Thursday, June 27, 2013

Upcycled Wire Bracelet

A few weeks ago my husband needed a usb cable. Lucky for him, I am a pack rat about some things and have a giant bag filled with miscellaneous cables and cords. We found a cable that would work for him along with a bunch of cables for things we no longer need and for electronics we no longer own.

Among these obsolete treasures were a number of ethernet and telephone cords. We haven't had a land line phone for years and all of our computers and electronic devices connect to our network wirelessly. So, it would make sense that these cords are just junk and can be thrown away.

Or... Maybe there's a project here. Each of these cables are filled with brightly colored copper wires that would be wonderful for crafting. I'm sure they could be used for loads of different projects. I decided to make some festive braided bracelets.

Materials


  • ethernet or phone cable
  • wire cutters
  • scissors
  • safety pin
  • super glue (optional)

Directions


Find your perfect cord in the tangle of old cables stashed somewhere in a closet. I'm going to use the yellow one.








Use wire cutters to cut the plug off each end. Use scissors to remove a couple inches of the plastic outer cover. Inside you will find four beautiful strands of copper wire.







Pull the copper wires from the outer plastic tube. Don't throw the outer tube away quite yet. You will be using it later in the project.

Cut each wire so that it is at least 26-28 inches long. Depending on how long your original cord was, you may be able to just cut each wire in half and make multiple bracelets.




If you look closely, you will notice that each of the copper wires is actually two wires wrapped together. Gently pull apart each wire.

I used the orange, orange and white, brown, and brown and white wires for my bracelet, but you can use whatever combination of four wires that you like.





Fold each of the wires in half. Insert a safety pin in the middle of the wires and secure the safety pin to something. I usually just pin it to my pant leg while I work.

Now you are going to do some 4-strand braiding with your four colors of wire.






Start with the color on the right. Working from right to left, weave it over, under, then over the other three colors of wire.








Weave the new color on the right, over, under and over the other colors.









Repeat with the third color.









Repeat with the final color.









Keep braiding in this manner until you reach the end of the wire. The pattern will look like this.








Once you reach the end of the wire you can unpin your work and remove the safety pin.








Cut a piece of the tubing that is about an inch long. This is what you will use to secure the ends of your bracelet.

Roll the tubing in your hands to soften the plastic a little.






Pull the ends of the wires through the tube.









Use one of the excess lengths of wire to guide the looped end of your bracelet through the tube. Pull the guide wire through the looped end of the bracelet.








Run the guide wires through the tube.









Use the guide wire to pull the looped end through the tube.This takes a little bit of muscle.

Adjust the length of your bracelet. Mine is nine inches around but you can make it smaller to fit a child's wrist or larger if necessary.

Once your bracelet if the desired size, remove the guide wire and unbraid both ends of the bracelet as far as you can.


Trim the excess wires as closely to the tube as possible. Carefully slide the tube slightly so that the wires that will be touching your wrist are completely concealed by the tube.

If desired, you can put a drop of super glue inside each end of the tube to secure the bracelet and ensure that it won't accidentally be pulled apart.




Once the glue has completely dried you can slip on your new bangle to add a little color to your day and be proud that you gave something old a new life.

6 comments:

  1. Wow this is so creative! I wonder if my grandpa have these old cables. If I found those cables, I want to try this. Thanks for posting this :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. 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

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW. Great idea. I have lots of cables that I was planning to throw away some day. Now I know why I kept them .
    Sometimes that inner voice says " hold on something useful is about to posted to make use of thiese cables.." LOL.
    Thanks for posting.
    kaystyle@etsy.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome collection Nice one ....
    Thanks for sharing...
    Women's bracelets

    ReplyDelete
  5. you can skin the coating off to reveal the copper as well...just lightly score the outer plastic on individual cords and then pull off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea! I haven't tried that yet, but I have a stash of unused cords just waiting for another copper wire project.

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by The Chilly Dog. I hope you found some inspiration during your visit. I welcome your crafty comments and questions. Yes, I do read them all and reply to as many as I can :)

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