You guys, this week has provided this year's first evidence that winter will actually end. Today it was in the high 50s. As a severe seasonal allergy sufferer, this time of year is the best. The weather is finally warming up, but things have not yet begun to pollenate so I can actually go out in the world before being banished back indoors by the beautiful nature my immune system has decided to flag as its number one enemy. While perusing some spring collections online I came across these nifty armbands from Free People and because I was finally able to bare my arms this week I thought I would sit down to make one. At $28 they aren't prohibitively expensive, but a lot of the reviews were negative in regards to size and quality issues so I thought I could do it better and cheaper. Here's how I went about it:
I was able to gather all necessary supplies with one trip to AC Moore and the total cost added up to $12.46 (I neglected to include pliers for cutting the chain in the above photo... you'll need pliers also). Most of the problems I read about this piece had to do with the metal band being too large despite the elastic at the back. I had some difficulty tracking down a metal cuff that would work for this so I decided to make the whole band elastic. The material I found is actually the same as those trendy hair ties people are giving out left and right (like seriously, if you google "trendy hair tie" there is an entire website dedicated specifically to these products). So I measured the circumference of my upper arm with the elastic leaving a little extra room for folding and stitching the ends. I then laid out a tentative design and used invisible thread to attach the beads where I wanted them. I was a little bit worried about the beads falling off so I researched different types of knots used in jewelry making and ended up going with the surgeon's knot. I then connected the ends of the elastic with the invisible thread by folding over the frayed edge (like you're creating a hem) and stitching the elastic together at the folds. Then all I had to do was trim the invisible thread and it was good to go.
Full disclosure: The thread worked really well except on the one central dangly bead that kept flipping over so I secured it with some epoxy beneath the iridescent stone.
I really love the idea of these arm bands because I hate wearing bracelets since they are generally too big or just uncomfortable on my bony wrists. When I do wear something on my wrist it's usually a hair tie so the choice of materials for this project felt right to me. Anyway, here's to baring and accessorizing our arms in the near future (see what I did there? bare arms like to bear arms, but like the body part... it actually took me a while to figure out which was the correct one soo I'm pretty proud of the pun... also it's very late).