Monday, March 11, 2013

DIY Alex n Ani Bracelets: Make Similar Bangles For 1/8th The Price


First there were the Livestrong bracelets, then Pandora -- now the biggest craze is the Alex & Ani bracelets. I think these are the most adorable bracelets. However, these bracelets can easily run you up to over $50 a pop (with the average bracelet still costing at least $25+). And these bracelets, much like charms on a charm bracelet, are meant to be collected, I could easily go broke trying to buy them all. So, I made a trip over to Michael's and made my own (low-end) version.


All I needed was:
- Beading wire (I suggest getting stainless steel, as aluminum is too flimsy)
- Charms
- Pliers (flat-nosed and needle-nosed, are preferred)
- Wire cutters



I first cut roughly 1 1/2 the circumference of the wire -- or roughly twice the circumference of my wrist.


I added a charm onto the bracelet and slid it to roughly the center part of the bracelet.


I bent the lower end of the wire up (so that the bent portion is touching the top wire).


After measuring the wire around said wrist, I used my needle-nosed pliers and curved the bent portion around the top wire.


Then, while holding everything in place, I used the flat-nosed pliers to squeeze the bend until the wire cannot move through it.


I then slid on whatever remaining charms for the bracelet.


I fed the free wire 1/3 of the way around the bracelet and repeated the process, only now on the bottom portion of the wire. After squeezing everything into place, I cut off the remaining wire and smoothed any rough bends.


I ended up making 4 bracelets with what I got: one is a Celtic spiral bracelet, another is a summertime bracelet, another is a religious bracelet, while one is just a mash-up of charms that caught my eye.


I spent a grand total of $16 for this project, including taxes. The cost for these four bracelets was less than the cost of just one Alex & Ani bracelet. They're definitely not as nice (and are lacking the signature "Made in America with love" et al), but, eh, details.

10 comments:

  1. where do you get the charms

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got them in the jewelry-making section at Michael's. I know smallers Michael's don't necessarily have them, but I'm sure you could get them online. They were roughly $2-3 a piece.

      Delete
  2. What brand of wire did you purchase? I got stainless steel wire but it still bends way too easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I believe I got stainless steel as well. I think it all depends on the diameter of the wire -- I can't for the life of me remember the exactly number in MM but I do remember that it was one of the thickest wires they had there. They're a little more flimsy than the Alex n Ani versions, but I imagined any thicker and I'd have difficulty bending the ends.

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  3. These look great! I have a few real Alex and Ani's so I mix my knock-offs to really add to thte look. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG what a pretty Bracelets. This is my first time to this site but my friend has told me about your work and you are very very good!
    Bangle Bracelets

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  5. Were you able to make yours so they slide open/adjustable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm able to adjust them by opening the the folded sides and moving them accordingly before closing the sides up again.

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  6. I think you do a great job making bracelets its about the creative artist inside of you. 16 Gauge is a good wire for bracelets, continue to use your mind and hands to create beautiful bracelets.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been trying to make these bracelets for a gift and finally came across this article. I had been using aluminum rather than the stainless steel so thank you for the tip! Do you happen to remember where you bought it? I'm having trouble finding it in craft stores and online. What gauge/mm would you recommend?

    ReplyDelete

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