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Arm Candy: Upcycled Bangle Bracelets

Upcycle scraps of fabric into cool and colorful bangles. Simple floral, graphic, or plaid cottons are best for the bright, fun accessories.



Wooden bangles, in various sizes, from $3 each,


  • A half yard of fabric will cover at least 10 bracelets.
  • Lightweight cotton fabric works best, since it’s supple and creates a smooth finished product.
  • The fabric edges will fray slightly, giving each bangle a nice texture. For a more durable bracelet, brush a coat of decoupage finish onto both the interior and exterior surfaces.
  • Kids can easily master the process (just cut the strips for them first).


  • Rotary cutter
  • Straight edge
  • Lightweight cotton fabric
  • Self-healing mat
  • Craft glue
  • Wooden bangle


  1. Step 1


    Using rotary cutter and straight edge, cut fabric into 3/4-inch strips on self-healing mat (there’s no need to cut on bias). Length needed will depend on size of bangle: Widest ones shown require a few strips totaling 100 inches; narrow ones need about 90 inches.

  2. Step 2

    Dab a dot of glue onto inside of bangle and press end of a fabric strip there, holding in place about a minute.

  3. Step 3

    Wrap strip around bangle, overlapping and leaving about 1/3 inch exposed, pulling fabric taut. When you reach strip’s end, glue to inside of bangle. Repeat until bangle is fully covered.

Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2014