet Base (or zip ties), $2.00
  • Mardi Gras Beads or Bead Garland, Freeish**
  • Thin Ribbon or Single Ply Seam Binding, 2′ for each bracelet $2.00*
  • Hot Glue, meh
  • Seed or Smallish Beads (optional)
  • Needle and Thread (optional)
  • Clear Nail Polish (optional)

*Ribbon selection is important. Choose something thick enough to cover the gaps, but thin enough to cover smoothly. Skip the big bulky craft ribbons and go for something you find in the sewing section, preferably on the bias.  
** Where to get beads: I don’t know if they have a Pride Parade in your neighborhood, but if they do, you probably picked up some beads last weekend. Or maybe you have some leftover from Mardi Gras. Or maybe you buy bead garland in bulk after Christmas. Or maybe you see dress-up beads in the kids section at the dollar store and when the checkout-clerk asks you if they are “for your little girl?” you say “yes” even though your “little girl” is a “cat.” 
Or, ahem, all of the above. 

After wrapping the ribbon around the circumference of each bracelet, tie it off with the original knot and repeat the circle in reverse. If you are super thorough, finish off with a book binder’s knot. I left the tails out and sealed the edges with a dab of clear nail polish, but you could certainly snip them off.
I am going to wear them with one of my Mrs. Roper caftans and jingle and jangle all day long!


  1. says

    I have tiny wrists. 90% of gorgeous bracelets jingle gracefully as they slip off and fall to the ground. I have tiny hands too. But, great idea for upgrading and gifting my failed attempt at jingle bracelets.

  2. Angel Holland says

    I somehow came home from Chicago Pride without a single strand of beads this year. Could have been because I was in the parade though. And we were handing candy, not beads. Oh well. Beautiful bangles!

  3. Leah Martin says

    “Or maybe you see dress-up beads in the kids section at the dollar store and when the checkout-clerk asks you if they are “for your little girl?” you say “yes” even though your “little girl” is a “cat.” ” Laughing my big butt off over here! I have a little boy… cat. hahaha

  4. Redshaftedflicker says

    I have tiny wrists and bangles fall off of me… and watch straps are far too big. I wonder who has perfect-middle-just-right-sized wrists.

  5. Brandi Bohay says

    YES! I don’t wear makeup because no one is worthy of seeing me glamorous and I don’t want weirdos falling in love with me. I don’t do pretty things with my hair because I sweat like a blue ribbon hog and it never stays the way I like it. I am no fashionista because I am short and pudgy and clothing manufacturers think all pudgy women are amazons and six feet tall. So it clothes fit my waist, the legs have to be hemmed…..first world problems right…
    But I LOVE bracelets and earrings!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE. My addiction got so bad I had to start making them so I could save money. Love your tutorial.

  6. Mich L says

    Delovely! I really love the randomly stitched beadery. Jangle away, my crafty friend – those look adorable.

  7. says

    I came by today after seeing the boho tassels off easy, and I have to say the pic of JJ with the bangles made me stay (and laugh so hard I woke my poor blind wolf mama dog in the doorway). I have medium wrists so I stack beaded bracelets with larger solid bangles and they work pretty ok, but I can’t wait to make these. I have so many mardi gras beads (I make necklaces with them and a few different other materials with antique skeleton keys), and I always end up with shorty nub strands. This will definently help me use up my extra pieces! Keep up the great work!

    (BTW, the Neil Diamond post….best thing I’ve read in ages!)

    • aunt peaches says

      Thanks, Dio! You are too sweet 🙂

      • says

        Oh! Quicky question: is there a special way to use the glue gun to attach the beads to the bangle? I find they kinda want to move too much and don’t seem to have the stability to not move or break off (unless the ribbon wrapping is what keeps the glue from coming off). My bangles are thin and roundish, does it tend to work better with flat bangles?

        • aunt peaches says

          Flat edges bangles would probably be easier, but work what you got. If the glue is sliding off, perhaps wrap some thread around the bangle first. Nota lot, just enough to give it something to grip to. Hot glue can be tricky. I find working in short lengths — maybe 2″ at a time — is helpful too. Good luck!!


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