Tuesday, November 25, 2014

String Jewelry Trick

Money is kinda tight for Christmas this year.  So some of my gifts are going to be homemade.  Right now I'm working on some new hemp jewelry for my kids.  There are many tutorials online for how to do the knots and add beads and all that jazz.  But I've discovered a few tricks to make the process itself quicker, easier and less frustrating.

Remember making friendship bracelets when we were kids?  Keeping the base strings taut was always a necessity.  I remember using tape to secure the ends to a lap board or using a safety pin to clip the project to my jeans while I was working on it.  These days I don't really want holes in my clothes.  And the tape method rarely held like it needed to.

But somewhere between being a preteen and having my own, these little babies were invented. 

Command Adhesive hooks.  They stick amazingly well, can withstand being pulled on, yet are fully removable without a trace.  I stuck one to a tabletop to give myself an easy place to attach the starting end of my project.

Now for the other end.  The working base strands need to have constant even tension, but still be moveable.  I attached a split ring first.  The design of the ring allows it to be easily removed if you need to add a bead or when the project is complete.

I tried several methods to keep tension... hooking it over a toe, attaching it to my belt, etc.  But whenever I leaned forward to make a knot, I lost the needed tension.  (And when Fed-Ex rang the doorbell... I had to awkwardly detach myself!)

In a stroke of innovation, it occurred to me the ring would fit over the neck of my water bottle.

I added the cap to secure it, let it hang from the table...

And this project just got a whole lot easier! 

So... how about you?  Are you making anything homemade to give as gifts this year?

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