Tag Archives: cord

Beaded Braid Bracelet

I’ve gotten hooked on crafting different bracelets this summer and these Beaded Braid ones are my current favorites.  I first saw them on Pinterest and followed the link back to Honestly WTF, the home of this and many other great bracelet tutorials.

I think these are even easier than the macrame bracelets I made during 30DoC.  At least once you get going…

My local bead store only carried a few colors  of Irish waxed linen for this project, and now, sadly, I see they’re consolidating with their store in Berkeley and closing the local shop.  I finally stopped procrastinating about ordering online and followed the link on Honestly WTF to Ornamentea.  What yummy colors: Emerald, Turquoise, Cobalt, Lavender, Garnet and Pomegranate.

I understand about wanting to start crafting something right away.  Go ahead and purchase supplies locally if you can.  But think about looking online and placing a little supply order for some waxed linen and beads so you can make more, beautiful bracelets.  The supplies will arrive before you know it and you can start braiding these sweet, little bracelets.

The closure is a button so you don’t even need any special findings or tools.  Just the waxed Irish linen, the beads, a button and if you want, a little charm.

I think the clever and creative ladies at Honestly WTF must be especially dexterous.  I’m good with my hands and I’ve made a lot of things but I can’t manage to do some of these macrame and braided bracelets unless I tape them down or pin them to something.  I always feel like I just don’t have enough fingers!

By the way – I made most of the bracelets using 8/0 seed beads but in several of the photos, including the one above, I used flat spacer beads made out of nickel which you can also find here at Ornamentea.

When I first tried making this bracelet it didn’t look anything like their photos.  I kept undoing it and starting over.  So I  read through the directions carefully and made another attempt and it finally worked! I’m hoping my directions and pictures will help you do it right the first time.

Here’s how you can make your own Beaded Braid Bracelet.

Beaded Braid Bracelet

Supplies:

1.5 yards Irish Waxed Linen (4 ply, aprox. 1mm in diameter)

55 to 70 8/0 size Seed Beads

1 2-hole Button (aprox. 1/2 inch, or between 10 and 13 mm)

1 Small Charm (optional)

Scissors

Tape (optional but highly recommended) to tape your bracelet to your work surface – I found it difficult to hold it while I tried to add beads, keep the braid tight and keep the bracelet from twisting.  Washi tape is just the thing for keeping the bracelet in place while you work. Masking tape or painters tape would also work.

The 1.5 yards of cord is a little more than you’ll need but it is easier to work with and have a little to trim off  than to skimp and be just a bit short.

Directions:

Cut the Irish waxed linen cord into two pieces: one of 26 inches and one of about 18 inches.

Fold the longer piece in half, lining  up the two ends evenly.  Take the shorter piece and line one end up with the other two and curve the other end around the fold of the longer piece forming the loop which is one end of your bracelet.

In the picture below you can see the longer piece folded in half.  The shorter piece has one end lined up with the two ends of the long cord and the short end bending around the fold of the long cord.

Hold the two cords together at the bended end, forming a two-strand loop.

Tie a knot about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from the loop. In the picture below, I’ve tried to mark where you first tie a knot… (follow the PINK tape) than you trim the short tail off, just below the knot (follow the neon green tape).

Which leaves you with with a double loop of cord, a knot and three strands ready for braiding.

(Side note on braiding.  I assumed you would know how to braid.  If you’d like directions on braiding three strands, you can go here.  You just keep repeating the steps until you have the length of braid you want, which in this case is about1/2 inch as follows.)

Already know how to braid?  Continue here: Braid the three strands tightly together for about 1/2 inch. At this point I find it easiest to tape it to my work surface to I can keep the braid fairly straight and even.

Now you will start adding beads to each strand as you cross them over.  Start with the left side and put a bead on the cord.

The trick with this bracelet is pushing the bead all the way to the base of the braid and when you cross the cord to the center of the braid, the bead should be behind the x made with those two pieces of cord.

In the picture, above, I put my first bead on the left side.  It isn’t pushed all the way down here.  In the next picture I’ve pushed it down to the base and crossed the left cord over the center cord.

You can see the two cords make a little X with the cord that is now on the left pushing back on the bead.  The next bead is added on the right and that cord will than cross to the center.

Again, the bead is pushed tightly to the base of the braid and the cord is crossed to the center with the cord now on the far right pushing the bead back and the two cords forming the X in front of the bead.

