Making Kandi bracelets to trade began to trend at raves in the U.S. sometime around 2019. This simple practice is a great way to meet new people, make friends, and express your love and appreciation to your rave community. The process is easy and lets you exercise a lot of creativity and imagination.
Most Kandi beaded bracelets are made with pony beads – inexpensive and colorful beads that are strung onto elastic string. Using elastic makes the bracelets easy to exchange, and also lets you and your friends wear your bracelets anywhere on your arms.
The Supplies You Will Need
There are a lot of places to find pony beads. Look for an inexpensive variety with a lot of bright colors to use as your base for bracelets. These can be accented with special, custom beads made from a lot of different materials. Custom beads might be a little more expensive but can be used to follow a theme or make a special statement in your Kandi bracelets. You can also add lettered beads to spell out messages or add glow-in-the-dark or UV glow beads to look really distinctive. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider buying a bracelet kit, with everything you need to get started.
If your bead collection doesn’t come in a boxed kit with individual compartments for each color, it’s worth visiting the local dollar store to get one. The box’s lid is a good place to line up your beads before stringing.
For the elastic, there are also some options. Beading elastic on a spool is an economical choice for making a lot of bracelets to give away. You want the elastic to be strong, but also thin enough to tie a sturdy knot. Also, check with the manufacturer on their recommendation for their elastic. They may recommend doubling the elastic for stringing, which will change how much you’ll need for each bracelet.
Making Your Bracelet
Once you have your supplies, the process for making a single bracelet is pretty simple:
- Cut your elastic about four inches longer than your wrist measurement. If your elastic recommends doubling up, be sure to double your wrist measurement and add eight inches.
- Decide on your bead pattern and lay them out in order on the lid of your bead box. To layout the right number of beads, put two pieces of colorful tape on your bead box lid to mark the length of your wrist measurement. That way you’ll know that you only need enough beads to fit between the two pieces of tape. You can also use the center groove on some plastic rulers to hold your beads, or you can choose to not do a pattern at all and just randomly pick beads as you go.
- After stringing your first bead, tie a knot around that bead to anchor it and keep the rest of your beads from falling off. Then just string the rest of your bracelet. If your elastic is thin enough, you may way to thread it through a needle. This lets you line up more beads on the needle as you assemble the bracelet.
- After adding all of your beads, tie a strong knot to complete the bracelet. You may even want to tie a double knot for added security. Trim the excess string to about one inch on each end and tuck it into the beads to conceal the extra string.
To make your bracelet exchanges extra special, consider investing more time and imagination on making a cuff! There are two different ways to do this. You can make many single bracelets and join them together. For this method, you would want at least three single bracelets to form a cuff, but you could do as many as eight or more. Line up the completed single bracelets on a cylinder and use additional elastic to connect them by weaving the elastic at intervals around the string of each bracelet. Don’t do this on your own arm because you need to be able to tie knots. Ask a friend to help or put the bracelets on a bottle or a tube to line them up properly.
You can also make a cuff by using an offset method. For this method, you’ll need to know how many rows you want on your cuff to cut the elastic correctly before you start. If you want six rows, you will multiply your wrist measurement by six and once again add four to six inches for tying off the finished bracelet. After you finish your first row, you’ll want your beads to be placed on your string so that you have one short end (about two inches) and one long end. Don’t tie a knot. Just bring the long end of your elastic around and pull it through the first bead, so that when you hold the short end and pull on the long end, the beads form a single bracelet. Then start a pattern of adding a new bead by stringing the long end through it. Feed the long end through the next bead in your first string. Every other space will be a new bead added.
Once you have the number of rows you want for your cuff, you can feed each end of your elastic through the elastic in the rows and tie them off. Trim any excess to about an inch and tuck the ends into beads.
Get Creative as You Improve
There are some great sites online where you can find patterns to follow for unique cuffs. These can also show you how to design your own patterns and make your one-of-a-kind bracelets. Once you get basic bracelet designs mastered, you can learn about making 3D bracelets and more complicated designs.
All of this leads to the best part of making your Kandi bracelets – sharing them! You can talk to your friends about using different themes for each rave, or develop your own signature designs. Don’t forget to use the PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) handshake during your exchange!