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How To Make A Hemp Bracelet

Updated on March 25, 2010

I'm going to show you how to make a hemp bracelet. They are fairly tricky to make initially but with practice, they become incredibly easy to craft. Once you've mastered the different knots, it's amazing what you can create. Some of the hemp bracelets I've made have been incredibly intricate, though I prefer to make the simple ones - to my eye, simplicity works better.

You will need a few items to start with - hemp, beads, a small pair of sharp scissors and somewhere to hook your hemp whilst you're making it. I don't attach my hemp to anything, my preference is to simply work freehand and as I often make mine when on the move, it's a little difficult to find a place to hook the hemp.

How To Make A Hemp Bracelet

One thing to note: I’m using cord for this guide. It’s a lot easier to work with when you’re new to hemp bracelets – hemp is quite thick, rough to the touch and the color isn’t helpful for demonstrative purposes. I'm using two different colors (again for demo purposes) though of course I would normally use the same color.

I usually work with hemp and cord - as well as pretty much anything else I can knot - but during this 'how to' I will refer to the cord as hemp. I'm shall also only be using one knot, the Square Knot, though in truth it's classed as two: the Right Square Knot and the Left Square Knot, which I shall refer to as RSK and LSK respectively. And so, let's begin.

NB - sorry if it all seems confusing at first. It is, no matter how I try to explain it. Even if I were sat in front of you, you'd still go cross-eyed. But it really is incredibly easy once you've taken the time to practice. And FYI - I taught myself all the different knots and methods. If I can do it, so can you!

Hemp Bracelet Knots

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step 1 - measure around your wrist.Step 2 - nine times the width of your wrist, then fold in half.
Step 1 - measure around your wrist.
Step 1 - measure around your wrist.
Step 2 - nine times the width of your wrist, then fold in half.
Step 2 - nine times the width of your wrist, then fold in half.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step 3 - measure inner string length against your outer string's doubled over length.Step 4 - fold the inner string in half. Tie the lead string tightly around the loop. Leave equal lengths of hemp to work with.
Step 3 - measure inner string length against your outer string's doubled over length.
Step 3 - measure inner string length against your outer string's doubled over length.
Step 4 - fold the inner string in half. Tie the lead string tightly around the loop. Leave equal lengths of hemp to work with.
Step 4 - fold the inner string in half. Tie the lead string tightly around the loop. Leave equal lengths of hemp to work with.

With this style or type of hemp bracelet, there are two sets of ‘strings’ – there are the outside strings which are known as the partner and lead strings and the inner or guide strings. First, you need to take your hemp and 1measure once around your wrist. Once you’ve done, without losing the end, start doubling the hemp, until it’s roughly 2nine times the circumference of your wrist. Cut the length.

Next, double the length in half and using that as a guide, 3cut a second piece of hemp the same length as the doubled over one. You will now have two lengths of hemp, one roughly twice the length of the other. Fold the shorter one in half. Now take the 4longer length and tie it around the shorter one, near the top. Pull it tight – and you should be left with a small loop. This is the start of your hemp bracelet.

And so, rounded up:

  1. knots are called LSK and RSK – left square knot & right square knot
  2. hemps strings are LS and IS – lead strings and inner strings
  3. wrap hemp round wrist
  4. double wrist length roughly 9 times
  5. fold wrist length LS in half
  6. cut a separate piece that matches the doubled length
  7. take shorter piece IS, fold in half
  8. having folded LS in half, now tie it around the top of IS
  9. you're now ready to start

Hemp Bracelet Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Now the fun part - making your hemp bracelet. Again, in steps, to try and make the process a little easier to understand.

  1. Holding the top of the hemp, take the right LS over the IS, to the left, creating a loop, hold it between thumb and finger
  2. Take the left LS over the right LS, under then across to the right of the IS and feed it through the loop
  3. Pull tight. That's your first knot!
  4. Now repeat in the opposite direction. Take the left LS across the front of the IS and hold
  5. Take the right LS over the left LS, then down and behind the IS, across to the left and feed through the loop.
  6. Pull tight - your second square not.
  7. Now continue, left to right, right to left, left to right, until you're about three inches or so from the end of your strings
  8. Once there, check the length, make sure your newly knotted hemp bracelet fits comfortably around your wrist
  9. Once you're sure it's the right length, simply take all for strings and tie an overhand knot at the end of your square knots - pull tight
  10. Next simply place a tiny knot on the end of each separate string, leaving roughly two inch of length
  11. Once you've done that, cut off any excess
  12. Then wrap your bracelet around your wrist, securing it by feeding two of the ends through the loop and tying them to the remaining two strings
  13. And that's it - you're done. You've just created your first hemp bracelet.
  14. Now all you need to do is practice. Trust me, it is fiddly to start with but with a little patience, you'll soon be knotting hemp bracelets with your eyes closed!

