Daily Wire Tip: Fixing Falling Bracelets

By on September 23, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


I made a bracelet with six wires and a black onyx as the focal stone. My customer told me that the onyx falls down to the inside of her wrist when she is using the computer. What would you recommend I fix to stop it from falling down? Should I put weights on the inside of the bracelet where the hook is to balance the weight?

-Frances in Fresno, California


This really depends on the style and shape of bracelet you made, as well as the size of the cabochon.

If the bracelet is too thin to hold its shape with a larger cab, meaning not enough wires, and/or the gauge is not large enough, then remake it using more bracelet wires or a smaller cabochon.

A human’s wrist is oval in shape; therefore I make all my bracelets oval, and not round. However as I mentioned above, if the cabochon is too big, then the base of the bracelet will need to be wider and made with a heavier-gauged wire to be able to support the weight of the stone.

One other factor is the size of the bracelet. If the customer likes her bracelets really large and loose, no amount of wire or shaping will make a difference. If an oval bracelet is made to be about half an inch larger than the wrist size, the oval shape should hold the stone on top of the arm.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    September 24, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I had the same problem several times and as Dale said I found that reducing the size of the bracelet to just slightly larger than her wrist makes all the difference in the world.

  2. avatar

    Ginni Tutterow

    September 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

    The bracelet needs to be oval and the right size. If you made a freestanding hook and eye closure, you may be able to resize the bracelet in one (or a combination) of two ways:

    – Make a smaller hook and eye — use lighter wire (though I rarely go smaller than 18 g. for a hook and eye), and cut it shorter so the result is smaller.

    – I have also been successful with (work gently, slowly and patiently here) redoing the ends of the bracelet. Figure out how much smaller you’re going to make it, and measure and mark half that distance in from the current end wraps. Remove the clasp, unfold the ends of the bracelet and straighten them my pressing the wires flat with your pliers. Use the pliers to “scoot” the wraps down to the new marks. Then refinish the bracelet ends.

  3. avatar

    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor

    September 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    You make some excellent points Dale! It took me awhile to figure out that any bracelet you didn’t want to spin on your wrist, needed to be oval. Round bracelets or bangles are fine for designs that look good (or feel good) no matter how they turn on your wrist. Anything with a focal that is meant for the top, needs to be oval.

  4. avatar

    Camel Lamatrice

    September 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I am having a problem with bracelet measurements. I measured the wrist like you said.The wrist measurement + half an inch.The problem they are about half inch or more larger than it needs to be.What’s wrong?

    • avatar


      September 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      Camel, it really depends on what style of bracelet you are making. If you are making one of my hook and eye, bangle designs, using half an inch to finish each end, then making the hook and eye as instructed (which measures about 1-inch when done) the finished bangle should end up one half inch larger than the wrist; which when made into an oval shape is just large enough to ‘bangle’ the wrist without sliding too far over the top of the hand.

  5. avatar

    Ginni Tutterow

    September 27, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I make and measure the clasp to be sure exactly what length it is. Even as many clasps as I’ve made, they do vary by about an eighth of an inch.

    I have also found that I need to allow for the loops on the bracelet that will hold the clasp. That’s another eighth of an inch or a hair more.

    And I have found that 1/2″ is a bit more play than I like for a bracelet. I usually shoot for 1/3 of an inch. The tiny adjustments mentioned above add up on the finished bracelet.

  6. avatar

    Karen Boudreau

    December 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you Dale and Rose, and all at wire-sculpture for all you do and teach, and everything your site provides.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all!

    • avatar


      December 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks so very much Karen ~ Happy Holidays to you and yours too!! :P

  7. avatar


    November 22, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I use an oval, step bracelet mandrel with three sizes. The oval shape is great and you can hammer on the mandrel to harden the bracelet. The steps help you create consistent bracelet sizes. I usually use round, heavy 14 or 16ga wire but I think it will work on thinner, square wire as well.


  8. avatar


    March 14, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I had this problem as well. While the oval shape helped I also found that making the bracelet an oval CUFF instead, allowed the wearer to shape it to her own wrist, as tight or loose as she liked it, and to keep the stone on top.

  9. avatar


    October 16, 2014 at 8:43 am

    With regard to the recent questions on shaping bracelets — if you haven’t already, check out the pantry. There are many different sizes and shapes of cans, bottles, etc. that can be used individually, or in combination, as a tool for forming the basic shape of bracelets and any other wire projects that require a uniform shape for one or more items. Then, use hands or hammer (plastic or rawhide and gentle touch on glass) to refine the shape. Don’t forget the “syrup” bottles that usually have oval sides with flat front/back that can be used to form the oval bracelets. Necessity is the mother of invention. Twistedbrother

  10. avatar

    Heather Gale

    December 9, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Must crafters will say gave you seen a round wrist

    While no one has a round wrist statistics show the round bangle is what people buy. Maybe not crafts but in the high street and on the net

    Myself I don’t like oval I feel trapped I like the space and I can play with them.

    Aesthetically I love looking at a round bracelet. So I’ve stopped making them and concentration on round.

    Maybe in the future I will make them again but maybe only when there is a demand

  11. avatar


    December 10, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Now I know more about “Making Oval Bracelets That WILL FIT” Thanks for all the Info. Very Helpful.

  12. avatar


    February 16, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Why not use a “Bead Stopper?”

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