Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hand-made Goodie of the Week: Hemp Jewelry

Hand-Knotted Hemp Jewelry

I first made a hemp necklace when I was 14.  We learned how to make them at girls camp.  Oh, those were the days.  Since then, I've learned some ways to fancy it up a bit.  There is so much you can do with hemp jewelry.  They're cheap, easy, fun and fast and a great craft to make with your kids.

You'll need:
Beads or charms, if wanted
2 safety pins

What you're making obviously determines how much hemp you'll need.  You'll need two pieces of hemp-one piece that will serve as your base and one that you will knot around your base piece.  The base should be about 6 inches longer than you want your finished product.  Keep in mind that this piece will be folded in half, so it actually needs to be doubled.  In my example, I made a bracelet.  It's about 7 inches long, so my base piece was 14 plus the extra 12 inches-this is for the loop at one end and to tie off the other end when you're done.  The second piece should be abut 4 yards long (if making a bracelet, like I did.  You could even make a child's size choker.  For an adult necklace, depending on the desired length, you'll want to start at about 5 yards and go from there.)

Once you've measured and cut your hemp, fold both pieces in half and knot the end, leaving a small loop.  This will serve as one end of your closure.  Tie a small knot at the end of just the base pieces.  Put a safety pin through the loop and secure it and put a safety pin through the knot at the end and secure it.  This keeps the hemp tight and easier to work with.

Now, for the knot.

Once you've secured your hemp, take the long piece on the left and bring it across your base pieces, making a 4.

Take the long piece at the right, lay it over top of the left piece that you've brought across, then pull it up through the open space between it and the base pieces.  Loop it behind the base pieces and pull it through overtop of the left hand piece.

Your knot should look like this.  Pull tight to close.

Then you repeat on the other side, with the right-hand piece forming a backwards 4 and the left-hand piece looping through.  

You repeat this back-and-forth til you've reached your desired length.

To end, just gather all four strands together and knot.  Cut off remaining hemp.  The knot goes into the loop at the other end and that's how it stays on.

To get the twisted look or to add beads, like in the picture, here's what you do:

Twisted-instead of switching back and forth for your knots, you just pick a side and tie all the knots on that side.  

Beads-to add beads like the clear ones shown above, slide the beads onto the outside strands, tie knot like normal.  To add beads like the moon bead, slide bead onto both inside strands and tie outside strands around bead, using a normal knot (just keep on tying like the bead's not even there.)

You can check out our selection of hemp jewelry in our Etsy shop.  If there's anything you see there that you have questions about how it was made or if you'd like something custom, ask away!

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