I used muted colors and a coconut button for a summery neutral look, but you could go bold and bright as well! I think that is the beauty of DIY-jewelry – making your piece completely your own. You could also polish the look more by using metal findings for your closure, but I love the simplicity of the button closure with these colors. Let me show you how to get the look!
What you will need:
18 -20 ft. hemp twine. I used 18 ft. of a 15-lb. natural hemp (which is a pretty standard thickness for jewelry) and 36 ft. of a 20-lb rose-colored hemp. Here’s what you will need to watch for to choose for yourself – you need something lightweight enough to be able to thread your beads on.
Some coordinating 6/0 seed beads in a few colors.
A button for your closure
Scissors and a clipboard, pin, or other way to secure your bracelet while you work.
First things first: test your twine and make sure your beads will fit on easily. If they don’t, you will need to choose different beads or different twine. I found that my beads would only slide easily onto the 15-lb hemp. That worked out just fine, though – because I was spacing my beads out in a random pattern, they didn’t need to be on every single strand, just having some on the natural strand worked for my purposes. If you plan to add more beads, though, you will want to check this out!
When we get started, you will notice that this bracelet makes up very much like the Braided Bead and Hemp Bracelets I showed you last week. The technique is the same – all we are changing is the pattern and the length.
Cut 3 lengths of twine at least 72 inches. I cut mine 72 inches (yes, 6 feet) and I JUST barely had enough length to finish mine – which I made 4 wraps. If you have a smaller wrist, you should be okay, but there is a good reason for working with extra: hemp can begin to fray just a little once you string a couple dozen beads on. When that happens, the easiest thing to do is cut off any end that has loosened. So you may lose a little length along the way! And besides – you can ALWAYS finish it up at whatever length you like, and cot off the excess. You won’t be able to add length if you’re short! What you can also do if you find you’re short is to make your bracelet just 3 wraps instead of 4. The size of your button or your clasp, (if you’re finishing the ends with findings like I did on my recent Hemp Wrap Bracelet) will also factor into how much length you need.
Now, find the center of your hemp strands and tie an overhand knot to make a loop for your button closure. Make sure it fits your button!
This will give you 6 strands roughly 3 feet long. What I did to work with mine was find a clip and an unused canvas, and made myself a makeshift clipboard. I have a clipboard that I normally use, but my daughter had just appropriated it for her coloring. (Hey – if she’s happy to draw some artwork while I craft, that’s a win for both of us!)
Divide your strands so that you have 3 pairs of cords. Actually, you can make a 6-strand braid if you want to, but those aren’t nearly as quick and easy as a normal 3-strand braid. So I like doubling it up to make the bracelet more bulky, yet still simple to create.
Now, braid like normal. Since I was only able to thread beads onto the natural-colored strands, when I pulled one of that color from the outside of the braid and passed it to the middle, I added a bead. I didn’t do this every pass – just each time I thought my bracelet could use a bead. Sometimes I put two on the same side, sometimes I alternated, sometimes they were close together, sometime farther apart. You can make it as uniform or random as you like!
Then, I kept on braiding until I had roughly a 26-inch long strand (which is 4 wraps at around 6-1/2 inches each). Your final length might need to be slightly more or less – just keep it in mind that if you go by my exact measurements, that only work if you make yours exactly like mine and have the same size wrist as I do. What to do as you work along is test it against your wrist to how you’re doing.
When you get to the end, tie an overhand knot to finish it off. Then, thread as many cords as you can fit through the holes through your button. You want to go up through the underside, and back down from the top, so that all you see on the outside is a nice clean loop. The knot will end up hidden under the button.
I mentioned I was very short on my natural hemp – I trimmed those cords off. That left me 4 strands to make my knot, which is still plenty. You can also add a dab of glue into your finishing knots to help secure them.
Just tie it off, trim the loose ends, wrap it up and you have yourself a fabulous natural bracelet! The button closure should slip neatly through the loop on the other end of the bracelet.