Mini-tutorial: Embellished lace-up costume bracers

Quick and easy tutorial today, guys. It’s almost like cheating. But hey, not every project has to be crazy complicated, right? I wanted some bracers for a costume I’m making, and I had this piece of crazy beaded fabric lying around. It came from the waist band of a child’s skirt that I bought forever ago and ripped up for its plain black cotton. (Every time I use something years later, it enables the hoarder in me. Alas.)


-Strip of heavily embellished fabric that will go around your wrist ~2 times, at least 2 inches wide. Wide ribbon is a good choice. Alternatively, use this as your chance to practice beading/embroidery/smocking/whatever crazy techniques you want, since it’s such a small piece of fabric.

-Equal amount of lining fabric. I used a silk scrap that I had lying around, for extra luxury and to help diminish forearm sweatiness.

-Grommet tape or grommets. I used grommets because my bracers are tiny and I needed them close together.

-Short amount of shoelace, ribbon, string, I-cord, what-have-you. Something to lace it with.

-Heavy interfacing. (Optional, but essential if you want them to look like armor.)


Under an hour if you already have the fabric ready. It took longer to photograph everything and write this post than to actually make the things. And that was with hand sewing!


Take the strip of embellished fabric, measure around the wrist, and cut. Repeat for the other wrist. It will lace up, so the size can be smaller than your actual wrist size, but not too much larger. (Alternatively, you can replace the grommets with snaps or velcro, and have an overlapping bracer, but this will add bulk.)


My fabric and grommet tape (which I didn’t end up using because the fabric was too narrow).

Cut two rectangles of lining fabric of the same size. Place the rectangles together, right sides facing, and sew around three sides, leaving one short side open. I chose to hand sew because my sewing machine gets a little finicky with embellished fabric. If you want a stiff, armor-like bracer, add 1-3 layers of stiff fabric/interfacing at this point. Turn ride-side out, and close the open edge with an invisible stitch.

Sewin' around. (Don't forget to clip the corners. I forgot. It makes the grommets harder to put in.)

Sewin’ around. (Don’t forget to clip the corners. I forgot. It makes the grommets harder to put in.)

Hammer in your grommets or attach your grommet tape to both sides. You may want an exacto knife for this step. I did, since my fabric is really thick with beads and sparkles. For me, this was the most time-consuming part, because I had to cut out a small amount of the braid/sequins at each point, or the grommets wouldn’t go in.


I had to rip/cut out a piece of embellishment in order to put the grommet in completely.

For small eyelet grommets, take your time. It can be difficult to work through all the layers. Be careful, double check, and then hammer decisively, or you’ll end up discarding ruined grommets.

Then just lace ’em up, and you’re good to go.






I was Nidalee from League of Legends for Halloween this year, and used the exact same steps to make her bracers, using a wide piece of brown vinyl fabric edged in faux fur and larger grommets. Different fabric choices can really make a basic shape into a cool accessory.

Bracers! (I stole Gangplank's hat.)

Bracers! (I stole Gangplank’s hat.)



    • Jessie

      I was afraid of damaging the sequins/embellishments; some of it is like really tiny, flexible wire and I thought it might melt.

      Actually, that sounds good, but it’s not the reason. Confession: I have never pressed anything with sizing, and totally forgot it existed. I only dug out my iron to start pressing anything a few months ago when I learned what a difference it made. Gotta put sizing on the list — learning new stuff all the time! 😀

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