Hemp Bracelets and Jewelry crafting


PBS showcased some of the Hemp Bracelets and accessories that Katie and Sandra made using Hemptique cords. After it aired we received positive response from the their followers when using our products. View the video or read the transcript; the important thing to do is take the essential tips they have when making your next Hemp bracelet. 

Katie Hacker: Leave your color story with macrame but in a whole new way today on beads, baubles and jewels, jewelry designer Sandra Younger joins us to make candy bracelets with silver tubes, beads and hemp cord.

Hi Sandra, thanks for joining us. I’m so excited. These bracelets are awesome.

Sandra:   I’m glad to be here.

Katie Hacker: It’s fun, huh.

Sandra:  Yes, oh yeah. One of the first things I want to talk about because a lot of people have a misconception that hemp are like itchy, you know; it’s like something that you make a basket holders or plat holders with. But the thing is that you have to note the difference between hemp twine which is used for the plant hangers, and the hemp cords, which is a lot softer and more subtle; and that’s you know, the grade that you want before making jewelry. And everything I made here, including on the mannequin, I made with the hemp cord.

Katie Hacker: Oh cool, well you know what? My first book about joint making that I ever wrote was about the ‘hemp’ jewelry making. I have to tell you that it has come a long way. It’s so soft.

Sandra:   Yea, it’s a lot softer and the color range is incredible. It’s very durable. So I just want to dispel some myths out there about hemps.

Katie Hacker: Sure, even there even some other things you can do to soften it up.

Sandra: When it comes up to sports, a little bit stiff; but this cool chip that I have for making your hemp a little bit softer, actually makes it a lot softer so that you can work it; you use a tool like this. You just have a couple of pegs; maybe 1 to 1½ inches apart. And you take some cord here.

Katie Hacker: You wanna sure you pull it out of the middle because it’s…

Sandra:  Yea these are toils; they dispense through the middle. So what I do is I just tie a regular knot – over hemp knot just like this, and put it between the pegs, and I just like run it back and forth. You just do that a few times, and it makes it a lot softer. [Pro Tip] You just run it through a few times like that and when you take it off, it’s just a lot softer.  Because it just softens the start chart, a little bit, yeah.


Katie Hacker: That’s a good idea, to do that before you get started out. I think it softens after you wear it, but…

Sandra: One reason is that it’s important to make it a little softer before you actually start knotting, because you want to make it tighter; so if you are macramé or knotting or whatever. It just makes it easier on the hands.

Katie Hacker: So how do we get started?

Sandra: The first project I want to start off with is this stylish-wrap bracelets, and they are very easy. [Pro Tip] A couple things I want to go over is how to get the beads on; the cords is double through the tubes; if you try like to sit there and try to get it through, is a little bit impossible; but the trick is to use a leader-drill. What some people do is that they put a large right needle directly on the cord; but what happens is that this part becomes really, really thick and you can’t get back overboard. So what I do is I take some beading thread and I get my large-eyed needle and basically what I’m making is like a jumper that goes from the needle, the beading thread and then the hemp cord. But there is a trick to properly tying your beading threads so that the knots doesn’t come undone; so you just take your cord. Most people will normally do just like one twist knot and then just double it, like that and then go through.

Katie Hacker: So it’s like a double over hand

Sandra: Exactly.  That’s pretty much it. And another little tip that I have, when you are working is that it’s going to look something like this. So you have your…

Katie Hacker: So, we’ve got our beading thread through the needle here, and then it’s going, it’s so tiny. And then it’s going through the cord here; and then you have tied it. And it’s important that this is not right at the [inaudible 0:04:00].

Sandra: I think that is going to be fine.

Katie Hacker: It’s basically a leader.

Sandra:  Yes, it’s basically a leader. What you do is to take your tube and put in it through the hole like that.

Katie Hacker: And it looks like you bend that little needle hair up there, too.

Sandra: For the tube, (I’ve got a pair of pliers or something, just put in a little bend in there) because it helps go through the….

Katie Hacker: That’s the macaroni shape.  

Sandra: Yea. Then you just kind of just pull it just like that. That’s how you string your tubes on. Just make sure…

One thing I want to mention if you are using like a shorter bead [04:42], your needle doesn’t need to be this long; just something to accommodate. What I have done here (let me move this aside), is I have strung the breads that I am going to be making, and I am going to tell you the order. It’s 4 tubes and a piece of extender

I want to show you how to wrap it: so here you want to have a peg; it’s 16; peg it 0. And I have strung on 4 tubes, my piece of optional extended chain, because you really don’t need it, if you are going to use the loop itself;

Katie Hacker: Right, but if you are making this for a gift or something that’s a nice touch.