How To Finish A Hemp Bracelet 

How to finish a hemp bracelet? This confuses people almost as much as learning the knots. The easiest way is as I've written above. I've tested various different methods and despite what you'll find on the net, starting with a loop made by halving the IS then firmly tying the halved LS around it is the best way to create your initial fastening.

However there are a couple of variations, detailed below:

Method one:

  1. Once you've completed enough knots and tied all four strings in an overhand knot, you can add tiny beads to the ends
  2. Thread a small bead over each end
  3. Knot before and behind the bead, as closely as you can
  4. Cut off the excess
  5. Add a tiny spot of superglue to seal the knots

Method Two:

  • Repeat the above step #1
  • Gather your excess IS and LS strings
  • Knot them together, over and over, in an overhand knot
  • Keeping tying the strings until your knot is bulky enough to slip through your original loop you made when you started your hemp knot - yet stays inside it without slipping back through
  • Once you've reached the desired knot size, cut off the excess and add a little superglue

And that's it. You learned how to finish a hemp bracelet. My preferred method is the first one, though I sometimes use the second, more so if the bracelet's for a man's wrist.

How To Make A Spiral Hemp Bracelet

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Want to know how to make a spiral hemp bracelet? Easy - once you've mastered the square knots. This is how simple it is to make a square knot spiral hemp bracelet:

  1. Once your bracelet is ready for you to start knotting, repeat steps #1 through #3 from the first set on instructions
  2. Now - instead of swapping from left to right, simply make the same know from the right once again
  3. If you're left handed and it's more comfortable, start your knots from left to right
  4. Keep knotting your bracelet from right to left, right to left, right to left, until your bracelet is long enough
  5. Obviously, left to right if you start from the left
  6. Remember - the key is to keep knotting from the same side, over and over
  7. Once you're ready, finish your bracelet as shown above.

There you go - now you know how to make a spiral hemp bracelet.

How To Add Beads To A Hemp Bracelet

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Finally, how to add beads to a hemp bracelet. This is as easy as learning the spiral pattern. Honest! All you'll need are beads that will fit through the IS comfortably. Then you're ready to make a start.

  • Once your bracelet is underway, thread a bead onto the IS
  • Restart your next knot around the bead - and continue knotting
  • Repeat the process to suit the pattern or beads you want to add
  • Remember that adding beads will mean you have less knots to do
  • Beads can also be added to spiral hemp bracelets
  • And the LS strings can also be used
  • Now you just need to experiment ... and practice!

You've now got enough knowledge to make a start on learning how to make a hemp bracelet. You can also make hemp anklets, keyrings and choker style necklaces. You can make different hemp patterns by swapping between the flat square knots and the spiral knots. Experiment! The only limit is your skill.

Before you know it, you'll be able to make them within 15 minutes or so - and if you're like me, no matter where you are or what you're doing, you'll be able to knot away to your hearts content!


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    • LSKing profile image

      LSKing 7 years ago from East Coast United States

      This is very cool. I think this would be a great project for my daughter and I. I had a bag of hemp strings from a bracelet making kit that I never used it. I'm sure that I can dig it up tomorrow and surprise her over the weekend with it. Thanks!

    • profile image

      ~*Adj*~ 7 years ago

      i think i want to make these... it looks really hard though :(

    • profile image

      Joe 7 years ago

      Awesome Site!!

    • PassinItAlong profile image

      PassinItAlong 7 years ago

      The measurement on these has always baffled me, thank you for this hub!

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 7 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Awesome article that took a lot of work! Great step-by-step instructions!

    • dawnM profile image

      Dawn Michael 7 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      great hub, they are using hemp for so many things, when I was doing interior design we started using natural organci hemp to replace cotton. I love how you laced the beads in!!!

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 8 years ago from Virginia

      These are absolutely beautiful. I bookmarked so I can learn how to make these.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Hope this helps guys. So relaxing, stringing. Trust me ... I've probably become a more relaxed person due to my stringing!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      Wow I will mark and try that. Welcome to hubs.

