Braiding Irish Linen & Beads

Braided Linen

Step 1: Tie three equal lengths of Irish waxed linen into an overhand knot at one end.  Leave several inches to attach your closure. (Initial length of linen strands: you lose approx 1/3 of the starting length of your linen as you braid.  If you would like to end up with a 30" necklace, start with 3 x 40" pieces of linen.  We like our braided linen necklaces LONG, so we start with 3 x 62" pieces!)

Step 2: Start braiding.  Add a bead: slide a bead onto one piece of your linen so that it is flush to the end of the braid.

Step 3: Continue to braid below the bead.  Either count your "strands over" or measure the distance between the beads to know when it's time to add the next one.

Step 4: Add another bead.  Continue braiding. Add another bead.  Continue braiding.  Repeat!

Step 5: At the other end of your necklace/bracelet finish with the same length of braiding to match your starting end.

Step 6: Tie end off with an overhand knot.  Trim ends flush only if finishing with a clamshell or cord end, otherwise leave longer to tie on clasp. (see note at end)

Step 7: Slide cord end over trimmed ends of linen and crimp using chain nose pliers.  Finish the first end to match the second.

Step 8: Attach a clasp…add a pendant or charm…the options are endless!

NOTES:  There are several possibilities when finishing your linen.  a) Use cord ends as shown in this tutorial.  b) Knot inside clamshells at beginning and end.  c) The linen may be tied directly to a clasp using a series of square knots.  d) Use the "knotting w/ gemstones" method that we teach in our classroom at splendor.


Wire Wrapped Rings

Wire Wrapped Ring Tutorial

Step 1: Gather tools + materials: Wire – 22 or 20 gauge (22 is easier to work with), ring mandrel, wire cutters, wire-straightening pliers, chain nose pliers (not pictured), beads!

Step 2: Cut one 3' piece of wire.  Lay across the ring mandrel 2 sizes LARGER than you want your ring to be, leaving a 2-3" piece of wire on one side.

Step 3: Wrap wire around the mandrel 3-4 times (don't let go!)

Step 4: Slide coil off the mandrel.

Step 5: Using the short 3-4" tail, make 2 or 3 binding wraps to keep everything in place.

Step 6: Slide bead on long end, squaring it up to the ring base.

Step 7: Using long end, make 2-3 binding wraps to keep bead in place.

Step 8: Using long end, start wrapping around the base of the bead, creating a decorative nest.  If your bead allows, you can bring the wire up and across it's surface, then back down to make more nest (a flat bead works best for this style).

Step 9: When finished, cut the wire and tuck the end somewhere it won't snag on clothes or the wearer's skin.  Cut your starting wire at this time as well.  Enjoy your fancy new ring!


Sliding Macrame Knot

Sliding Macrame Knot

Gather tools + materials:  For this bracelet we used:  a Buddha bead with wire loops at either end + 1.5mm metallic pink leather.  Any type of round cord can be used though… Chinese knotting cord (we sell in a 1.2mm size) is especially easy to use.  You can certainly use smaller cords and leather too – down to a .5mm is just fine!

Step 1: We've skipped forward past the initial attachment of leather to bead so that we are ready to add the sliding knot.  Use two pieces of 24-26 gauge wire and bind off a 3-4" area where you want the knot.

Step 2: Cut a 10" piece of cord, and tie a knot inside your working space.  This knot should be snug, but not so tight it won't slike over the core of leather.

Step 3: Take your right side and lay it across the top of your leather core, creating a "P" shape.

Step 4: The end of the right "P" shape should cross underneath your left piece.  My fingers are pinching them together at this crossover point.

Left piece goes from top, under core of bracelet, and back up and through the "P" shape you made.

Step 5: Pull to tighten.  You've completed the first knot in your macrame: "Right over top."

Step 6: Start your second step in the macrame: "Left over top.":   Take left side and lay across the top of your leather core, making a reversed letter "P" shape.

Step 7: Right piece goes from top, under core of bracelet, and back up and through the reverse "P" shape you've made.

Pull to tighten.

Step 8: Repeat steps 4 + 5 until the knot is the desired length.  (Usually 1 – 1.5" long).

Finsh knot:

for leather:  cut working ends flush and glue with hypo cement or super glue, being careful not to glue knot to core of bracelet.

For Chinese knotting cord:  glue same as leather, OR use thread zapper or lighter to melt the edges of cord (be careful!)

Step 9:  Tie off core of bracelet so that the ends won't slide back through the knot.


Stretchy Bracelets

Stretchy Tutorial

Step 1: Gather tools + materials:  Stretchy material (we use and sell Elastoma in sizes .5mm, .8mm, + 1mm), hypo cement, scissors, bead stopper, beads, various findings (closed jump rings, charms, large-hole beads).

Step 2: For each bracelet, cut one 12" piece of stretchy cord.  Put a bead stopper at one end and string your beads.

Step 3: If desired, add a large-hole bead, group of jump rings, charm, etc then tie the stretch cord in a square knot. (left over right and through, then right over left and through is shown in photo).

Step 4: Pull knot tight and generously coat with Hypo Cement glue. Allow glue to dry completely (30+min) before trimming ends of stretchy or trying bracelets on.

Step 5: It's really that easy!  Enjoy :-)


Suede Tassel Earrings

Suede Tassel ER

Step 1: Gather tools + materials:  2mm flat suede (2 pieces 20" ea), 24 ga wire (2 pieces 6", 2 pieces 4"), 2 matching beads,  pair french wires, wire cutters, scissors, round nose pliers, bent nose pliers, business card cut to 3" long.

Step 2: Wrap one of the pieces of suede around the 3" card.  You should have enough length to wrap 3 times.  Slide off of card and cut loops on bottom with scissors.

Step 3: Use a 6" piece of 24 ga wire to make a binding wrap approx 1/4" from the top of the tassel.

Step 4: Use either the same piece of wire you made the binding wrap with (just feed it up through the loops on the top of the tassel) or use a new 4" piece of 24 ga wire to gather the loops at the top of the tassel.

Step 5: Feed the wire up through your bead and finish with a wire wrapped loop at the very top.

Step 6: Repeat for second earring.  Attach to French Wires.  Make more :-)



Making jumprings using the Step Mandrels

Jumpring Mandrels

Step 1: Gather tools + materials – jumpring mandrels, flush cutters, wire

Step 2: Wrap a length of wire around the step (size) you desire.  Create a coil, concentrating on each wrap being close to the one before.  This will create a more uniform, easy to work with jump ring.

Step 3: Slide coil off of mandrel and begin to cut with your flush cutters.

Step 4: Turn the cutters – alternate facing the flush end right and left – to create a flat end for each side of the rings.


Making French wires using Wrap 'n' Tap Pliers

Step Mandrel French Wires

Step 1: Gather tools + materials – 20 gauge wire, small Wrap 'n' Tap pliers, round nose pliers, flush cutting pliers, chain nose pliers, emery board, fine sandpaper, or burr cup rounder.

Step 2: Cut wire into 2" lengths.

Step 3: Flush-cut one end and then make a loop with the round nose pliers

Step 4: Turn the loop towards the plastic coating on the Wrap 'n' Tap pliers and pull the long end of the wire around the middle or large "step" in the pliers.

Step 5: Flush cut all tails of French wires at matching lengths.

Step 6: Using chain nose pliers, bend the tail of the french wires out at a slight angle.

Step 7:  Gently round or sand ends of French wires with burr cup, sandpaper, or emery board until very smooth,