Beaded Elastic Caterpillar Bracelet Pattern by Allegra

Welcome to the beaded elastic caterpillar bracelet pattern instructions! If you have any difficulty following this tutorial, please post a comment at the bottom of the page on which you are stuck, and I'll do my best to help!


Beaded Elastic Caterpillar Bracelet Pattern

Before you begin ...
2 meters of elastic 0.5mm diameter string, approximately 23 repeating units of bracelet, each containing: 1 false pearl 8mm plastic, 12 of size 15 seed beads, and 5 of 3mm small plastic pearls
Time required: About 2.5 hours
Techniques: Beadweaving, right angle weave
Difficulty: Easy

Step 1

Step 1:Okay before I start talking about how to do the pattern, I just wanted to say a word about working with elastic string. It is much thicker than fishing line because it's more breakable so they have to make it thicker so it won't break. However, there are varying thicknesses and I usually use 0.5mm for beading. So what I do before adding a bead to my pattern is I shove a needle through the bead to enlarge the hole. But you can only do this with soft beads like false pearls (as in the picture), not glass beads like seed beads and bugle beads! Another thing you can do to help you get the elastic string through the beads is use a needle but the needle's hole must be big enough for the elastic string to pass through, and at the same time, the needle must be thin enough to fit through the bead! So ultimately some beads can't be used with elastic string.
In general, there is only enough room in small seed beads for an elastic string to pass through once. So in this design I planned it so the seed beads only get passed through once, whereas the larger false pearls get passed through several times. If you have already passed an elastic string through a bead at least once, and you are having trouble passing it through again, one trick is to pull the elastic string going through it tight so it's thinner. This leaves more room in the lumen of the bead.

One final note about this pattern is that it can be done with fishing line as well, but the conveniences that elastic string bring to it are the lack of a need for either a clasp or needing to make the bracelet large enough to fit over the hand. If you're a first-timer though, fishing line will be MUCH easier to use to practice with.

Step 2

Step 2:For this bracelet, you will need a somewhat large set of stones (as you can see from my samples of bracelets done in this pattern in the jewelry page, you can use any size of large bead from medium to very large). You can use a variety of materials as well... either false (or real!) pearls as I used, or Tiger's eye, or anything else you can think of (rose quartz maybe?). You will also need some medium sized beads (about a fifth the size of the large beads). I used smaller false pearls for this. Finally you will need even smaller beads. I used small seed beads as my "small beads" when I used medium sized pearls as the "large beads". I used short bugle beads as my "small beads" when I used very large false pearls as my "large beads". You will also need about 3 metres of 0.5mm elastic string and a needle will come in handy.

So, begin by stringing 2 medium-sized beads, followed by a large bead, followed by another 2 medium-sized beads on the elastic string. I've labelled the large one with a blue dot and will consistently label this same exact bead blue throughout the pattern to orient you.

Step 3

Step 3:Now add another large bead and cross it with both ends of the elastic string/fishing line as shown in the picture.

Step 4

Step 4:Now pull the elastic string tight and add 3 "small" beads to each end of the elastic string. Add one medium-sized bead to one end of the elastic string so that you can cross it with the other end in the next step. Now be sure to keep track of the colours of my arrows because I will be consistent in making sure I always indicate where the same ends of elastic string are going.

A word about how tight to pull the elastic string. I say pull as tight as you can but then let the strings take back some slack on their own after you've pulled. You'll get a feel for it, but in general don't let them remain in a stretched state or else they won't be stretchy when you're trying to put the bracelet on. You want them to be tight but not stretched.

Step 5

Step 5:This step is fairly simple. Just cross the medium-sized bead with the other end of the elastic string. Notice the order of the arrows has switched because the strings have switched places by crossing the bead.

