Knotty Knotted Bead Bracelet Tutorial – Part One

Knotty Knotted Bead Bracelet Tutorial – Part One

Well hi there. Today I want to show you how
to make this terrific bracelet project. It’s one that you can make in a variety of colors
and any color beads, stones, chips that you might have and we’re simply using this waxed
linen cord. It’s a really fun technique that we use. It results in a bracelet that looks
far more complicated than it actually is. When I first saw something similar to this
I thought it was a complex macrame design that I had no idea about and then when I looked
at it more closely, I realized it’s just knots and what makes it look very interesting and
complex is that we’re alternating focal beads with clusters of smaller beads and it’s these
clusters that make it look very interesting. This bracelet I made with some great summery
colors, turquoise, great red nuggets, little bits of red chips, a variety of beads and
these clusters are clusters of six with some nice chunky focal beads. Here’s a bracelet that
I made, same technique, very different look. This bracelet has smaller focal beads and
clusters of only three chips and smaller beads in between so it has a much more dainty delicate
look and it’s also done with the white twine, which adds to that look. This is one of my
favorites. Let me move these out of the way so you can see. I wear this all the time.
This one is made with five ceramic focal beads and I didn’t alternate them like on this one
I alternated. I have a couple different kinds of focal beads. This one I used all the same
and again I did clusters of six different beads in between and it just makes a really
terrific, very funky looking bracelet. Here’s another one with clusters of three beads because
the focals are smaller. It makes sense to use smaller clusters. So I will be going into
detail and telling you how to do all of this in a minute, so stay tuned. One thing to keep in mind if you find a ceramic
bead that you really like to use on your bracelet is that often the edges can be sharp. The
same with some glass beads. The edges will be sharp. This is actually, I’ve actually
had to remake this bracelet a few times. The first time was because these edges cut right
through the twine because they were sharp. So what you’ll need to do is use a tool like
this, a file, a round file that will help smooth out these edges and the holes of either
glass or ceramic beads. One thing to keep in mind when you’re making
this and choosing beads is that we’re not using beading wire. We’re going to be using
waxed linen cord and although it’s a fairly fine cord, it’s much thicker than beading
wire so when you look at your beads, you’re going to want to take a look at the hole and
make sure that you’ve got enough hole there to get the cord through otherwise you’re going
to have some problems with it and aggravation. So when you buy your beads at the store, this
one is probably the smallest hole I would consider. If I sharpen the end of my cord
by cutting it at an angle and then rolling it in my fingers, that will actually make
it so it will go through this hole, but I wouldn’t want to go any smaller than that
or I’m going to have problems. That’s something to keep in mind. One of the lovely things about waxed twine
is that the wax makes knots very, very secure. You do not have to worry about knots falling
out of these bracelets. They are in there. That’s one of the drawbacks of waxed twine
is that once you make a knot it’s difficult to undo. It can be done, but it’s difficult
so you just want to take your time and take some care when you’re making your bracelet
so you don’t have to undo any knots. Another thing you want to do before you get started
is measure your wrist. The average size for a bracelet is 7″-7.5″ for a bracelet, somewhere
between 7″-8″, but you want to find a bracelet that fits you comfortably and measure it and
go for that to be the smallest size that you’ll get on your bracelet and you can see that
this clasp, it’s not really a clasp, but a slider. The adjustment, which I will show
you how to do, it’s a lot easier than it looks, this adds about an inch to the length of the
bracelet. So when you are adding your beads, your’re going to want the distance from here
all the way around to here to be about an inch less than where you want your finished
size to be. And you can actually make it a little smaller than that so if you want it
to fit a smaller wrist it will be able to because of this wonderful adjustment here. So let’s go ahead and get started on this
bracelet. What you will need for this design, one or more focal beads and a bunch of different
smaller beads. Usually somewhere between one or more different types of focal beads, somewhere
between five and seven focals and somewhere in the vicinity of three dozen smaller beads.
And like on this bracelet I chose to use all the same focal bead and then I have six different
small beads. On this bracelet, I have a few different focals. I have these turquoise rounds
and then in between them I’m going to put these great red nuggets and if I still need
more room on the ends, I’m just going to put these turquoise tubes. As we build the bracelet,
