Voila came out with Snaplettes, a self-finishing needlepoint bracelet this fall. It’s a very interesting idea.
The bracelet consists of leather surrounding a piece of 18-mesh needlepoint canvas. There are several painted canvases available as well as a blank canvas to use for your own designs. The bracelets snap shut and it can be made two different sizes.
How Does it Look & Fit?
I was concerned about this because my wrists are large and most “one size fits all” bracelets are too small. I needn’t have worried, it fit well on the larger size. I’d say this bracelet should fit nicely on any woman’s wrist.
The finished bracelet is about 1.75″ wide. This means all of these bracelets will make statements on your wrists. Large bracelets are popular these days, but if you are making it for yourself, be sure this is a style you like.
Stitching the Bracelet
I found the bracelet easy to stitch. However along some edges and in the corners I could not stitch completely up to the leather. At the time I was worried this would show, but it does not.
I stitched my bracelet in Tent Stitch, mostly Continental. This stitch is an excellent choice for something that will get wear. If you want textured stitches, you can have them be as long as covering three intersections without problems.
Long stitches often snag or have tension that is too loose, so they should be avoided here.
Stitching the bracelet is not entirely easy though because it must be stitched in hand. The needlepoint comes within 1/4″ of the long sides of the bracelet, so you will need to hold it closely. If you normally work on a frame, you may find this hard, I know I did. I also found that I had to maneuver my hand and the bracelet in order to be able to stitch, especially as I neared the end.
I also found that my hands got cramped. To relieve this, you should alternate this with another project.
Because my bracelet was gold, the leather is painted instead of dyed. The paint flaked off at the edges on both sides because of the flexing the bracelet had as I stitched. I wasn’t surprised by this because I have had it happen with shoes and bags. But if a clean, neat edge is important to you, pick a non-metallic color. While I can see the flakes as I look at this, they will not be noticeable when the bracelet is worn.
Making the Self-Finishing Needlepoint Bracelet
Once the bracelet is stitched you can wear it and go. I would not advise this however.
Needlepoint wears unevenly with the back getting more wear than the front. You will find the bracelet looks neater, wears better, and is more comfortable if you used the enclosed piece of leather to line the inside. Ultrasuede could also be used.
The leather lining is thin and flexible. It’s the exact size of the needlepoint canvas. You will be able to use this as is to finish your bracelet.
Begin by cutting short any lingering tails, so nothing extends outside the canvas area.
Apply a thin line of glue on the edges of the leather. Do not use white glue or Tacky Glue for this; it isn’t waterproof. I used ES-6000.
Press the leather onto the back of the needlepoint, weight it down and let dry overnight.
So what did I think? The bracelet was fun to stitch. But the best endorsement of all came from a young friend, who pronounced it “Cool!” If you are looking for a fun way to introduce teenagers and 20-somethings to needlepoint, this could be the perfect project.