Hemp Jewelry Design
Hemp jewelry design is a great way to create fun, unique pieces of jewelry. And who knows? You may even be able to create your own cottage industry! After all, hemp jewelry is a staple at all outdoor music festivals, street fairs and college campuses worldwide.
Hemp jewelry design is based on various macrame knots. Learn some of these knots, add a little bling and you can create some very personal and heartfelt designs. A personally created gift of hemp jewelry would no doubt be appreciated and valued by family, friends, and don't forget your fur friends! Working with hemp is great for beginners because if you make a mistake the knots are much easier to undo than other cords.
The beauty of hemp jewelry design is it's elegant simplicity. All you need is some hemp twine. If you want to "splurge" a bit, get a clipboard and a binder clip and you've got a portable workstation (I'll explain below). Beads and charms of various mediums can be used to add some pizazz to your design. These embellishments can help define your style and unique flava.
Hemp Twine: Come in a variety of gauges, or thickness. It is measured by lb. test. One of the most common thickness is 20 lb. test, approximately 1 mm. thick. You'll need to know the thickness if you want to include beads or other embellishments.
Other common gauges include 45 lb. test (approx. 2 mm thick) and 80 lb. test (approx. 3 mm thick). The heavier twines are great for men's jewelry, belts and pet collars.
Beads and Charms: Your only limitation to the beads and charms is your imagination. Beads come in numerous mediums such as wood, acrylic, glass, clay, stone, resin, metal and shells. However, what you do need to keep in mind is that you're able to string the beads onto your twine. You also need to keep in mind that you will often need to pass two strands of twine through your beads so you may want to look for beads with 2 to 3 mm holes if you're using a 20 lb. test hemp twine.
Consider bringing your hemp twine with you if you're shopping for beads at a brick and mortar retailer. This will ensure your hemp twine will fit through the holes and help you visualize the colors. If you're like me and prefer to shop online there are bead suppliers to fit every budget and style.
Pugster.com is a great place to look for your fancier centerpiece beads and spacers.
However, you can go to Create For Less to get your bulk beads. You can find some amazing deals and other really cool crafting supplies at Create For Less.
The basic knots for most hemp jewelry designs generally require four strands of hemp. The two inner strands (black) are your base strands. These should be slightly longer than your finished product. If you add beads or other embellishments to your hemp jewelry, you will string them onto these inside base strands. This is why it's important to have beads with a diameter large enough to pass through two hemp strands. Of course the process can be easily modified to use only one base strand as illustrated in the hemp bracelet pattern provided below.
You will use the two outside strands to tie your knots. Therefore, these outer strands should be about 3x longer than your inner base strands. It will take some trial and error, but 3x outer strands is a good start.
Once you get your strands to the proper length, tie a double overhand knot in the middle of the strands. You can make the loop as large (for a belt or collar) or small (bracelet or necklace) as you need it to be.
The knot can be clipped onto a clipboard. You can also mark the clip board in one inch increments to help you measure strand lengths. Use your binder clips to secure your base (center) strands.
The beauty of hemp jewelry design is you can get started by just knowing the square knot. Depending on how you tie it, you can get two different looks - flat or twisted.
To start the square knot, take the strand on the far right side (red) across the base (black) strand (illustration #2). Click to enlarge images.
Then take the left strand (blue) over the loose end of the red strand, under the base (black) strands and through the loop of the red strand and tighten (illustration #3). You've just created a half knot.
Now take the left strand (red) across the base strands (black) (illustration #4).
And take the right strand (blue) over the red strand and thread under the black base strand and then back over the red strand illustration #5. Tighten. Congrats! You just tied your first square knot!
If you want a flat pattern, simply tie your knots alternating starting strands as illustrated in the diagrams 2-5 above. I'm right handed so I think about starting with the right strand then finish the square knot by starting with the left strand. As you do this, you'll see the pattern emerge. So if you happen to forget which side you just tied, you can look at your pattern.
To get the twisted pattern, always start each half knot with the right (red) strand. Your pattern will twist to the right. You can also start this knot with the left (blue) strand. If you always start your hemp knot with the left strand, your pattern will twist to the left.
This video shows how to make four variations of the square hemp knot and how to add beads!
And this video shows how you can use your newly learned skills to make an adjustable square knot closure. I like the clean finish this gives and the fact that it makes your design adjustable.
