Thursday 12 September 2013

How to: Neon Macrame Bracelet

I've avoided macramé before. It just looked SCARY. I got over this rather irrational fear recently though, and have since found that macramé is surprisingly satisfying. It's a very cheap way to make your own folky bracelets that seem to be pretty much everywhere at the moment, and the best part is, you can choose exactly how you want yours to look. The colour, the length and the beads you use - you can let your imagination run riot with these. What are you waiting for? Let's go mad for macramé!

I'm going to show you how to make this neon macramé bracelet, with a wooden bead. I like contrasting the bright neon with the natural textures of the wood and the string.

You will need:
  • Bog Standard String
  • Neon Spray Paint
  • A bead of your choice
You can buy knotting cord, specifically made for bracelets like this, but I find that string works just as well (as well as being cheaper and easier to buy). It also means you can decide the exact colour you want your bracelet to be, although the natural colour of the string looks great too.

First, cut three lengths of string. Two of these need to be roughly the same length (a bit longer than the circumference of your wrist). The other one needs to be about a metre and half in length (this one will be used to do the knotting).

In a well ventilated area, spray the long piece of string with your neon spray paint. Follow the instructions on the back of your spray paint carefully, and turn the string so that all sides are coated evenly.

Just realised this looks like super noodles. Mmmmm, super noodles...
Wait for this length of string to cool before continuing.

Next, take your other two pieces of string and tie them together at the top.
Place your neon string behind the plain string, an inch below the first knot.

Take the left hand side of your neon string and bring it over to the right.

 Put the right hand string over the left hand string and bring it around to the right, behind the two middle strands.

Take the thread which is now on the left, and thread it through the hole on the left, creating a knot.
Pull this tight. This is your first knot.

Then, take the right hand thread, and bring it over to the left.
Put the left hand thread over the right hand thread, and take it over to the right, behind the two middle strands.
Put the thread which is now on the right hand side, and thread it through the hole created on the right.
Pull this tight - this is your second knot. All you need to do is repeat these two knots in this order to build up your bracelet.
When your macramé pattern fits roughly half way around your wrist, thread your bead through the two inner strands of your bracelet.

Pull your two knotting strands over the side of your bead, and continue the knotting pattern until it fits around your wrist comfortably.

To finish off your macramé, thread your left over strands through a sewing needle and stitch them inside the macramé. Cut off any remaining thread. Do this to both strands.

Leave a gap of about an inch, and tie a knot in your plain coloured inner string. Cut off any excess.
Loop your bracelet around, imagining how it will look when worn.
Cut another strand of string, about 50cm long.

Use this to macramé in between the two knots on each end of your bracelet. Make this about 2-3cm long, before finishing off with a sewing needle in the same way as above. This makes an adjustable fastening for your bracelet.

And you're done! These look best when worn in a big stack of bracelets - so the more you make the better!

These are some other macramé bracelets I've made. You could keep it plain with some simple beads and the natural string colour. A different way of colouring your string is to mix some acrylic paint into some water, and leave your string to soak in it over night. This is how I achieved this pastel-turquoise colour on this bracelet. They also look great when made with alphabet beads.
Let me know if you try this! Or if you have any other uses for neon spray paint (I have a whole can to use up!)

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