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April 01, 2013

Macrame Bracelets with Herringbone Charms

Boy - did making these macrame bracelets take me back in time!  I used to make ilots of macrame bracelets n high school out of waxed linen or hemp. 

 I've noticed they have become very popular again - and certainly much more upscale. At one time, I even saw Shamballa style bracelet with diamond beads for $29,000!!  Most Shamballa bracelets are pretty modestly price though. After all, they are usually just stone beads with macrame around them.  

Since I didn't have many diamond beads in stock this week, I used some herringbone wrapped charms that I have been making the past couple of months as the centerpiece for my macrame bracelets.  Note that these are not Shamballa style, which typically have lots of beads and macrame going around and in-between each of the beads..

The black and copper bracelet above has a gorgeous round turquoise bead with a herringbone wire wrap.  The bracelet uses C-Lon Cord.  It is a dream to work with compared to the hemp or waxed linen from high school.  It comes in lots and lots of colors as well as several different sizes.  I have a wide variety of different colors and sizes, from the thread to the macrame cord.  You can see most of them in this article about how I organize my spools of beading thread and cord.

These macrame bracelets all use square knots, a very basic beginning macrame knot that is perfect to start with.  I love the way it sits flat on your wrist and the knots get soft but stay evenly tied with wear.  The beige bracelet is the first time I tried making a sliding knot closure.  It is very easy and gives the bracelet a finished look - but keeps it adjustable.

I also like the bead closure on the black macrame bracelet with the rough turquoise.  Honestly, the bead is a little too large - but that was because I made the loop a little too big when I started the bracelet.  The idea is good though and it looks really nice on.

I recommend this simple and free macrame bracelet tutorial if you'd like to try it yourself.  I love the look of the bracelets in this tutorial, but they use chinese knotting cord instead of C-Lon.  I've noticed that they usually melt the ends of this cord to keep it in place.  I use crazy glue to seal the end knots and it seems to work just fine.

I'm not a big fan of melting the cord - it seems messy and prone to error (the last thing you want after you've spent time knotting the entire bracelet is to melt more than the ends!).  With super glue - using a toothpick or a pin to apply the glue - it goes exactly where you need it.

I'll be making a few more bracelets this style - but I'll also be posting more about the bead centers of my bracelets - all of which are a variation on the herringbone weave.  It is one of my favorite wire weaves and I love to experiment with adding beads or trying different sizes of wire.

One of the trickier versions of herringbone wire wrap is using a flat bead - because the bead can turn inside the herringbone frame.  I discovered some great tricks to keep that from happening though.

I also love this herringbone wire wrap variation with beads.  The two different colors of wire really help the beads to stand out. I can't wait to add it to some jewelry, but I'm not sure if it would make a better bracelet or pendant.

I hope you are coming up with some great ways to use herringbone weave and macrame that you can share.

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  1. AnonymousJune 13, 2013

    Lisa I met you on copperwire jeweler's site I'm a newbie and just learning so what a joy it is to find you! What fantastic work! Please get that book done soon and let us all know on Copper wire with your link!
    You're an inspiration !

    Rann B

    1. How funny that you mentioned my book project! I actually have been working on that lately, but didn't think I ever mentioned it here on my blog. I feel like the cat is out of the bag though - and I am very excited to be making progress on it (at the expense of my blog I'm afraid). Thank you for your comments and giving me the chance to put my next project 'out there'. I really need to learn to do that more, and I appreciate your kind words and support.

  2. Neal HowardJune 14, 2013

    Just a thought... I haven't tested it yet as I don't have any cord nearby, but I bet you could use an electric soldering iron or wood burner to precisely melt the ends of your cord to stop them from fraying with minimal risk to your finished piece. It wouldn't smell too good till the plastic melted back off your iron, so I would recommend a well ventilated room (or outside better still). I have some crafting paracord scraps around here from a macrome project I was working on I'll try to remember to test it with a piece of that tomorrow and get back to you with the results.

    On a separate note, this is a dangerous site you have here... I came to look up the household ingredient pickling recipe for homemade headpins, and got sidetracked to here... after getting sidetracked with some of your other herringbone stuff.

    1. An interesting idea about the soldering iron, I guess it is just a really large thread burner - lol. I'll let you try it and let me know how it works. I don't usually keep my soldering iron out because that takes me down a whole different line of creativity (stained glass) and I have a hard enough time staying focused on one thing as it is!

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.

  3. Neal HowardJune 15, 2013

    The cheap soldering iron works great on melting the ends of the cord (I got some Nylon today since it was raining here and used that to test with since it is more likely similar to what people making one of these would be using). Just remember to give the iron a few minutes to heat up. I used a cheap hardware store Weller soldering iron (rated at 25 watts if I recall correctly). I did not risk my good irons with this test, but I see no damage to the iron tip, and once it had dried the melted plastic still on it popped right off with my thumb nail.

    I think I prefer this method to the cyanoacrylate (superglue) method personally as you don't have to worry about gluing things you had not intended to together (I have gotten my fingers stuck together more than once, though so far not on jewelry projects).