Craft Instructions: How To Make Hemp Jewelry

A guide to help you learn how to make hemp jewelry, including a step-by-step introduction to this fun craft.

Hemp is a very versatile material that has a wide variety of uses. One such use that has been popular for many years is hemp jewelry. A few features set hemp jewelry apart from other types of handcrafted jewelry.

1. Inexpensive: Hemp jewelry is low in price compared to the typical handmade metalworked jewelry.

2. Durable: Hemp jewelry is not the type of jewelry to snap when you least expect it. You can wear it to the gym, work, clubs, almost anywhere you desire.

3. Environmentally friendly: If you get tired of your hemp, you can recycle it.

While hemp jewelry is typically seen in stores catering to teenagers and young adults, don't let that fool you. The many subtle textures and neutral color of natural hemp lends itself well toward complementing a casual ensemble. With dyed hemp, you can mix and match your hemp jewelry to your outfit. Hemp is often featured with spring and summer colors.

You will simply be amazed to discover how much fun and easy it is to make your own hemp jewelry. While there are certain weaves that take a great deal of time and practice to master, even the most basic knots look great and are simple to create.

The following is a simple step by step project suitable for ages five and above. Try this project yourself, or turn it into a fun project with your kids.

Hemp Necklace

Materials needed:

A ball of 20 lb. hemp (High quality hemp can be purchased at most craft stores.)

Scissors

Tape measure

Masking Tape

At least one bead for end knot.

Optional:

Beeswax

Glue

1. Clear off a flat surface. Make sure the area is clean from dust or dirt



2. Measure out two lengths of hemp, each approximately 3 yards in length. This might seem like a lot, but once you gain some experience, you won't need to use as much.

3. Fold both lengths in half.

4. Place one end (where the hemp makes a loop) on top of the other strand, making sure that none of the four strands are touching.

5. The middle two strands are referred to as carrier strands, which means that they will carry any beads that are added to this project. The outer two strands are what will actually be knotted, forming the pattern of the necklace.

6. The knot that will make up the majority of the necklace is called the square knot, which is commonly used in other, non jewelry related projects such as sailing and camping. Moving the outer strands down slightly from the loop of the carrier strands, keeping in mind that you will need enough space to fit a bead or end knot through the hole it leaves, begin by placing the right outer cord over the carrier strands and under the left outer strand (it will look vaguely like the number 4). Leave the right outer cord where it is for a moment, this time moving the left outer cord under the carrier strands, and through the opening made by the right outer strand (inside the 4, if you will). Make sure to pull the hemp tight.

7. Put tape at the top of the loop made by this knot, and also at the end of the two carrier strands, making sure that it holds the carriers tight. This will help keep your knots tight and make completed project looking great. I find it helpful to incline the piece I'm working on, by taping the loop up and taping the carriers at the end of the desk. This allows me to have both secure carriers, and the freedom of movement for the outer strands.

8. Repeat the procedure of step 6, this time starting with the left outer strand. You will do this until you are satisfied with the length of the project. You do not have to use up all of the hemp that you have cut.

9. This is an optional step: If you want to add beads to this project, simply slide them up the carrier strands until they meet the last knot, and then do exactly as you have been. Make sure to pull the outer strands tight around the bead.

10. Once you have finished the knotting, it's now time to make a closure for the piece. There are a wide variety of ways to do this, but the simplest is using a bead that's slightly larger than your loop. Slide a bead onto your carrier strands, then tie an overhand knot using all 4 strands (an overhand knot is just a fancy name for your typical knot, take all 4 strands, make a loop with them, then pull them through the loop).

11. Cut off the extra hemp. Glue the end knot to make it stronger.

12. If you find that the hemp feels too scratchy after you put it on, you can run beeswax over the strand. This should eliminate most of the irritation and roughness of the hemp.

13. You are now finished with your hemp jewelry project!

If the project doesn't look quite like you expected, keep in mind that most hemp jewelry designers spend many hours practicing and perfecting their jewelry. This project is a very basic one.

If you are interested in learning more about how to make hemp jewelry, and additional projects, there are numerous websites and any number of excellent books you can turn to for further information.

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