I have all these bangle bracelets that I bought for my dance costume but, alas, my wrists and hands are tiny and one quick arm thrust means the floor is now wearing my bracelets. So I've been trying out different methods of dressing them up to sell or give away, and so far this is my favorite. I wrote this after I'd made it, so forgive the vagueness in some areas.
-2 metal bangle bracelets (mine came from Target and were about $8 for a big ol' pack)
-wire (I used 24g silver-toned cheap stuff)
-a large focal bead that has a hole running top to bottom
-wire cutters and jeweler's pliers
1. Cut two pieces of wire of equal length. I don't know how long mine were, so I'd guess 1.5'? Don't make them longer than you can easily handle.
2. Bend both pieces at the centers, just to mark that point. Slide the bead over both wires, to the center point.
3. Take the wires coming from the top of the bead and wrap them five times, each in opposite directions (left and right) around one bangle. Keep the wraps tight, and end with the wire sticking straight up to keep it outta your way.
4. Repeat step 3, but with the wires coming from the bottom of the bead and the other bangle. Keep the bead pressed tightly against the top bangle-- the work you're doing now is securing it in place. The rest is mostly artsy.
5. While weaving, you'll want to keep the opposite sides of the bangles-- opposite the bead, that is-- pinched together. If needed, wrap a twist-tie around them to keep them cinched together tightly.
6. The weaving goes as so:
- Bring the top wire behind the top bangle and in front of the bottom bangle.
- The bottom wire goes behind the bottom bangle and in front of the top bangle.
- Repeat over and over, until you have about 3" of each wire piece remaining.
I find it helps to do one set of weavings per side, alternating between left and right, to keep the spacing even. Here's another photo to see what I'm talking about:
7. Tightly wrap each piece of wire around the bangle it's closest to, ending the wire with small curlyques.
8. Assuming you didn't entirely cover both the bangles in wire during steps 1-7, you'll finish the bracelet by cutting another 1' or so of wire. Remove anything you had cinching the bangles together. Starting with the midpoint of the wire placed at the point exactly opposite the bead, wrap both bangles tightly in wire, working in both directions. End in curlyques.
You could also add beads to the weaving, or during the wrapping steps. This could also be adapted to allow more than one focal bead.