Wrist bling for hardly a thing: create jewelry with washers, ribbon

Hannah Baker

As I walk through the automatic doors at a department store, I see something shiny glimmer out of the corner of my eye: the jewelry section. I try to stay away, but like a moth to a flame I buzz my way past the lady with the crying child in her cart and the discounted Halloween decorations to get there.

The bright colors and shiny stones beckon and whisper how well they’d look on my wrists and around my neck. I reach out for one, and like a hot flame the red price tag burns my fingertips and I tear myself away.

“Excuse me, sir, but which aisle is the soup in?” I ask a sales associate.

When you’re on a budget, accessories typically fall by the wayside into the want category rather than the need. But there are ways you can have both your wants and needs — without overspending — by making some of the wants yourself.

At the risk of sounding cliché, industrial hardware jewelry is trendy right now, but it can also be expensive. So, I decided to make a bracelet myself using just two materials, and it turned out just as cute as the jewelry I left behind at the department store.  

You will need:

1) About 10 one-inch metal washers. It depends on how large your wrist is, so you might use more or less than 10. These can be bought at a local hardware store.

2) About 18 inches of your favorite color of ribbon. Seem a little longer than your wrist? It must be this long because threading uses much of the ribbon. The ends must also be long enough to tie at the end.

Step 1:

Thread your ribbon up through washer number one, leaving enough ribbon on the end to tie the bracelet when it’s finished.

Step 2:

Thread the ribbon down through the top of washer number two.

Step 3:

Thread the ribbon back down through washer number one.

Step 4:

Pull the ribbon tight, so washer number two is laying flat on top of washer number one.

Step 5:

Pull another washer through and thread the ribbon back up through washer number two.

Step 6:

Repeat Steps 2 through 5 for each additional washer. Once you’ve threaded all the washers, tie the two ends of the ribbon just tight enough so you can slip it on and off comfortably. Then, trim off excess ribbon and you’re all done.

Pretty easy, right? Making the bracelet only took about 10 minutes. If you have extra ribbon and washers, you could make a matching necklace. Just use about one yard of ribbon instead of 18 inches and you’ll want between 20 and 30 washers.

The next time I walk through the department store doors that politely open automatically for me, if I start buzzing toward the glimmer again, I can look down at my wrist while my wallet breathes a sigh of relief. I’ve got my wanted bracelet. Now where was that soup again?