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This is a quick and sweet little upcycle project to create some boho style fabric wrapped bracelets. If you have some old bangles you don’t wear or are no longer looking their best and some long fabric scraps you can make these scrap fabric wrapped bangles. They’ll be unique to you and they are pretty comfy to wear too.
- Old Bangles/Bracelets (pull on style rather than with a clasp)
- Long fabric scraps 1-2cm wide (length can be variable)
- Washi Tape (optional)
- Needle and thread (optional)
I used some old metal bangles for this that were in a style I don’t really like any more so never wear. I’ve done it before with plastic bangles as well as smoother metal bangles that had discoloured. You can use anything that you can comfortably slip on your arm really (with a tiny bit of room to spare for the fabric that you are going to wrap around). Bangles or bracelets that you need a clasp to do up are not the best option. You could probably still do it if you sewed the ends off around the loop that holds the clasp in place, but that isn’t the method I went for here.
Step 1: Cut or Tear your Fabric Strips
I used an old men’s shirt that was in my ‘to do something with’ pile. I tore it into strips very approximately 2cm wide. The length was just the length of the front of the shirt or sleeve depending on where I was tearing it from. You can cut it short at the end if your strips are too long or add a second strip if your strips are too short (by sewing them together) so don’t stress about the length, just use what you have. One long strip will usually be plenty for one bracelet.
Step 2: Attach Fabric Strip and Wrap
I used a tiny bit of washi tape to attach my fabric strip to my bangle just to keep it secure for the first few wraps. This is optional or you could use a dab of hot glue or some plain cello-tape as well. It is just to stop the fabric slipping away as you wrap it around the bangle the first few times.
Above is an (unedited!) video of me doing this and wrapping the fabric all the way around. The only tip you really need is to wrap the fabric as tight as you can each time around and to overlap the fabric a little bit each time you go around. Enough so your original bangle is hidden but not so much that your bangle gets too thick and heavy with multiple layers of fabric on top of each other.
Step 4: Sew the end or make a Bow
To finish your bracelet off you can trim the end once you get back around to where you started, turn the end of the fabric strip under and sew in place. If your strip of fabric is extra long though you could also keep the strip untrimmed, tie a knot, and create a bow embellishment for your bracelet. To create the bow you cut what is left of your strip in two after making the knot and use the two strips to make your bow.
See the photos above for the bow method.
And that’s it. An easy way to upcycle both scrap fabric and old unworn bangles. Try it with different colours of fabric, different width of strip or ad other embellishments like buttons or bits of ribbon to make these your own unique creations.
If you liked this tutorial – pin it!
Check out our new sister blog dedicated to scrap fabric quilting & sewing project ideas – Scrap Fabric Love.