Today’s project is mainly for the jewelry fans. I mean, all jewelry posts are for the jewelry fans, but when I sat down to design a piece last night, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to make, and some of the components I used (while not at all difficult) are not as beginner-friendly as I like to show you around here. A simple substitution on the clasp would fix that, but I used what I had on-hand, and you’ll do better with this one if you have some basic jewelry-making skills under your belt if you decide to try it this way. All that said – I LOVE this bracelet. I am already dreaming of a few similar versions (and I’ll make those much simpler)!
What you will need:
- Some 20-lb. hemp. I used about 15 feet.
- A clasp you love – I like the security of an extra large lobster clasp, but a toggle would look nice here too. The ring can be just about anything – this is the last bit of textured links I have left from a chain I’ve been dissecting.
- An end cap (or end cone as they are sometimes called) to finish your piece (and this is where you could simplify – if you can find some, definitely buy glue-on end caps. They’re kind of tough to find, though, and I was out, so I used a more common end cap that I already had.)
- If you are using a tube end cap like me, you’ll also need a few inches of some heavy-gauge wire (like 16 ga), wire cutters, and some round-nosed pliers. You will also likely want some craft or jewelry glue too.
- A way to secure your bracelet while you work. You can pin it to a pillow or your pants while you braid, or I like to use a clipboard to secure my cords.
First up – the hemp. It doesn’t have to be 20 lb. That’s just what I used to give the bracelet some bulk. Feel free to substitute as you like as you make this piece, but I’m going to tell you how I made mine. Cut three, 5-foot strands. Yes, I do seriously mean 60 inches. This will give you three wraps. If you want it to be longer, just add another 20 inches to EACH of your three strands you cut off.
Find the halfway point to those three strands, and double them up. You want six 30-inch strands with loops in the middle. You are going to make a lark’s head knot through your end ring. If you don’t know how to do that already – you just feed the loops in your hemp through the ring.
Now, take the tails of your hemp and feed them through the loops. Tighten them up. If I’m not explaining that well – pop over to youu tube and search for Lark’s Head Knot, or just Google it. :) It’s an easy knot – explaining it is more difficult than doing it! Anyway – this is what you will have.
This will be your end ring, with six 30-inch strands coming down. Now, secure your end ring somewhere, and all you need to do to weave your bracelet is a simple braid with two strands in each part.
Braid for about 20-22 inches. Check the length against your wrist to know exactly how long you want it. It will depend on the size of your wrist, and also the length of both your ring and your clasp. My clasp is big, so I only wanted about 20 inches braided. If your clasp is smaller, you’ll want a slightly longer braid.
Now, here’s where I’d rather tell you to cut off the ends of your braid, and glue on an end cap. But I didn’t have a glue-on end cap. I have a more common end cap. So I am going to show you how you can use one of those. If you are already familiar with jewelry-making, you won’t have much trouble at all. If you are a newbie – I will explain it the best I can.
There are two parts to the end cap tube like this. The cap itself, and a bit of heavy wire to make connecting rings. First, form your wire.
You’ll want to cut off about 3 inches and bend the end around a pair of round-nosed pliers. The loop you make will need to be big enough for your hemp, but small enough to fit within your cap. Once you’ve made your loop, wrap the tail around the “neck” of your loop.
This is what it will look like:
Now, tie your hemp onto the loop. I just split my strands three and three, and double knotted them. To be safe, I also added some craft glue onto the knot to make sure it was secure.
Then, I cut off my ends, and I added the end cap. The end cap itself doesn’t really *do* anything. The wire loop is doing all the work, but a wire loop with a knot on it is ugly. I mean – look at what we have so far. You don’t want that to show. The end cap just covers it up and gives it a pretty, finished look.
Now, you will need to close off the other end of the wire. I added my clasp on at this point, before looping it off so that it’s a nice closed loop. If you have trouble handling both, though, you can just do the closing loop and add your clasp on with a separate jump ring.
You’re just going to make another loop, exactly the same as the first one you made. Loop the wire over your round nosed pliers and wrap the tail end around the little neck part.
A little trickier than my normal tutorials, I know. Sorry!! But hey – it sure looks nice, doesn’t it?
Now, it’s finished! you just wrap it around your wrist and clasp it. The clasp becomes your focal point.
It looks so springy – perfect for spring making its appearance today! I love wrap bracelets, I can’t wait to make a few other designs!