Continue adding a bead before each time you cross the cord to the center.  Push the bead down than cross the cord to the center, keeping the bead behind the X of the cords and keeping the braid tight.  The wax on the cord helps keep the braid snug and the beads in place.

This next step is optional – I am not sure it really saved me time, and I don’t think saving time is really my goal when I’m crafting.  But you can try it if you like: once you have the rhythm of adding a bead and crossing the cord over you can add several beads to each strand, pushing them tightly down one at a time as before.

Other people have told me they enjoy doing it this way.  I found I would get lost trying to figure out which strand I was on.  So again, this is an optional step.

Either way, continue beading until you’ve reached your desired length, keeping in mind that after the beaded section you’ll still have another half inch or so of braided cord and the button. I don’t want a tight bracelet so I measure my wrist and add about 1 inch to that length to get my finished size..  You can un-tape your bracelet from your work surface and measure on your own wrist or, once you’ve got one completed that is the right size, measure against that one.

Finish the bracelet with a half inch of plain braid (without beads) like at the beginning.  Add a charm if you want.

Braid a bit more after the charm so it doesn’t get lost under the button.  Tie the three strands in a knot and slide on the button – 1 cord through 1 hole and two cords through the other hole.

Tie a knot on the other side of the button.  Pull the strands apart to tighten the knot.

Trim the ends and you’re done!

Make some more.  Stack them together or wear them with other bracelets.  Like these.

The bracelet with spacer beads is made the same but the spacer beads are narrower than the 8/0 gauge ones so it takes a few more beads to make a bracelet.

Thanks for the visit.  Let me know if you make one of these fun bracelets!

UPDATE: Check out my Readers’ Gallery to see pictures of some great bracelets made by readers’ of my blog.

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Day 30: Macrame Bracelet

If you learned to macrame in the late ’60’s or early 70’s you probably picture heavy cord or fuzzy hemp plant holders and hangings in natural colors with wooden beads.  Hello, Red Hill Junior High and Ted Allen’s art class! These slender macrame bracelets made with bead cord in pretty colors and centered around metal charms or connectors have a completely different feel.

The good news is, if you did it back then, you can surely do it now.  If you didn’t, these bracelets that I saw on Honestly WTF, use a basic square knot and some easy jewelry findings you can find at a craft store or online.  Erica shows  a sliding knot closure on Honestly WTF but I thought it had more of a hippy feeling like those early macrame projects and I like the more polished look of the clasp.

My first try was using C-Lon beading cord that I had  from the Wrap Bracelet I made on Day 19, from another great tutorial on Honestly WTF.  The C-Lon is a little stiff and bouncy so sometimes I felt like I was fighting it.  I finished my first bracelet and could see mistakes so started my second. What is important is remembering which side you are knotting from so that the macrame stays flat and even.

You can see that the top one isn’t as even and neat as the bottom one.  In fact, you can make a twisted macrame strand by starting your knots from the same side each time.  I wasn’t doing that on purpose and was much happier with my second attempt.

Then I made a trip to the Baubles and Beads, my local bead store, and got the Chinese Knotting Cord mentioned on Honestly WTF and started my third bracelet of the day.  This stuff is lovely to work with, or at least it is for this project.  It is smooth, silky and flexible.  I wasn’t struggling to make it lie flat.  They sell it for 35 cents a yard so it is pretty economical for a bracelet.

This is a project I am looking forward to doing more of. But right now I’m just glad I made it to the end of the 30 Days of Creativity!  What I’m really looking forward to now is not being up at 11:00 PM or midnight finishing a post. I’ll be taking a bit of a craft break while I attend to other stuff around the apartment and in my life.  I’ll be writing a little review of the projects and I’ve got other projects and ideas that didn’t happen during 30DoC still to come.

Macrame Bracelet

Supplies

4 yards Chinese Knotting Cord (0.5mm) or C-Lon Bead Cord

Charm or Connector

Crimp-On Cord Ends (2)

Jump Rings (you want ones that open, not those that are soldered closed) (2)

Lobster Clasp (1)

Flat Nose Pliers

Scissors

Tape (I used Washi) to hold macrame to your work table

Aleene’s All Purpose Tacky Glue or E6000 Adhesive (optional)

Directions:

The exact length of cord you will need is a little tricky to tell because it depends both on the size of the charm or connector you use and the size of your wrist.

Cut your cord into four 1-yard pieces. Fold each one so one third or 12 inches is on one side and two thirds or 24 inches on the other.  When you attach the cord to the charm, you want the shorter ends to be in the middle and the longer ends on each side.  Take the fold and loop it through your charm, fold it over and pull the ends through the loop.  Repeat with the second piece of cord.