Sandra: That it’s correct, and then you could add a little bead on the end. So it’s going to be 4 extenders, 4 tubes, and clasp and then your last 4 tubes. And when you put them on the board, you just simply wrap it around. The nice thing about using a tool like this is that you are going to be making this finishing knots, so you don’t need any kind of hardware like creep-ends or tubes that you have to glue in; none of that.

[Pro Tip] So one of the important things to know about finishing hemp; you know, a lot of people think either your finishing cord has to be the same as the main cord. But I have found that if you incorporate different kinds of cord it has a lot more integrity and stronger; it’s not going to come apart; so one of the threads I use for the finishing knot is a wax jewelry cord; so what I do is that I take about a 10 inch piece and I am going to move my extended chain over and just make a coil. Now, just take your needle and you just wrap it around. One, two, three, four. Four it’s about good. You don’t want to tighten it yet; I am going to show you where to tighten it and how to tighten it, it’s very important. You are going to slide it over; and then you will now tighten it. Don’t pull that way; always put this way. Because you want the knot to be as tight as possible. So you are going to wrap it around your fingers and tighten it. That is why it’s important at least have a 10 inch piece because you really need to really really tighten it. And then you do the same thing on this side. You want to make sure that you have a clasp like right and back the post because you are going to be forming a loop and you want to make sure it’s inside the loop. So hold your needle; I am coiling around 4 times; but 3 should also do the trick.

Katie Hacker: Okay, you can make it bigger knot if you want to.

Sandra…different color; that is fine. It doesn’t take away from the aesthetic, actually I think it kind of adds to it.

Katie Hacker: It’s kind of like the barbwire effect a little bit but way softer version. Looks good.

Sandra: There you go, and remember you want to wait till you have it pushed up to the post and then you tighten going the direction of the bracelet.

Katie Hacker: There you go, you got a work out there.  Looks good. And when you are ready to finish this…

Sandra:  What you do you take a cord melting tool like this and actually you can take this right off from here because it’s a lot easier if you take your clips and... You just hold. Yea it really, really helps.

Katie Hacker: Well, and our bead workers will be familiar with the thread banner because they use that on their beading thread. But you wouldn’t want to use them on hemp cord or not on your material.

Sandra: Yeah, right. Because this burns like natural fibers but it’ll melt the synthetic.

Katie Hacker: That’s great, that way you don’t have to use any glue.

Sandra: That’s right. That the important thing with hampers. You really don’t wanna use glue if you don’t have to because a lot of time the glue really absorbs. It just makes it like really stiff.

Katie Hacker: Well and the natural material, too. That whole thing is you don’t need glue you know, you don’t necessarily want to combine it. It looks good

Sandra:  And now you get to tack it down, and now you get nice clean cuts, get yourself a good pair of cutters and you just pull and trim.

Katie Hacker: Perfect. That looks great.

Sandra:  And then the optional extend chain on this side.

Katie Hacker: Yes, that’s a really nice [09:18].

Sandra:  Yes, definitely. Now you do the same thing on this side. So a little down there, pull, trim and you know, I was going to trim these but you can melt...

Katie Hacker: It’s a pretty nice clean finish. That looks great.

Sandra:  The last step is like positioning of the tubes. I have that on the handout. Exactly where you put the tubes, so they all end up laying the same when you wrap it.

Katie Hacker: This looks great. And you can make it to everybody’s favorite colors to.

Sandra:            usually, if I have an outfit I make like 3 or 4 to coordinate and I stack them.

Katie Hacker: Good idea, and they are already stacked, they look great. And you also have a tip for us about knotting pearls

Sandra: Yes. This other project is an over-hemp knotting which is of this bracelet style right here; it’s really fast and easy. For this particular project you need 70 pound of cord, fold that in half and string; you are going to be stringing everything on with the leader, just like I showed earlier; the order is going to be like this; it’s going to be the clasp, 5 prowls, your fickle and the other 5 prowls and then your extended chain.

Hemp Bracelet by Hemptique

Katie Hacker: This is the same 20 pound cord that you are using?

