How to Shrink Rubber Bracelets

By Katie Leigh

  • Overview

    Rubber bracelets with printed messages are popular these days, but often are too big to be worn without slipping over the hand. Rubber bracelets can be shrunk with heat, but that process also often mangles and weakens the bracelet material. One of the most effective ways to resize a rubber bracelet is to cut it, then stitch it back together with a needle and a length of strong black cord. The cord can either be drawn tight and knotted for a permanent fix or tied in a bow so that the bracelet can be loosened and drawn easily over the hand.
    • Step 1

      Place the bracelet on the wearer's wrist, centering the printed message on top if appropriate. Pinch the extra rubber on the underside of the wrist, leaving a little room between the wrist and the bracelet. Cut off the pinched material with a pair of scissors and discard.
    • Step 2

      Remove the bracelet from the wearer's wrist. Thread about 6 inches of thin, black cord through the needle and knot the tail about 2 inches from the bottom. Starting about 1/4-inch from the cut edge, draw the needle through the top of the rubber so that the tail with the knot sits against the top of the bracelet.


    • Step 3

      Draw the needle through the underside of the opposite cut edge of the bracelet. Loop it over the top and bring to to the opposite edge, drawing it through the top again to pull it closed. Repeat several times until the seam is secure.
    • Step 4

      Draw the needle through the underside of the cut edge opposite the side with the tail. Knot the cord on top of the bracelet. Measure out about 2 inches of tail and cut the cord. Knot the two tails together, either double-knotting them or tying them in a bow.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Scissors
    • Needle with an eye large enough to accommodate cord
    • Thin, black cord
    • Tip: Be careful not to set the needle holes too close to any edges or each other. The cord can tear the rubber if it's situated next to a weak spot.

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