  Beader Comments:
 Irma on April 25, 2016:
Me encanta
 Lola White on March 30, 2016:
i make bracelets with the same pattern using tubular beads they turn out really pretty using matching tubulars with big seed beads
 kwazywabbit on June 27, 2014:
I want to do the 3rd one shown could you tell what beads you used? Thanks
 Amazingal on June 2, 2013:
Can't wait to try it out..... (if I can!)
 Lynn on March 8, 2013:
@ pai... Page 4 shows you how to end your bracelet. There are no hooks. Your elastic thread is knotted together so the end joins the beginning for a continuous circle of beads.
 pai on March 8, 2013:
Actually how to end it up? I mean how to make all the hooks and stuff?
 lammy on April 15, 2012:
Just did it! Amazingly simple amd beautiful. Thanks a lot for this
 Meatball on January 8, 2012:
I wish I could send thi pattern to my kindle or ebook.
 Patricia on May 30, 2011:
Hi could you tell me an easy way to manage 2 metre of elastic without getting tangled up, this is anamazing bracelet, thank you
 sbnfield4 on April 20, 2011:
Hello, I just wanted to thank you for posting this pattern. I made it out of pearls (fake) and the shiny crystal seed beads but instead of joining it, I left it straight and sewed it to the top of my daughter's wedding veil. It turned out gorgeous! Thank you again!
 nugfan on March 12, 2011:
Can this pattern be done with somthing other than stretch line. I am not much of a fan of the stretch line.
 JuanitaAlston18 on July 30, 2010:
I guess that to get the credit loans from banks you ought to present a good motivation. But, one time I have received a sba loan, because I wanted to buy a car.
 Amanda on July 18, 2010:
These are absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing!
 ruby red on June 24, 2010:
that is cool
 sam on April 16, 2010:
thank u very very much 4 sharing your knowledge
 kieraae on April 16, 2010:
dats very timee cosuminng ill try it for now
 vas on May 7, 2009:
superb! very easy to follow instructions. I used 6mm pearl and 4mm & 3mm bicone crystal & the pattern turn out super. Thank u very much for the lovely pattern.
 vas on May 7, 2009:
superb! very easy to follow instructions. I used 6mm pearl and 4mm & 3mm bicone crystal & the pattern turn out super. Thank u very much for the lovely pattern.
 vas on May 7, 2009:
superb! very easy to follow instructions. I used 6mm pearl and 4mm & 3mm bicone crystal & the pattern turn out super. Thank u very much for the lovely pattern.
 vas on May 7, 2009:
superb! very easy to follow instructions. I used 6mm pearl and 4mm & 3mm bicone crystal & the pattern turn out super. Thank u very much for the lovely pattern.
 Rebecca on February 7, 2009:
I thank you so much for your unselfish heart and let us all learn from you. I am a Financial Advisor and I bead to relax. Thank you so very much.
Florida, USA
 Allegra on October 25, 2008:
Hi Pam, I don't think you'll manage to get all the steps on one page because there's too many of them! But you can certainly get the pattern to print legibly by printing in landscape orientation instead of portrait orientation. What I would do is go to File >> Print Preview, then click on the Options button, and specify that you want the page printed in landscape orientation (to make the pictures as large as possible), and then specify that you want the page to be auto-fitted to your paper's width, so that nothing gets cut off. Then, also specify that you want to page to print without the background so that the text is black on white. That should definitely cut down on your ink costs! Then just print one page of the pattern at a time like that. Hope this helps!
 pam wesselink on October 21, 2008:
Wonderful pattern!! Thanks so much. Is there a way to print the pattern without the ads and get all the pages on one print page? I have a very slow dial-up and just wondered. Thanks Pam
 Lidia Carnevale on October 20, 2008:
Es preciosa, ahora que logré usar el traductor veré si puedo realizarla, gracias!
 Allegra on April 28, 2008:
Thanks quiltpunkin! That's an interesting name you have! I'm actually just getting started making this website, so expect many more patterns to come!! (both from the currently pictured patterns and new ones I haven't posted pictures of yet). You have picked a good pattern here to start with, as it's a bit complex but very easy to follow, so it's a good starter to get into the concepts of beadweaving. I hope you enjoy the patterns! Let me know if you have any difficulty following any of the patterns, by posting a comment on the page where you have difficulty, and I'll do my best to clear it up for you. If I can't explain it in words, I will do my best to redo the pattern and take better pictures of the part where you are confused. Thanks!
 quiltpunkin on April 28, 2008:
I love , love, love all your tutorials and it is hard to pick where to begin , thank you for sharing your knowledge1
 Allegra on April 23, 2008:
Thanks for pointing out the flaws of the tutorials! I really appreciate that because otherwise I wouldn't realize how to improve them. I'm so glad you're trying them and giving me feedback!
 Tess on April 23, 2008:
Thanks for the tips. I appreciate it!
 Allegra on April 22, 2008:
Oh, one final point is that if you use bigger pearls, you must use more seed beads on top to make the X shape. You would probably need to use 5 instead of 3 in each segment of them, or you can use bugle beads instead because they are longer. Also, if you use bigger pearls, you might have to use 3 of the medium-sized pearls on each side between the large pearls, rather than only 2.
 Allegra on April 22, 2008:
Oooops, I meant it's hard to fish elastic string through small holes. By the way, for the elastic string, I used 0.5mm diameter.
 Allegra on April 22, 2008:
Hi again Tess! I recommend for the large bead that you find the ones with the biggest holes, because as I mentioned in the tutorial, it's hard to fish fishing line through small holes, especially since for this pattern, you must go through each large bead either 4 times or 6 times. (Depends on whether you do the backing part (white beads) entirely first, or whether you decide to add the pink part as you go rather than all at once after making the backing first). In the case of doing the entire backing first, you will only need to go through the large bead 4 times each, whereas if you do segment by segment, you go through each large bead 6 times. So in that sense, if you can't find beads with large enough holes, then do the whole backing first. If you find beads with really huge holes, then you're fine either way. I used pearls that were about 8mm in diameter to make this bracelet. I also used much larger pearls (the picture is in the jewelry page) for another version (about 1.5cm diameter), as well as wooden beads of the same size for the third version. It's entirely up to you whether you want a more dainty bracelet or a more bold bracelet. Both look good. Or make one of each! You need about 25 of the 8mm pearls, or about 13 of the 1.5cm pearls. Let me know if this answered your question!
 Tess on April 22, 2008:
I'm looking into some Swarovski pearls sizes to make this bracelet. What sizes do you recommend to use? And about how many of each?
 Cindy on January 6, 2008:
This bracelet is so pretty!