Sandra: Yes this is same 20 pound cord. But you know what, you can use whatever cord; if it fits the hole. That’s the important part. [Inaudible 10:51]

And what I have done here is I have already strung the beads on and fold it at 11 inches and I have already put a coil knot, just like I had showed earlier; so you just bend, you have your needle and you’re just gonna connect on your board. You see the nice thing is that your board has a ruler on the bottoms so you’re making something where you need intervals, where you have packed different focals, you can use the markings on the ruler to guide where you put this.

So these are particular projects that if you know how to make a regular over hemp knot, you know just like on your finger; what you do is have your beads and then you put your bead over; and just tie an over-hemp knot around your bead; but you put this cord (the carrier) in the middle and you just tie it down. It’s really fast. You just slide this over.

The important thing is that, see I’m kind of like pulling up so you just make the knot and then you just hold it and then you just pull it and then you just kind of center it down.

Katie Hacker: So you just tighten it down, and because it’s on the board you are getting good resistance there too

Sandra:   Yes. Yes. So it’s not going to move, it’s because your cord is taut and you don’t need.... If it’s tight you don’t have to worry about it moving. So what you can do, either you can have your cord over. But what I like to do, if the hole in the pendant it’s big enough I string it through.

Katie Hacker: Good idea, that looks nice, too. When was the last time anybody made two pieces of jewelry in under 20 minutes? I mean this is so fast.

Sandra: Yes, this is really fast, this technique is really fast. We can make this in like less than 6 minutes each.

Katie Hacker: That’s amazing if you are doing kind of production work. If you are selling your jewelry and making gifts. Or last minute piece on your way out of the door.

Sandra: I have done this in less than 2 minutes.Ooh and the last one you don’t want to do a knot because you want to get only a post; you going to put this here and you are going wrap it around the post. And we are going to do another coil knot, just like we did earlier, so you just take your clip. What we are basically doing right now is just holding so that we get the coil knot on there. So you just take your cord just like you did earlier.

Katie Hacker: And I see you are doing same as before. Great. So, there’s two different type of knots in both of these projects. You have the over-hand knot and this one, and the coil knot. And then the other one, just the coil knot. [Pro Tip]

How to tighten Hemp Bracelet

Sandra: Yes

Katie Hacker: Even with some really basic techniques you can make some really cool high-end looking jewelry here.

Sandra: Part of it is, you know, just having you know, just a way to do it because a lot of people get frustrated with knotting; because you know they use their teeth, and their feet, the walls.

Katie Hacker: Well it seems so complicated and it’s really not.

Sandra: It’s not. When I first started the walls in the house, looked like sweet cheese because you know I’d build holes everywhere. What you want to do now is what we call tip; you need to close the gap, bridge this gap in here. So what I do is I get a piece of thread, put it in the clasp; just get a little slack in there; and now I am going to pull this so that I can close that gap. So now it’s just a little more; and then pull. Then you hold it and you take your two hands and prank it down as tight as you can. And that is it. You melt the ends just like before.

That is beautiful. Let’s look at pearl bracelets you have at the front. It only took you 10 minutes.

These are the other things I have done with Hemp. [She has done Braiding and knotting]

Definitely worth talking about.This is a new thicker Hemp Cord. I did a really tight Micromroe. You can use it as a Hemp Cord.

Katie Hacker: When I  was starting out making jewelry, there was nothing this nice in Hemp Cording. If you wanted something this big you would have to go to a scratchy juke fiber. [Pro Tip]

Sandra: What I do with the hemp and any other natural material but I make the finishing part, anything that is in the end, I use a synthetic because you cannot really slide on Hemp because it gets worn out. It broadens what you can do with Hemp once you know finishing techniques.

Katie Hacker: It makes it really wearable

Sandra: It does…

Katie Hacker: Especially using those pearl knotting techniques, it looks like the purple necklace has a tiny knot in between. That is something that people were not able to do with Hemp before. They would normally be using silk cords, other nylon fibers.

Sandra: The Hemp it gives it a different look. That is one thing that is really important when you are making a piece. You can make the same piece with different cord and has more of a contemporary look. If you want a more earthy, boho (informal) look you definitely want to use the Hemp.[Pro Tip]

Hemp Necklace

Alright thank you so much Sandra. These are beautiful ideas. Before we go we will take one last look at a couple of your pieces here. You have some beautiful colors. I love the way you use some sparkly beads too.

Sandra: Thank you Very Much.



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