Hi all! Do you remember the Square Knot tutorial we did a while ago? Well, here’s the bracelet how-to that we promised you. I really enjoyed making the bracelet, and I hope you do too.
- Two lengths of cord – 80 inches each. I used 0.5mm brown cotton cord. You pick the type of cord and colour depending on what type of piece you’re going for – thinner cords in nicer material for more delicate pieces, thicker cords for bolder pieces.
- Beads. The size and number depends again on the kind of piece you want to make. I used 5 rather big beads, and decided to use the square knots for the rest of the length of the bracelet. Also make sure your beads have bores wide enough to accommodate the thickness of two cords.
- A pair of scissors.
- Some craft glue, and super glue.
- Something to hold your cords in place while you work; I use a nice wooden exam board!
Now that you’ve got your stuff ready, let’s begin! I suggest you read through all the steps first before starting, just so you know what’s coming.
First, fold both cords in half. We are going to be using the cords and one of your beads to form a sort of toggle clasp (photo is not mine). I’ve used an oval shaped bead for the toggle, because it makes for a more sturdy clasp. I personally feel that round beads slip out of the loop rather easily.
At this half point, make a loop with both cords, making sure that the bead that you’re going to be using for the clasp will just fit through the loop. We don’t want it to be too small, nor do we want it to be too big and then have the bead constantly slipping out.
Now, tie a knot to secure the loop. I knotted one cord over the other to form a pattern, which we’ll learn some other time 🙂 The plain loop will do the trick too.
Secure the loop to your work board, and identify and separate the core cords and the working cords. Remember, your core cords are the two cords that stay in the middle, and your working cords are the two cords that form the knot. You will be stringing your beads onto the core cords later.
Now get started on your Square Knots. The tricky part is measuring the length you need. I lined up my beads and that segment came up to just a little under 4 inches. Since I knew I wanted my bracelet to be around 7 inches long in all, I divided the remaining 3 inches into two parts – one on either side of the beaded section. So, I kept knotting until the length (including the loop!) was around 1.5 inches. I ended up making ten knots. But that will vary depending on your loop size, type of cord, and length of your bead segment. So, do the math before you start!
Once you’ve reached the point where you need to start beading, string your core cords through your first bead. In case you find it difficult to fit the cords through your beads, like I did, use craft glue to stiffen the ends of your cord. This usually makes it easier for the cords to pass through the bead.
Now bring your working cords around the bead to make another Square Knot at the base of the bead. Make a second Square Knot and string your next bead. Repeat until you’ve strung all your beads.
Go back to tying Square Knots until your bracelet’s reached the required length. Now comes the tricky part. Take the bead that you intend to use as the clasp, and string the working cords through it. Orient the bead so that the left working cord goes in through the left and comes out from the right, and the right cord goes in through the right and comes out from the left. Pull them out and tighten, so that the bead lies flush against the bracelet. Now take the working cords and tie another Square Knot around the core cords and pull tightly. This is what it should look like. Try it. It’s easier than it sounds.
Once that complicated bit is done, apply some super glue over the last Square Knot, because here’s where we’re going to be cutting off the extra cord, and we don’t want the whole thing to unravel later.
Super glue and I don’t share a very good relationship, and more often than not I find myself sticking my fingers to my piece! So needless to say, you’ve to be really really careful, whether or not you’re a klutz like me!
Done? Trim off the extra cord as close to the knot as possible, without accidentally cutting off the knot. Yes, I’ve done that once, too, and it wasn’t pleasant. Once you’ve finished trimming, it’s ready! Slip it on and feel super proud of yourself. You did it!
Come back next month for another Project Sunday. I hope you enjoyed this one!
Tip: For variety, you can use different colour beads and beads of different sizes. And now that you know the technique, you can play around with the design and change that up, too. For example, you can start stringing on beads right from the beginning. That works well with smaller beads. So, go ahead and have fun with it!
It would be really nice if you could send us pictures of your Square Knot bracelets once you’re done. Our email id is firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to seeing your bracelets! I hope you have as much fun making them as I did!