we’ll be building it from the center out so we’ll keep taking measurements as we go and
we can decide when we need to stop the pattern. Like I said, you’ll need somewhere around
three dozen smaller beads. I love chips. I think they just add a great texture and different
kind of shape, some interesting variety to a bracelet or any piece of jewelry. So I’m
going to have clusters of six in between each of these focals and three of the beads, three
of those six will be chips. So it’s always a good idea to just lay out your pattern.
It’s nice to have something where the beads won’t roll, like this piece of velour. And
then I selected these little round beads, they’re kind of shiny. I’m going to have two
of those in each cluster and then I picked out these speckled beads
just to add a little bit of interest and some different texture and there will be just one
in each cluster because these are a little bigger. So there we are. All of our beads are laid
out so it will be easy to know where we’re at in the pattern. So there we are. All of
our beads are laid out so that it will be easy to know where we’re at in the pattern.
The next thing we need to do is cut three pieces of waxed linen cord or twine. This
is a fairly fine cord. It’s not heavy like a macrame cord. It comes on rolls like this.
It comes in natural, it comes in black. At my craft store they’re the only colors I’ve
seen, but I’m sure you can find it elsewhere in other shades. Ten yards for $1.50. Not
a bad deal so be generous when you cut these. I cut each of my three strands at about 40
inches, a good yard anyway. You want to be sure that you have plenty of length. The stuff
is $.15 a yard, so be generous. It’s a royal pain if you run out at the end and you come
up short. So we’re going to go ahead and get started
by finding the center of these, approximately. I think I cut them all pretty much the same
length so we’ll just put the ends together and find the center and we’re going to start
by making a knot near the center. Just tie a knot. That’s it and then I’m just going to
check what side of the center that’s on. Okay and then the side that has a little bit more
length, I’m going to take one of my strands and I’m going to slide on my center focal
bead. Not being cooperative. Okay. What you can do if it doesn’t want to go through the
bead first cut it at an angle and there’s a good reason to cut plenty of twine because
you may need to sharpen it a few times and then roll it between your fingers to make
it nice and tightly packed and round. That should behave better now. There we go. Slide that right up to that knot and now
you’ll have two strands on the back. Make sure you have three strands over here, three
strands over here and tie another knot. Just a simple over hand knot. That’s it. This isn’t
macrame. There’s nothing complicated about it. It’s just knotted and now you have your
center bead on. Next you’re going to take the strands one at a time and make our first
cluster of six small beads. And I’m going to go ahead and roll that, cut it at a point
and I’ll start with one of these little ones. These have the smallest holes of all the beads
I chose. They are deemed most likely to give me trouble. There we go. Slide this all the
way down to your focal bead. Now one thing to note, these clusters, the way we make them,
the bead is not sitting on the strand like this. Let me show you on this bracelet. The
knot is actually tied underneath the bead and the beads are all sitting proud on the
strand. Can you see that? It’s sitting up above so it’s knotted along the strand. The
best way I found to do that is to just pull the bead up a little, take your end, poke
it through and then I’m going to slide this down closer. Just take your time. Like I said,
with this twine it’s easy to make knots that stay, not so easy to get them out afterwards
so make sure you have it where you want it. Instead of it sitting along the strand sitting
on it, it’s a little up above it and that’s how we get our clusters. We’ll go ahead and
do another one. This one also needs to be pointed. I’ll
throw on a chip this time. The chip, because they have angles, when you tie them you can
decide do you want it sitting like this or like this. Don’t over think it. Just decide
which way you want it and tie it that way. Again slide this down. Give yourself a little
space. Bring your end around to just make a simple tie. Slide that down a little closer.
I do like to make the clusters tight. I think they look better. That’s a little too far
down. If you need to make some adjustments or if you need to remove knots, which I’ve
had to do, it can be done. It requires a tool like this. This is just an awl and
some patience. There we go. Just take your time and get it where you want it. Great.
The other strand, the one I haven’t put a bead on yet and add another one.


  1. Very cute bracelet. A dab of white glue on the end, and allowed to setup for a few seconds, then rolled between the fingers will coat the end of the cord like the end of a shoe lace, which makes for easy beading.

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