A bracelet is a timeless piece of accessory loved by men and women of all ages.
It comes in a variety of styles to suit whatever taste, season, theme, or occasion. While a bracelet is supposed to complete your ensemble and enhance your confidence, it could have the opposite effect when the fit isn’t just right.
Too tight, and you have that painfully uncomfortable look – or feel! Too loose, and it settles awkwardly at your wrist bone, moves around unnecessarily, and runs down your forearm with every attempt to raise your hand. Or it could even fall off!
We are sure you didn’t intentionally choose an ill-fitting bracelet. Perhaps your wrist is too scrawny for standard sizes, or you took a chance on a tiny, but eye-catching option, or it could even be a gift or family heirloom. Whatever the case, you probably want to get that fixed.
So can bracelets be resized? The simple answer is yes, the majority of bracelets can be resized at home and professionally. Slip-knot, clasped chain, beaded elastic, and cuff bracelets can usually be resized simply at home with relative ease. Other bracelets may require professional or artistic help.
In this post, we share with you the different types of bracelets and how you can resize them bigger or smaller. We also tell you which bracelets cannot be resized at home.
How To Resize Bracelets
Before we dive into how to resize bracelets, it is worth noting that not all designs can be resized. For those that can, you might be able to do-it-yourself or seek the services of a professional jeweler.
So, what bracelets can you resize at home? Let’s start with the easy ones.
Slip Knot Bracelets
Leather cord bracelets, friendship bracelets, and string bead bracelets will commonly utilize the sliding or slip knot finish. Resizing these bracelets is pretty straightforward. The sliding knot closure is made with ample room to allow for the loop to be expanded or be narrowed.
To resize the slider bracelet, simply hold one loose end firmly while pulling the other. This action will cause the sides of the loop to close in making the bracelet smaller.
Enlarge the loop to make the bracelet bigger by pulling the loop sides away or outwards from the slip knot.
Usually, it can be adjusted to fit 6-12 inches of wrist sizes, but sometimes it’s just not enough (or way too much). If you want to make your bracelet even smaller, because it has too much material, you’ll want to undo the slip knot, trim the cord (start with just an inch or two to be safe). Then retie the two with a slip knot!
We have a full guide to tieing knots for bracelets, in case you need more guidance with re-knotting.
Chain With Clasp Bracelets
Bracelets with a metal chain, connectors like jump rings, charms, plates, and a clasp closure can easily be resized. Round-nose pliers and wire snips are handy tools for resizing this kind of bracelet. Needle nose or similarly thin pliers are great, or you can get these 3-in-1 round nose jewelry pliers with a cutter.
To shorten a chain bracelet:
- Start by counting the number of links you want to remove. If it’s just the chain, you can do this on one end. However, chain bracelets with a centered charm or a plate will lose this balance if only one end is shortened. Therefore, count an even number of links to remove from either end.
- Open the jump rings connecting the end and remove it together with the clasp.
- Cut off the unwanted portion using wire snips, reattach the jump ring and close it using the round nose pliers to secure the clasp.
To make a chain bracelet larger, attach a metal bracelet extender or manually attach several loops (if you have them) to the opposite end of the clasp. This technique only works for simple chain designs like cable, ball, and rolo chains with a small to medium thickness.
Elastic Cord Bead Bracelets
Whether an elastic cord bracelet is too tight or too loose, you will have to restring the beads all over again on a new stretchy cord to resize it. Make sure it is the right string thickness for the bead sizes (we have an article on this, too).
You’ll give up a bead or two to make the original bracelet smaller, and add more beads to take up the extra length of cord if you are enlarging it.
Can’t find the exact beads? You can always mix and match beads of the same size, add an accent bead, or utilize spacer beads – as long as there’s harmony in the color, size, and design. It could be a fun opportunity to add even more flair and originality to the piece.
To resize your elastic cord bracelet:
- Begin by placing it in a bowl or box so the beads don’t scatter.
- Snip the original cord and remove the beads.
- Measure the new elastic to the desired fit and 2 extra inches for tying the knot.
- Tie a loose knot on one end and string your beads.
- Open the loose knot and bind the two ends with three square knots. Cut off any extra.
- Squirt some glue on the knot and slide a bead over it.
Can cuff bracelets be resized? Yes, if made from a flexible material like brass, copper, or other soft metals.
You resize a cuff bracelet by gently but firmly pulling open the ends outwards to make it bigger or bending them inwards to make it smaller.
This manipulation has to be done without flexing the middle portion to avoid distorting its shape, weakening it, or worse, breaking the bracelet. Try and use the palm of your hand and thumb to support the center while adjusting the tips bit by bit.
Nevertheless, not all cuff bracelets can be resized. Continue reading to find out which ones.
What Bracelets Cannot Be Resized?
You may already know jewelry resizing services are not always a cheap fix, which is probably why you’re here. Still, a few kinds of bracelets cannot be resized in a do-it-yourself way without damaging them.
You’ll have to consult a jewelry expert or jewelry artist to find out whether it is possible to resize the following bracelet designs:
- Cuff and bangle bracelets made from a non-malleable material such as bone, curved stone, wood, or molded resin. These are unlikely to be resizable.
- Hinged bangle bracelets and inlaid cuff bracelets.
- Rope chain, snake chain, and other intricately patterned chain bracelets that cannot be snipped without ruining the design.
- Estate bracelets
Before taking your bracelet to a professional for resizing, ensure they are trustworthy, reputable, and have the right equipment and a wealth of experience.
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