Turn the charm around and do the other two pieces of cord the same way on the other side.

The inner two strands on each side don’t get knotted, they just lie there and the outside strands are knotted over them.  That is why you can make the inner cords shorter – the outer ones get shorter as you go along. The following isn’t a great picture but it shows two inner cords that are shorter than the two outer ones.

Tape your piece to the table or desk where you’ll be working .

Starting with the strand on the right, bend it over the two inside strands like a letter P and under the outside cord on the left.

Bring the left side strand under the two center strands and up through the loop on the right.  Pull tight.

Now do the same on the left.  Instead of a P, you will form a small q when working from the left side. (I actually think of it like a number 4). The strand on the left is now bent over the two inside strands and under the strand on the right.

The strand on the far right goes under the two center strands and up through the loop.  Put it tight.

You have now created a square knot!  Keep on knotting.  I found I was easily distracted and would forget if I’d knotted from the left or right unless I kept saying “right, right, right” in my head until I finished that side, than my chant becomes “left , left, left”.  Once you have one side knotted, turn it around, tape it down and start knotting the other side.

Measure the cord ends, jump loops and the clasp so you know how much to factor in for size.  Also allow a little give – you don’t want this to be too tight.  I added a bit more so that when I attach the cord ends I actually crimp it on just over the end of the macrame knots, not just over the loose ends of the cord.

The little cord end I got folds down  – I use a little glue inside the cord ends for extra insurance.  Kelly at Baubles and Beads was very helpful directing me to the right thing.  There is also a tiny little spike inside the cord end at the end opposite the loop.  Press down on the end of your macrame onto that micro-spike.

Use pliers to fold first one side of the connector down and then the other.

You can either trim the ends after attaching the crimping cord end or trim the ends and then add the cord end.  I did both and prefer trimming before attaching the cord end, although these pictures show the ends left on and trimmed after crimping.

Add a jump ring to the loop at the end of the cord end finding.  Add the cord end and jump right to the other end of the bracelet and put the lobster clasp on with the jump ring at one end.

There you have it!  Now go forth and make multiple macrame bracelets! (Look here for pictures of great bracelets by readers).

UPDATE: The Bead Den did just that: here is a link to where she reposted this post.  Scroll to the end to see what she made!

My final 30 Days of Creativity post in 2011 Honey Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce.  Delicious.

I know I’ve been loading your in-boxes with email.  Thanks for your patience and support through all thirty days!

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Day 28: Bottle Cap Necklaces with Aquarium Tubing Beads

Collect some bottle caps for these fun necklaces.  You probably want to wash them.

For the beads you will need plastic tubing that is used for aquariums.  I got mine at a Pet Store.

Drill a hole in the edge of the caps (or have someone do it for you).  You can also make a hole with a hammer and small nail.  I used a Crop-A-Dile II to punch some holes but ended up with holes too close the the bottom of the bottle cap.  It was kind of a problem, so don’t do that!

This is a good place for your hole.

If you have the right-sized circle punch, punch out some cute designs for the center of your bottle cap.  I think this is 1 1/4 inch.  Otherwise, you’ll have to trace a circle of the correct size and cut out your image for the centers.

It’s a good idea with  most paper to punch out another sturdy piece of card stock to back your image and glue the two pieces together.  If your paper is double sided, I strongly encourage you to do this.  Otherwise your image can be ruined by the other side of the paper showing through.

Glue your circle of paper into the bottle cap.  Squeeze a thin layer of Diamond Glaze or similar dimensional adhesive over your image and let dry.  (Remember those holes?  This is where I had a problem – holes that were low on the side of the cap leaked the Diamond Glaze that I put in.  What a sticky mess!)

Cut aquarium tubing into matching lengths, about 3/4 of an inch in length.

Cut small pieces of paper to coordinate with the bottle cap pendant, and with a round toothpick, roll the paper into a tube to put into the aquarium tubing bead.  Trim the ends.

Put a jump ring into the hole that you created in your pendant earlier.  I only had some jewelry pins so I used small pliers and made a small loop on one end, put the loop through the hole and added a few beads than bent another loop at the other end of the pin.

If desired, add a few crystal embellishments to your pendant.  A drop of Diamond Glaze will glue down the crystals.

Thread the aquarium tubing/paper beads along with some spacer beads and your pendant onto thin leather cord. Tie a knot in the leather cord.  Wear.  Enjoy.

Good night.  Day 28 done, two more days to go!