Other ways to finish your hemp jewelry design include:
Bead or knot closure is a simple way to finish your hemp jewelry design. Find a bead that fits through your overhand loop you created at the start of your project.Fit the four strands through the bead if possible and tie a tight overhand knot at the base. Cut the excess hemp and dab the ends with epoxy or clear nail polish to avoid fraying.
Tie ends where you can braid or twist the ends of your hemp strands so you can tie them around your neck or wrist. Waxed hemp works really well with this. It holds the tie but easy to undo.
Clasps can be crimped on the ends of your strands. These clasps come in two basic designs. Flat metal flaps that bend over the cord or round coiled tubes that are crimped on the ends.
This isn't a hemp bracelet per se, but I'm featuring because it features techniques used in hemp jewelery design (which you learned to create above). I love the very different approach to design this uses. I hope this will inspire your designs and help you think out of the box when creating your hemp jewelry designs.
This is sold at Pugster.com but you could create your own designs. Why limit your skills to just hemp? You can use your talents with leather, silk, ribbon, anything you can dream up! Experiment with different materials, embellishments or a combinations. Who knows? You may discover a new technique that becomes your signature trademark!
Here is a really easy hemp bracelet you can make to help you practice your knotting and beading skills. Note: this bracelet uses three strands of hemp so you will have one base strand and two outside strands. However you can modify this to use the two base strand method illustrated above but make sure your beads are large enough to pass through two hemp strands.
- 2 yards of 1 mm hemp
- 5 beads of each color you want to feature
- Cut one length of hemp to 12 inches. This will be your base strand.
- Fold the remaining hemp cord in half. These will be your outside strands
- Place the base strand between the fold of the outside strands and tie a small overhand loop (see above).
- This loop will be part of your closure so make sure it's large enough to pass a bead or a knot through, but small enough so it doesn't come loose (again, some trial and error).
- Clip the overhand knot to your clipboard. The center strand can be secured at the base of the clipboard with a binder clip.
- Create a square knot by pulling the right strand across the base strand. Then pull the left strand over the right strand and around the back of the center strand.
- Do the same thing only start with the left strand across the base strand. Then pull the right strand over the left strand and around the back of the center strand and tighten. Reference illustrations 2-5 above.
- Make five more square knots.
- Tie the first half of the square knot and thread a bead on the center strand. Tie the second half of the square knot.
- Thread a similar colored beads on each outside strands and tie the first half of the square knot.
- Thread two more beads of the same color on the center cord and tie the second half of the square knot.
- Repeat this process for each color of bead.
- Tie five more square knots.
- Tie all three ends of the strands into an overhand knot (like an overhand loop but with a knot instead of a loop). This knot will be the fastener to slip through the loop you created at the other end of the bracelet.
- Congratulations! You just created your first hemp jewelry design!
The above hemp bracelet pattern came from macrame artist Melissa Cordstone's eBook "One Stop Macrame Shop." It is chock full of all kinds of decorative knots that can be incorporated in your hemp jewelry designs. Melissa does a great job illustrating different knot techniques. Her book features some amazing creations from herself and other artists which will inspire you and teach you the possibilities of knotting skills.
Her knotting expertise is just what a hemp jewelry designer needs for inspiration and knowledge. She can teach you to make your designs look more polished and professional than the run of the mill stuff that's out there.
If features easy to follow, step by step, color illustrations. It is appropriate for beginners and expert artists alike.
Projects in this 80-page eBook range from the simple but elegant but easy to create key chain, a masculine men's necklace to the more complex decorative guitar strap.There's even instructions to create your own hammock!
If you order her eBook, you'll also get the following items Free! (And we all know, free is good!)
- Knots And Projects: A very easy to follow instructional pdf that shows how to make decorative knots like the Josephine, how to tie a Wrap Knot and how to make your own hemp belt.
- Top Ten Beading Projects: Not specific to hemp jewelry design but another cool little instructional pdf on how to create some beaded jewelry, including an Africa Net Bead Necklace.
- How To Start A Profitable Craft Business: OK, are you starting to see where your interest in hemp jewelry design can take you? Even if you're not interested in quitting your day job and starting your own boutique, you can still have a "side hustle" selling your creations.
- Be In Control Of Your Time: Suppose you enjoy creating your hemp design originals so much that your side business starts to take off? Learn how to work smarter, not harder.
Melissa's book comes with a full 60-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee so you've got nothing to lose (except for maybe your day job ;o) and everything to gain. Click here to order your eBook.
Good luck and have fun creating your hemp jewelry designs!
Click Here to Exit Hemp Jewelry Design and return Home