Starting off easy: DIY fabric-covered bangle bracelets

18 Dec

I love bright,  chunky bangles in all different sizes and materials. Recently I’ve been giving some of my old ones a makeover by covering them in fabric.  I see lots of online tutorials about wrapping bangles in strips of fabric, but I thought I’d post my version, which doesn’t leave raw edges visible.

You need:

-plain bangles to cover. I used thrifted metal and plastic ones, but since I’ve covered all my old ones, for this batch I used wooden blanks from DIY bangles. The advantage of these is that they come in different sizes, both circumference and thickness, so it’s easier to fit those with small or larger hands.

-scraps of fabric. I like to use up my most obnoxious ones: faux fur, upholstery velvet, anything with texture and color.

-sewing machine (optional) and needle and thread.

-hot glue (optional)


1) cut a strip of fabric twice the width of your bangle and long enough to wrap around it with a 1/4″ overlap.

2) wrap the strip around your bangle wrong side out and pin together where the ends join. Make this snug so that no wrinkles form, later when you sew.

(If the fabric is thin, like this printed version, I add an extra 1/2″ or so in width, and then fold down 1/4″ and press hems along the edges to keep them from fraying and giving a better edge to work with, as pictured.)

3) Stitch along this pinned line to create a tube of fabric. (I machine stitch here, and press the seam open.)

4) Turn this tube right side out, and put your bangle back inside.

5) Whip-stitch the two edges of the fabric together to meet in the center, smoothing the fabric out and keeping it kind of tight.  If you want to keep the fabric from shifting, put a couple of spots of glue along the inside–I recommend hot glue, many glues will soak into fabric too much, or make it hard and scratchy on your wrist.

That’s it. If the visible stitching on the inside bothers you, you could line the interior with a grosgrain ribbon, held in place with hot-glue.  Being a rather haphazard crafter, myself, I skip this step.

You can also do the same thing with either knit or crochet, any yarn, any stitch pattern. If it’s a lacy or openwork pattern, it will show your bracelet underneath, painting the wood is nice, or using the color of whatever thrifted piece you’ve found.  Just make your strip slightly smaller in both directions than you would for fabric, because knitting stretches more than most fabrics.

One Response to “Starting off easy: DIY fabric-covered bangle bracelets”


  1. Head-to-toe Handmade « handmademess - March 10, 2012

    […] Even the bracelets are my own, one is knitted and one is one of my fabric-wrapped bangles: […]

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