View Full Version : Measurements for bracelets

03-26-2004, 02:44 PM
How do you measure for finished bracelets and bangles for a custom piece and how about in general? S/M/L
Thanks for any help with this! Darlene

03-26-2004, 03:20 PM
This is kind of a tough one, and I hope knowledgable people who sell bracelets will chime in.

I know one thing you must keep in mind is the size of the beads. If the beads are large, then you must make the bracelet strand longer than if the beads are small. This is because large beads will make the interior diameter of the bracelet significantly smaller.

So, you want to be thinking about your interior bracelet measurement.

03-26-2004, 03:21 PM
Also, there are ways to build in adjustability, and Kate McKinnon covers this very well, I think, in her 2004 Workbook. I will get you the link.


You just click on the "Workbook" Link. It's a great reference book, Kate makes and sells high-end bracelets.

But also hopefully you will get good advice in this thread.

I always kind of think of 7 1/2" as a standard size, rule of thumb...

03-26-2004, 03:30 PM
When using a fixed clasp such as toggle it really can be a challenge!!! Kate does have an interesting way to do a "quick size" for her shows.... however... she does her bracelets a bit different than just stringing.. she does wire wrapping and it works for her style.

I make bracelets that sell in retail stores.... I simply make a variety of sizes from 7.5 to 8.5 inches. (inside measurement...... taking account size of beads like Donna said) My customer (retailer) calls about once a month to see if I can resize a bracelet. I do this for them as they are a really good sales source. I know that I loose some sales over size too based on someone just wanting something at the moment they see it and not to wait for it to be sent off to be resized!!! I understand that. I'm not sure how to get around it unless I would start using the lobster claw and chain method and I'm not sure that is the style that my customers (and me!!) want!

Good luck.... maybe someone else has an answer!

PS.. when I do shows and sell direct.... I always try to have several larger bracelets 9" + so that a larger woman won't feel left out. I think it makes them feel better that others need that size and it's not out of the ordinary! I did a home trunk show recently where most all of the women needed larger sizes than I had brought! They weren't especially overweight women... just big beautiful gals!!!

03-26-2004, 03:39 PM
I usually make watches 7" and bracelets 7 - 7.5" unless it's a custom order and I know they like them snug or loose or I've made a measurement. I also take into account larger beads and adjust accordingly. I define small as 6" - 6.5" and large as 8" to 8.5".

My mom has very small wrists. I used her wrist as a model and made several measurements based on snug or loose fit and bead size. Some people will say they like a loose bracelet, then say they don't like yours because it rests on their hand. :rolleyes: I try to always ask, "Where do you like your watch/bracelet to hit you? or "Do you want this to move about freely on your arm?"

Another option is to use the hook type clasp and add enough rings to the other end to make it adjustable.


03-26-2004, 04:14 PM
:) :clap: :) Thank-you so much Donna, Lois and Charlee. The information is very helpful. You guys are smart and generous. :cat:

03-26-2004, 04:20 PM
You are welcome Nunu, be sure and post pics for us of your bracelets! :)

03-26-2004, 04:58 PM
(big wave to Darlene!!!) When I'm doing shows, I do a variety of sizes, from 6" to 9". If it's a custom piece for someone in particular, use a measuring tape, and hold it loosely around the wrist where the bracelet would sit, then you have the exact size it needs to be when done up. If you are putting a toggle on it, remember that it needs to be a bit longer, so the toggle bar fits through the loop.

I agree with Donna, Kate McKinnon's book looks fabulous! I don't own it - yet!! As soon as my supplier has it, I'm definitely picking it up!!

I use my husband's wrist as a model of 'the perfect ladies wrist' - no, he's definitely not the girlie type. He's actually quite muscular, but he has such small wrists!!! Huge hands, but small wrists! Makes it easy for me to see how a bracelet will sit on someones arm! LOL! (Now I better hope he doesn't see this thread, or he'll shoot me for telling everyone about his girlie wrists! :evil: )

03-26-2004, 05:16 PM
I can tell you what most of the jewelry retailers do. They have 7" and 8" bracelets. Anything else has to be either custom made or custom modified.

03-26-2004, 06:31 PM
I've been making most of mine with a chain and lobster claw so that it's adjustable for most any wrist.

Not all styles can do this though... so some just fit or don't.

Kate McKinnon does talk a lot about making her bracelets easy to adjust... but either my wire wrap loops are not very good, or I just don't like the way they look with my styles... I still need to figure that out.