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Rhinestone bracelets are the perfect accessories to spice up your:

  • Dancesport and Country dresses,
  • artistic roller and figure skating costumes
  • belly dance, salsa and other dance styles.

Rhinestone bracelets, whether bangles or tight fitting, are probably the most versatile accessory for shows or competitions.

Even if you don’t wear bracelets very often in “real” life, this bling accessory can up-level women’s dance and skate costumes with a minimal amount of money.  Who doesn’t want the option of more bling without breaking the bank?

rhinestoned bracelet for women's ballroom dance and belly dance


While simple rhinestoned bands are easy to make, it can be challenging to make intricate bracelets with thin straps or cutouts.

During a Dressmaker Mentorship Q&A call earlier this year, one of my sewing school members, Yelena, shared a picture of this rhinestone bracelet with a finger loop.

Yelena makes artistic roller skating dresses for both her daughters.  She wanted to make a similar accessory to go with a costume she sewed, and asked for ideas on how it was made.

Yelena’s question led to a great discussion on making rhinestone bracelets!  Read on if you’re ready to start making wrist bling of your own.

When constructing a rhinestone bracelet similar to this one, there are three main elements you need to consider:

  1. the closure,
  2. shaping material,
  3. and base fabric.


 How to Make a Secure Closure 

When looking at Yelena’s inspiration bracelet, the first thing that stood out to me is the single snap closure.  Never, ever rely on a single snap closure for a rhinestone bracelet!

This is especially true if you do high speed sports like adult figure skating or artistic roller skating in which the bracelet could fly off.  Another sure fire way to lose your wrist bling is with partner dancing or partner skating in which your partner grabs your wrist.  You do not want to leave any chance that your bracelet will pop off during your routine.  Practice safe performing; double up on your closures.

closeup of rhinestone bracelet closure

Sew Like A Pro™ DRESSMAKER TIP #1:

To make sure your rhinestone bracelet is secure, I always recommend using a double hook closure.  If you want to use snaps, then either use a double snap closure or better yet, use the combination of a snap with a hook and eye.  For a super secure closure, it doesn’t hurt to do double snaps and double hooks!

In this image of a blue lace bracelet, the dressmaker installed only snaps.  😯  Really?  Every time the dancer flexed her arm or moved her wrist a lot, the bracelets flew off.

The dancer added a second closure of small hooks because that is all she had.  My suggestion is to use a larger hook: either a #2 or a #3 size to ensure the bracelet does not come open.

Click here to view the blog featuring these bracelets.


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rhinestoned bracelet for women's ballroom dance and belly dance

 Reinforcing Your Rhinestone Bracelet 

As long as your rhinestone bracelet fits well and/or does not need stiffener to maintain the desired shape, there is no reason to make it rigid.  However, for some rhinestone bracelet designs you may want to reinforce the bracelet with interfacing, boning or another material to help it maintain its unique shape.

For example, on Yelena's inspiration bracelet, it looks like the strap down the center was made with a rigid material.  The horizontal straps branching off from the center strap still have to be soft, because they wrap around the wrist.  Also, the longest center piece needs to be flexible enough so the wrist can bend forward and back.

What? How is that possible in one small area?

There are several different ways you can reinforce your armband or bracelet to make it stiff.

black rigilene boning, online fabric store

1. Rigilene boning

Rigilene boning is most commonly used to keep strapless dresses up, and to help shape corsets.  In the ballroom dancing world, Rigilene boning can be used in the hem of ballgowns or Latin dance dresses.  It is very stiff and will help a bracelet maintain its shape -- maybe a little too much?

Sew Like A Pro™ DRESSMAKER TIP #2:

If you were to make the inspiration bracelet in question using boning as the center strap, I suggest using only a short section of boning above the wrist.  Why?  So the portion of the strap that falls directly over the wrist bend is flexible and will not limit your movement.  Or, use elastic in-between two short pieces of boning so that you have flex point at the wrist area of your bracelet.

Extra tip: If you have a Rigilene boning that is too wide for what you want on your wrist bling, you can cut in the groove of the boning to make it as narrow as you like.

2. Bias tape

If you make your own ballroom dance dresses, you probably have bias tape in your sewing kit. Sometimes it is easiest to use the materials you already have on hand.  When you double layer the bias tape and add tightly-packed rhinestones, the bias tape because much stiffer and holds its shape fairly well.

3. Floral wire

One of the Sew Like A Pro™ members on the live Q&A call suggested using floral wire to reinforce the bracelet.  While you might not keep floral wire in your sewing room, there are many options available on Amazon.com.

Sew Like A Pro™ DRESSMAKER TIP #3:

To attach the floral wire to the bracelet straps, one option is to coat the inside of the bracelet with silicone like you see in the image below where Sew Like A Pro™ member Patsy used it to stop her gauntlet from sliding down her arm.  Clever!

The silicone should hold the floral wire to the fabric and create a protective coating so the wire will not irritate your skin.  Another positive aspect of using silicone: it makes the bracelet "grippy" so it will stay in place with less sliding around on your wrist.

silicone backing to keep gauntlet in place

Lastly, if silicone is not your thing, sew a narrow tube of Lycra and feed the floral wire through the fabric.  Voila!  You have moldable Lycra.

No matter which material you choose as a backing for your bracelet, keep in mind that adding the rhinestones to your bracelet will stiffen it to help it hold the shape.


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 Choosing a Base for Your Rhinestone Bracelet 

You can cut your rhinestone bracelet or armband out of almost any flesh color fabric - or use a color that matches your dress.  For example, one of my sewing school members cuts her rhinestone jewelry out of an Ultra Suede base.  Another sewing school member uses flesh color mesh with a silicone backing.  DIY Sparkly Belly Dance suggests felt for bracelet backing.

create rhinestoned necklace using a stencil

If you are not sure what backing fabric you wish to use, feel free to practice drawing designs on several different fabrics.  Rhinestone it using scrap rhinestones with no silver backing and cut them out after stoning it.

Or, just go for it.  If you don't like the fabric you use, then don't use it for the next bracelet (or necklace).  Simplistic, I know, but that way you don't waste time agonizing about the backing fabric which will not make or break your bracelet.

4 main rhinestone glues, hot hix, hot glue glue, non-toxic white, epoxy


Once your bracelet is constructed, you can start gluing on rhinestones!  Click here to go to my blog on rhinestone glues and find out which type of glue is best for you.

If you want more free rhinestone training, go to my blog on how to transfer your rhinestone design to your dance or skate dress.

Or better yet....

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