by Hollie Strack
It is always great to give someone a handmade gift. One that will last a long time and won’t break is even better. Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers we have. It is abundant, versatile, and relatively cheap. Some hemp jewelry requires a high level of skill with knots, but this project does not. I’m sure most of us remember creating friendship bracelets as a child, this will be similar, but we will add beads to beautify it and make it unique. Hemp comes in a variety of colors and thicknesses, so you can customize jewelry for almost anyone you know. For today’s project we will be using 1mm hemp and creating a women’s bracelet.
1. Measure hemp. Hemp should be 5 times the length of the finished project. For example if you want to make a 7 inch bracelet, you will need 35 inches of hemp.
2. Cut 2 pieces of hemp rope for the length you measured.
3. Line up and fold the two pieces of hemp cord in half.
4. Make an overhand knot at the looped end of the cords. (Instructions can be found here)
5. Clip looped cords under the paper holder of a clip board or pin to knotting board.
6. Make 1 Square knot. (Instructions can be found here)
7. Reverse the cords and use the other set to knot. You can incorporate a bead here to help the holding knots in place until you complete the first square knot. Your first square knot should be a little distance from the 2 knots we previously created.
8. Make 1 square knot.
9. Reverse cords again, add bead, and make 1 square knot.
10. Repeat until you reach the desired length (depending on the knots and beads you use you might have a lot of cord or just enough left over).
11. Tie an overhand knot with all 4 cords.
12. Add a finishing bead, and tie another overhand knot to hold it in place.
13. Trim the cords to ¼ to ½ inch in length. You can add fabric glue to hold the ends in place but this is not necessary.
**An important note about square knots. Square knots are actually 2 knots. If you create one knot, you have a half-square knot, make sure you finish it out and create the second one on the other side.**
If you are a novice at micro macramé, it may be beneficial to make your knots a little loose so that you can untie them if you make a mistake. It takes time to develop macramé skills, but with a little time and patience anyone can be successful at creating beautiful hemp jewelry.
Something you may want to keep in mind if you have cats. Cats like to chew on hemp cord, this is cute, but it could also be dangerous if they happen to get a piece of it stuck in their throat. When you aren’t using excess hemp, make sure it is in a location that your cat can’t get to it. You can make great cat toys out of hemp. I will cover this in another post.
Hemp jewelry can be stiff and itchy when first created. There is a remedy for this problem. Just place your product in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Once it is dry, it should be more flexible and not itchy.
This project is relatively easy to make and doesn’t require a great amount of skill. Hemp can be picked up at your local Wal-Mart, in their craft section for about $5 (this is for .5mm, fatter hemp is a little more). They also have a pretty good selection of beads there for cheap. Jo-Ann Fabric usually has a dollar bead bin or section in their stores as well. Micro-macramé takes a little time to learn but it is completely worth it in the end. Don’t be afraid to try new things, make up your own knots, and add a personal touch to your projects.
Good luck & Happy Crafting!