Bracelet sizer: what is it?
Have you ever been asked to make a bracelet for someone else and struggled with the sizing? Or maybe you just struggle with sizing bracelets for yourself. So, what you need is a bracelet sizer.
Ever heard of this? No? Well, let me guide you through the options and explain why this is such a great gadget to have.
What is a bracelet sizer?
You can probably answer that question yourself. A bracelet sizer is a tool designed to help you make bracelets that are perfectly sized.
However, there is more than one type of bracelet sizer. Why might this be? Well, think about it: when you are making a bracelet, there are two elements to sizing it.
First, you need to measure the wrist size so you know what you want the finished size to be.
Then, you need a way of measuring the bracelet as you make it, in order to end up with the correct finished size.
So, let me introduce the two basic types of bracelet sizer. Then I’ll take you through their purposes, so you make sure to get the perfect tool for you.
Pyramid bracelet sizer or mandrel
If you have ever been to a jeweller’s, you may have seen this type of tool. It looks like a pyramid and carries different marks to indicate the different sizes. You might also see it referred to as a mandrel.
You can get a similar tool for sizing rings. Obviously it’s a lot smaller, but the idea is the same.
How to use this tool
The pyramid or mandrel has a few limitations when it comes to measuring what size bracelet you need. Obviously, you can’t wrap it around your wrist to get a measurement.
So, you would need to use a tape measure to take your wrist measurement.
Or do you? Well, actually, if you already have a bracelet that you feel is the perfect fit for you, then you can use that. Just fasten your bracelet and slip it over the mandrel. Then, make a note of the size bar/marking where it sits. This is your perfect size.
When you come to make a bracelet, you can simply wrap it around the mandrel at the size point you need. Then keep adding your beads (or maybe you need to remove some) to get the size to fit. Remember to allow room for your clasp!
Now, I don’t have a mandrel. I prefer to use another handy tool for sizing bracelets. This type of bracelet sizer is called a bracelet gauge.
It is basically a piece of metal with a fastening. So, you can wrap it around your wrist, fasten it and then make a note of the size.
You can also fasten it to size and then use that to wrap the beading around to check the sizing as you work.
So, in my opinion, the bracelet gauge is a far better tool for sizing bracelets.
Why a bracelet gauge is better than a bracelet mandrel
Let’s be honest: if you’re making a bracelet for yourself, to just sit snugly around your wrist, do you even need a bracelet sizer? Possibly not – you can just measure your bracelet around your own wrist as you work, right?
Well, what if you are making a bangle? Bangles are a little trickier to size as they need to fit over your hand, not just sit around the wrist. So, if you’ve ever tried to measure the distance around your hand, you’ll know it’s a little tricky.
So, this is where the gauge comes into its own. You can take a rough measurement with a tape measure if you wish. Then set the gauge to that size and literally try it over your hand.
It’s simple to change the size on the gauge until you get the perfect fit. Then just measure your beadwork around the gauge, set at that size, and you get the perfect bangle fit every time.
Plus, if you are making a bracelet for someone else, the bracelet gauge is really easy to carry around. So, you can use it to get their wrist size. Then, no more guessing and hoping that you’ve got it right.
The gauges are available in both imperial and metric measurements. So, you can get whichever suits you best.
What else do you need to know?
Well, that covers some basic options for bracelet sizers and how to use them. Plus, you can follow the links to grab what you need right now.
You might also like to check out my section on design for a handy article about how to size a bracelet. Did you know that different styles of bracelet each require a different fit? So, once you get that right, you can design amazing bracelets for yourself. Or create work to sell.