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Masterboard Valentine Tags

Masterboard Valentine Tags

Creating a masterboard is one way to make multiple card pieces relatively quickly. If you have a lot of sweethearts on your Valentine list you can make eight of these tags in a reasonably short time.  They will all be unique and easier to produce than eight separately crafted ones.

A masterboard is simply a piece of card stock that is first covered with your design (in this case, layers of rubber stamped images) before cutting into smaller pieces to use on your art work.  In the future, I’ll post other projects using masterboards.

The Winter 2011 Issue of Take Ten from Stampington & Company inspired this project in several ways. First I noticed decorated paper luggage tags by Cynthia Otto.  Then an article on masterboards with samples by Teresa Abajo and finally the cute cover art (brown paper packages tied up with string) by Vanessa Spencer.  I mixed them all together and I had my Valentine Tags!

As usual, it’s a good idea to read through all the supplies and directions and look at the pictures (click on photos for close-up view) before you get started on this project.

Supplies:

(each sheet of card stock makes eight tags)

1 sheet 8 1/2 x 11 inch page card stock in a light color such as pink or lavender (my sample in some photos is cream to best show the designs).

Large background rubber stamps (all-over patterns such as text, harlequin diamonds, musical notes, flowers, paisley, etc. – mine are from Stampin’ Up! and each stamp is about 4.5 x 5.75 inches each.

variety of different size and designs of rubber stamps such as swirls and hearts

variety of different color ink from lighter to darker in tone (such as pale pink on through deeper pink until you reach a deep rose red)

greeting rubber stamps if desired

scraps of card stock and decorated paper

heart punch (mine is about 1 5/8 inches)

half-inch circle or small flower punch

double-sided adhesive

paper cutter, scissors

hole punch (Either a standard office size , 1/4 inch, or an 1/8 inch will work fine)

wavy edge or other decorative scissors

cord, string or narrow ribbon

Optional: self-adhesive glitter dots and crystals

other embellishments and glue dots to adhere them as desired/needed

Instructions:

  1. Start by creating your masterboard. I prefer having my designs right side up so I decide which way my finished tag will be and stamp images with that in mind.  For example, I don’t want a bird to be flying upside down.
  2. Script layered over pale pink diamond pattern.

    Using a large background stamp, ink it up with one of your lighter- colored inks and stamp on the 8 1/2 x 11 inch card stock. Re-ink and stamp until you cover the page.  It’s o.k. if there are some gaps or overlaps and it can be at an angle. Be sure to go all the way to the edges since you will be cutting the paper into smaller pieces. You can repeat this step with another large background stamp and a different color as I did in my example.

  3. Choose a smaller stamp and medium color of ink and randomly stamp that design on the page.  Stamp more than once before re-inking to get another tint of the color.
  4. More layers have been stamped on the masterboard.

    With smaller stamps and deeper color ink, keep inking and stamping until you have a layered pattern you are pleased with.

  5. Cutting the masterboard page in half.

    Cut the paper in half at the 4.25 inch mark.

  6. 1 Masterboard = 8 tags

    Cut each half into 4 rectangles at the 2.75 inch mark so resulting pieces are 4.25 x 2.75  inches each.

  7. Snip off the corners to create the tag shape.

    With scissors cut off the top corners of each rectangle to create tag shape (see photo).  I cut the first one and use it as a pattern for each subsequent tag.

  8. Cut strips from decorative paper of about 3/4 to 1 inch wide and long enough to go down one side of a tag (or across the bottom of the tag).
  9. Cut each strip into two narrower strips using wavy-edged scissors.
  10. Adhere paper strip along one side or bottom of tag.

    Adhere a strip to each tag along one side or along bottom.

  11. Punch half inch circle or small flower from paper and adhere to the top of the top center of the tag.
  12. Punch a hole in circle or flower shape with hole punch.
  13. Thread baker’s string, narrow ribbon or cord through hole and tie in a knot.
  14. Punch heart shapes from decorative paper and adhere to tag.
  15. Put on the finishing touches.

    Add embellishments if desired.

  16. Stamp or write greeting on reverse of tag and give to your Valentine.

Here's a finished tag.

Beautiful tags made by a 13-year-old. Some haven't yet been embellished.

Masterboard Valentine Tags: ready and waiting for cupid-delivery.

Card stock, ink, flower punch and background stamps by Stampin’ Up!

Swirl Heart Open stamp by Rubber Stampede.

Postmark stamp by Inkadinkado.

Mini Key Heart stamp by Stampendous!


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