    • mega1 profile image

      mega1 8 years ago

      I used to do some macrame - even still have some hemp - might have to make some of these one day soon. Right after I learn how to play my new guitar! ha actually should make a guitar strap! these are lovely bracelets and fun! thanks froggie!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 8 years ago

      Very cool. I like making bracelets but never used hemp before. I guess I'll give it a go......And when I'm bored of my hemp bracelets, can I smoke them? hehehe just kidding ;)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Glad that the whole hemp bracelet method has become clearer. I enjoy making them and love to hear when others have successfully produced a bracelet. Or two :)

    • profile image

      4youreyes 8 years ago

      frogdropping,This is a great hub ! I've never made anything like this before,with your easy to follow instructions,I had no problems.Thank-you for such an explicit hub.The Illustrations are a added bonus.It was fun making these my Granddaughter loves them !

    • profile image

      jmansson 8 years ago

      Good directions and illustrations. I hadn't thought about macarame in years. The bracelets were very attractive

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Rose - great! I hope when you find the time that you get to making some really cool, old style jewelry!

      ladyjanet - I wish I could crochet, it always looks such a delicate craft, how lucky you are :)

      ethel - thankyou :) The images were the easy part, it was trying to explain it that wasn't!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      These are very sixties. You have detailed the information well. I especially like the images that aid the instructions

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 8 years ago from Texas

      Nice job reminds me of the crocheted bracelets that I do with beads and yarn. Thanks for this.

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      I've always wanted to try this! Thanks for the great hub - I'm going to bookmark it for future reference.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Hey Candie :):) It's all hemp knots anyway huh? And thanks for backing up my 'claim': it really is easy once you get going!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Here's a flash from the past! We used to macrame' hemp back in the 60s and 70s, add beads and fringe and make all kinds of jewelry! Thanks FD for a great reminder of how fun this is.. oh, and once you get the hang of over/under/through its a piece of cake!

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Well thankyou for the compliment. It's a relaxing pastime :)

    • ohhsoolexxi profile image

      ohhsoolexxi 8 years ago from new jersey

      i make hemp bracelets myself and i enjoy it very much! great article your bracelets are phenominal =]

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Procratsination. A good thing the Romans never suffered from it. What else would we drive upon?!

      drbj - How odd you like origmai. I have a scant knowledge and matching ability. It's something that I flirt with on occasion. Origmai (the pro kind) and the spanish guitar are two things I'd love to be able to do :)

      *ignores rest of comment lol*

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, froggy,

      The last time I tried doing anything with string I was probably about 8 years old playing "cat's cradle" - never could get past the 5th or 6th step.

      But I'm willing to give this hemp bracelet thing a try - some day. So thanks for the very instructive hub.

      In the meantime, my avocation is traveling to far-away places and learning new forms of origami when I'm forced to wait endlessly in airport terminals.

      Which reminds me, knowing about your distaste for flying, have you ever thought about the fact that airport terminas are called terminals?

      Oops, that wasn't nice - forget I wrote it.

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Oh yes, I forgot about your thing for string. I have a thing for spring and it is snowy here and cold dam it! Procrastination is an art form isn't it? c u later darlin'.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Hey ralwus :) I'm not talented, I just like to fiddle around with string. It's my only hobby. I love it when I meet people that are dedicated to a sport or have an interesting and long-time hobby. All I can ever say is ... 'I play with string' lol!

      And Gulliver is in Tasmania I think. Procrastination has set in on my part :/

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      You are such a talented froggy. I'd probably smoke the hemp in my pipe. Where's Gulliver?

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Hey Justine :) They're all mine. I've made hundreds. And hundreds! I haven't made any recently as I've been busy but I love making them. They're so easy to make and look great once you've got going. It really is fiddly to start with but with practice - quite the opposite.

      I've made them on planes, trains, in cars, when walking about, sat at cafés, in local parks. I have a box that fits a few reels in, a small pair of scissors and lots of beads. If you want one, email me :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Hey agvulpes :) I'd advise you to buy cord to start with. It is a lot easier and neater to work with. Hemp makes a more rustic bracelet and for those new to making hemp bracelets it can feel quite rough and is more difficult to keep track of what you've done - the color doesn't help. But try hemp once you've got going. I use it and like it. If there's none in your local area, try online - it's cheap enough :)

    • profile image

      Justine76 8 years ago

      Oh my gosh!! I am sooo going to make theses!! I find the instructions straightforward, and the pictures fantastic! Are all those ones you've made? Do you sell them? In the city nearest me is a store that sells all sorts of hemp and Indian influenced clothing, (the college kids and ski bums love it), those bracelets would sell for no less then $7 us dollars. Usally they are more. Your so multi-talented FD.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      frogdropping, G'day again! I love to make jewelery especially bracelets. I will certainly have a go at making these Hemp bracelets. All I have to do is locate the hemp string? :-)


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