Braided Marni Bracelet

Braided Marni Bracelet
Wednesday, May, 04, 2011 While fully embracing the season's bevy of vibrant hues might be simple for some, many might be overwhelmed by the thought of so much color. (This is especially true for those readers with neutral-heavy wardrobes!) Fortunately, zippy bubblegum stripes and bright separates aren't the only way to address this cheerful trend! Aside from neon lipstick and bold nail polish, one of the easiest ways to liven up your daily ensembles is with colorful, woven bracelets. There's something so delightful about these energetic accessories--they can instantly update your look while also offering a hint of textural intrigue--so naturally they were the perfect subject for our next Do It Yourself story!

Though today's inspiration wasn't featured on the runways per se, it's certainly inspired by them--specifically, Marni's eccentric S/S 11 collection. Consuelo Castiglioni celebrated spring with a variety of wild print and color combinations, including a multi-colored, diagonal striped Short Sleeve Jumper ($895) worn with a Polka Dot Skirt ($655) and a bright pink Graphic Scratch Long Sleeve Shirt ($775) styled with matching Graphic Scratch Skirt ($610) worn over a pair of gray scuba-like shorts. Yet, while we found ourselves fascinated by all the asymmetrical ruffles, perforated jackets, and leather helmets, our more conservative sensibilities were drawn to the designer's fabulously crafted Two-Tone Woven Bangle ($200), which offers a more wearable way to capture the collection's lively and youthful spirit.

One of the great things about these woven bangles is their uncanny resemblance to friendship bracelets. But, unlike the string styles we made at camp back in the day, these playful baubles have a more modern look, thanks to their larger size and vivid materials. And while the exact Marni bauble is a decidedly cool investment, you don't need to shell out so much cash to get the look. Instead, simply take a tip from our D.I.Y. guru Erica Domesek from P.S. I Made This and create one yourself! With just a couple pieces of colorful ribbon and Domesek's simple, step-by-step instructions, you can create your very own obsession-worthy bangles. So whether you're on a tight budget this season or just want to get in touch with your crafty side, we guarantee this is one project you don't want to miss!

INGREDIENTS:
-1 yard of 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon ($0.49 for 1 yard) in Shocking Pink
-1 yard of 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon ($0.99 for 5 yard) in Orange
- 1 yard of 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon ($1.25 for 5 yards) in Orange
-Glue
-Scissors
-Artist Tape ($5.50)

Note: Grosgrain ribbon is best if you're looking to recreate Marni's Two-Tone Woven Bangle ($200), but we also recommend trying Sterling's Accessory Cords ($44/100M) or Dupioni Silk ($5/yard) if you want to experiment with additional colors and textures.

DIRECTIONS:
Okay crafters, this project requires you to learn a braiding pattern known as the "Cobra Stitch," which sounds very fancy and difficult, but is actually pretty simple. If you need extra help, you can always check out this video for some additional, visual instruction! But before we get into that, first you must prepare the ribbon and your workspace...

1. For the base of your bracelet, cut a 1-foot long piece of the thicker ribbon (5/8" Orange, in this case). You also will need to cut a 1-yard long piece of the thinner pink ribbon and the thinner orange ribbon (1/4" Shocking Pink and Orange, for those of you keeping track).

2. Take the thin pink and orange ribbons and fuse their ends together with a small amount of glue, so that you have one long piece of ribbon. Wait five minutes for the glue to completely dry before moving on to the next step.

3. Tape the top of the base ribbon--the thicker, 5/8" Orange--to a steady, flat surface and center the fused, thinner ribbon underneath it. Each side of the fused ribbon will serve as Ribbon A and Ribbon B (to follow example above).

4. To begin the Cobra Stitch, take Ribbon A and cross it over the base ribbon and under Ribbon B to make a loop.

5. Bring Ribbon B under the base ribbon and through Ribbon A's loop. Once knotted through, pull Ribbon A and B equally so they create a knot around the base ribbon.

6. Continue this pattern, alternating the lead ribbon from side to side. (Note: if your pattern starts to spiral, you're not alternating sides.)

7. Continue braiding the bracelet until you have reached a desired length then double knot both ends. The pattern should be 3/4 the size of your desired length for the bracelet, as the remaining 1/4 will be used to tie around the wrist.--Jessica Baker

Marni runway image, courtesy of Karla Otto
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