Introduction: Making a Convertable Bracelet / Necklace/ Choker Handknotted
This will explain how to make 3 bracelets with magnetic clasps that can be joined together to form many different pieces of jewellery (at least 5 different pieces).
Can be worn as 3 bracelets, a bracelet and a short necklace (with either the focal bead on the necklace or on the braclet), or as a long necklace.
The magnetic clasps also serve as a safety feature as they will come apart if the necklace gets pulled on hard. (useful for parents or people in professions such as nursing).
The knots add strength, help it hang better and mean if it does break you do not have beads everywhere.
Step 1: Supplies
You will need:
6mm beads (about 50 beads)
8mm beads (about 10 beads)
larger focal bead
wide needle, head pin or some other object of similar shape
3 magnetic clasps
Strong thread (I am using nylon can also use silk)
source of fire
flat non-flammable countertop or surface
Work out your design and cut 3 lengths of thread (knots should take up 1-2mm in length (depending on how tight you can get them). Each length of thread should be at least three times longer than the intended bracelet length (wrapped it 4 times around my wrist).
Step 2: Handknotting Technique
Knotting takes a bit of practice and it is useful to practice a bit before starting the necklace. If you muck up one knot it can be very hard to undo and you may find yourself starting over. (this happened to me once on the last bead before the magnetic clasp, I cheated and tied an extra knot, you can see it and I will need to restring that whole bracelet) :(
The method of handknotting I chose was using a head pin and flat nosed tweezers. There are other ways of knotting (one common way is to use a second string) and there are specific tools that you can buy that can make the process a lot easier.
So, to start off you need to tie a knot at the end of the string.
Tie a simple knot and thread the magnet on.
Now for the harder knots.
You want each knot from here on to be flush up against the other beads.
To do this loosely tie the knot and thread the pin through the knot while still loose.
Use the pin to wiggle the knot up as close to the bead as possible (push with the tweezers and pull on the string.)
While holding the string with the tweezers remove the pin, then use the tweezers to push the knot up against the bead (pull on the end of the string without beans on it yet).
The design I had of the bracelets is as follows (I have a 16cm wrist and the bracelets were comfortably loose).
magnetic clasp - knot - 6 6mm beads - 8mm bead - 4 6mm beads - 8mm bead - 4 6mm beads - 8mm bead - 6 6mm beads - knot - magentic clasp (all beads have knots in between)
same as 1
clasp - 2 6mm beads - 8mm bead - 3 6mm beads - 8mm bead - 2 6mm beads - focal bead - 2 6mm beads -8mm bead - 3 6mm beads - 8mm bead -2 6mm beads - knot - clasp.
Put the end clasp on the same as the other beads but try hard to get the knot inside ths clasp.
(make sure you have the right clasp for the right side. Another thing I did was mix up my clasps so I accidentally put the wrong clasp on one bracelet meaning that the two ends repelled rather than attracted. Luckily i was able to get this knot undone.)
This process should take about 2 hours (depending on how many stuff ups you make).
If this process seems too hard you can also cheat and replace the knots with spacer beads (I repeated it using brass spacer beads).
Step 3: Clasps
To get a nice flat surface of the clasps:
After tying the knot I would cut the string close to the clasp.
Hold the clasp with the tweezers and expose the end of the rope to a flame. when the nylon is melting turn the clasp upside down and rub against flat surface (you may need to use sizzors to cut any straggling bits).
Be careful remember the Magnet and the tweezers are both metal and can get very hot. Let them cool down before handling.
Step 4: Done
Your new necklace/ choker / bracelet is made.
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