This is one of those tools that I wished I’d bought a long time ago. Measuring the size of a bracelet with a straight ruler is pretty easy when the bracelet is made with small beads or chain. But a bracelet made with large beads is a completely different story. When you hold a large bead bracelet against a straight ruler, you are in essence measuring the circumference from the center of the beads. When the bracelet is formed into a circle when it is clasped, the inside circumference is what has to fit around the wearer’s wrist.
I’ve made the mistake a time or two of making a large bead bracelet too small because I was using a ruler to measure it. Trying the bracelet on doesn’t help much because my wrists are very small. One day, a while back I was reading Lori Anderson’s blog and on her work table she had a cone thing with sizes marked on it and I realized it was a way to more accurately measure bracelets. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize I could use a tool to help me.
I took a look around at what types of bracelet gauges were available and decided on the above model. It wasn’t too expensive and looked like it would do the job. I decide what size I want the bracelet to be and while I’m working on it, I wrap it around the gauge to see how it fits. This way, I am always measuring the inside circumference because the bracelet has to fit around the gauge.
An added bonus – it’s portable and can be tried on just like a bangle bracelet. I have some regular customers who have non-standard sized wrists. I’ve taken the gauge to them, had them try it on and adjusted it until I got the size they felt comfortable with. I keep their sizes in my notes and when they want a bracelet, I know exactly how long it needs to be.
Here’s a closer photo of the size markings.
Thank you Lori!