ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Macrame Basics - Hemp

Updated on April 16, 2014

Hemp Bracelet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A bracelet made from hemp using square knots.
A bracelet made from hemp using square knots.
A bracelet made from hemp using square knots.

Why choose hemp?

Most people begin macrame with hemp for several good reasons. Hemp is inexpensive and holds knots well, while at the same time allows you to remove knots easily if you make a mistake. Hemp works really well with wooden, acrylic, and clay polymer beads, which are also inexpensive. Although hemp may feel stiff at first, as you wear it the fibers will fuse together until it feels like brushed cotton, at which point the knots are impossible to remove.

Hemp is available in a variety of sizes and colors, for this project I am going to use .5mm cord in 3 colors in addition to an acrylic bead with a large hole.

I am not going to use a macrame board because I want to show everyone the way I began macrame, with a pair of jeans and a safety pin (although a macrame board makes this project infinitely easier).

Hemp

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hemp is available in many fashion colors.For this bracelet I will use 3 colors of hemp and a matching bead with a large hole.
Hemp is available in many fashion colors.
Hemp is available in many fashion colors.
For this bracelet I will use 3 colors of hemp and a matching bead with a large hole.
For this bracelet I will use 3 colors of hemp and a matching bead with a large hole.

Step 1

Cut a piece of hemp that is 24" and 2 pieces that are 72" each. Fold all three pieces in half and tie a knot leaving a loop at the top that is approximately the same size as your bead. The bead will be the closure of your bracelet so it must fit into the loop. If the loop is too big the bead will slip out and the bracelet will fall off.

Making a loop

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tie an over-hand knot forming a loop in the folded pieces of hemp.Make sure the bead fits through the loop securely, this is probably the most important step.
Tie an over-hand knot forming a loop in the folded pieces of hemp.
Tie an over-hand knot forming a loop in the folded pieces of hemp.
Make sure the bead fits through the loop securely, this is probably the most important step.
Make sure the bead fits through the loop securely, this is probably the most important step.

Step 2

Using a safety pin, secure the loop the the knee of your jeans. Sitting with your knee bent, tie the core cord tightly to a belt loop.

Attaching the cords

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Safety pin the loop to the knee of your jeans.Tie the core cord to a belt loop.  Tie it tightly so that it holds tension and doesn't come off.
Safety pin the loop to the knee of your jeans.
Safety pin the loop to the knee of your jeans.
Tie the core cord to a belt loop.  Tie it tightly so that it holds tension and doesn't come off.
Tie the core cord to a belt loop. Tie it tightly so that it holds tension and doesn't come off.

Step 3

Make a square knot. Square knots consist of 2 knots really.

The first half of the square knot: the pink working cords, on the left, go over the core cord and under the brown working cords, then the brown working cords go under the core cord and over the pink working cords. Tighten this against the over hand knot.

The second half of the square knot: the pink working cords, now on the right, go over the core cord and under the brown working cords, then the brown working cords go under the core and over the pink working cords. Tighten this and ensure that the core cord is flat between the two halves of the square knot.

After making 6" of square knots measure the bracelet against your wrist. The bracelet should fit comfortably around your wrist from the tip of the loop to the end of the square knots. If you need more room, add more square knots. You will have another .5" of length beyond the last square knot so fit the bracelet, don't make it too big.

Making square knots

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pink over the core, brown under the core.Tighten the first half against the over hand knot.Pink over the core, brown under the core.Tighten the second half of the knot.Continue making square knots making sure the core cord stays tight and doesn't stick up between the knots.Make 6" of square knots.  Measure this against your wrist, if you need more room make more knots until the bracelet fits comfortably from the tip of the loop to the end of the knots.
Pink over the core, brown under the core.
Pink over the core, brown under the core.
Tighten the first half against the over hand knot.
Tighten the first half against the over hand knot.
Pink over the core, brown under the core.
Pink over the core, brown under the core.
Tighten the second half of the knot.
Tighten the second half of the knot.
Continue making square knots making sure the core cord stays tight and doesn't stick up between the knots.
Continue making square knots making sure the core cord stays tight and doesn't stick up between the knots.
Make 6" of square knots.  Measure this against your wrist, if you need more room make more knots until the bracelet fits comfortably from the tip of the loop to the end of the knots.
Make 6" of square knots. Measure this against your wrist, if you need more room make more knots until the bracelet fits comfortably from the tip of the loop to the end of the knots.

Step 4

Tie all the cords into an over hand knot against the last square knot; pull this knot tight. Cut the cords beyond the knot so they are all the same length. Thread all the cords through the hole in the bead and make an over hand knot after the bead; pull this knot tight. Trim off the excess cord beyond the last over hand knot.

Finishing the bracelet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tie an over hand knot after the last square knot.Even-up the cords beyond the knot.Add the bead and tie another knot.Trim off the excess cord beyond the second knot.You are done.
Tie an over hand knot after the last square knot.
Tie an over hand knot after the last square knot.
Even-up the cords beyond the knot.
Even-up the cords beyond the knot.
Add the bead and tie another knot.
Add the bead and tie another knot.
Trim off the excess cord beyond the second knot.
Trim off the excess cord beyond the second knot.
You are done.
You are done.

Last words on Hemp

I am not going to hate on hemp. Hemp is easy to use and has a rightful place in macrame. Hemp is a very good material if you like natural fibers and enjoy a more bohemian style.

The downsides to hemp are that the knots become less apparent as the fibers fuse together and it is difficult to "dress-up" a piece of hemp jewelry.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cheap easy meals profile image

      Jacob Robinson 3 years ago

      Great hub!!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 3 years ago from United States

      I spent a lot of hours making macrame in high school (1970s). Just recently, I saw a macrame purse at Forever 21 that was just like the one I made in 1978. Love how these things come back! My kids and I have been making these sorts of bracelets with that parachute cord. Great instructions.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congratulations on HOTD! Well done!

      I used to do macrame when my kids were young. I got started after teaching basic knots to Girl Scouts. LOL The "instructions" for tying a proper square knot, as given to the Scouts, is an easy-to-remember rhyme:

      "Right over left; and left over right;

      "Makes the knot neat and tidy and tight."

      (Omitted from the rhyme, however, is the necessary step of "tuck it under" I guess that didn't fit the meter of the rhyme.) ;-)

      Voted up ++

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      What a cool idea to use jeans as a crafting tool! Voted up and useful. And congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 3 years ago

      Nice hub. I love using a pin and my jeans to make simple macrame pieces. Loved the way you put the three colors together in your bracelet.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Love it, great hub. Looks like a great gift. Voted up.

    Click to Rate This Article