Hello, I have documented my making of this bone necklace. I searched for a necklace design that would hold the shape of this raccoon paw without the use of ugly glue. I learned how to make use of the double-floor lashing and then suddenly it came to me that I could combine these two things into one!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
*Not pictured: Candle and a match to light it, and needle nose pliers are useful for knots.
Bones - could be paws, tarsals, or even a singular piece.
Dowel / Stick - I suggest 1/4 inch and only a very short length is needed, but could be a variety of sizes
String - I used 3 different kinds; black and brown waxed thread and then a fine white cotton thread.
Hack Saw - to cut the dowel
*protective equipment, I.E. gloves and eye protection are recommended. Cut and carve at your own risk!
Step 2: Waxing the Bones
I like to add a wax finish to these bones so as to keep out excess moisture and defend against any mold which may grow inside of its porous structure. The bones could also become discolored and scratched over time, the wax may not completely defend against this but it does help.
*I do not know if there is a professional grade sealant for bones that apply to the demands of a necklace, this was the best I could come up with.
Light a white candle, let it burn for a few minutes so a pool of melted wax forms, then carefully dip the bones in the wax, covering all sides. I suggest using pliers or tweezers to safely place and remove the bones from the hot wax. Tea light candles worked well as they create a decently sized pool of wax.
Potential: you could use any wax candle with scents or colors that would soak into and "color" the bone.
Step 3: Carving the Wooden Brace
Line up the bones you're going to use against the dowel and leave about 1/8 inch of extra space on either side then make your cut. Using your X-acto blade smooth off the rough ends, you could also use sandpaper or other tooling for finer results.
Next you must carve a flat surface about halfway through the dowel, essentially splitting the dowel in half. This keeps the bones from moving or slipping off the brace once it is lashed onto it. Once your dowel has a flat edge you must carve a notch along either end of the brace. These notches will hold the ends of the threading onto the wooden brace, preventing them from slipping off.
Step 4: Double Floor Lashing Pt.1
I unfortunately could not find my video camera which would have been the proper way to document this, I will attempt to show you with pictures.
I used about 14 inches of threading to lash this piece.
1: Tie the thread into the notch you've carved, I have nearly no knowledge of knots and simply tied it off twice. Fig. 1
2. Place the first bone onto the brace, wrap the thread over the top portion as in fig. 2
3. Bring the thread back behind the brace on the right side of the bone. Fig. 3 Raise the thread up and over the bone going towards the left. Fig. 4
4. Lower the threading behind the brace coming up to the top of the bone, cross the threading over to the top right side of the bone. Fig 5
This is a nearly completed lashing for the first bone, without the use of a knot we can continue to the second bone.
Step 5: Double Floor Lashing Pt. 2
The second bone will be lashed onto the brace identically as the first one was.
1. Wrap thread from top left to top right side of bone.
2. Bring behind the brace to the lower right side.
3. Raise and wrap from lower right to lower left side.
4. Bring behind and cross over from lower left to upper right.
Continue the process for however many pieces you are lashing.
Tie off again inside of the notch, use pliers to tighten the knots securely.
Step 6: Medieval Finger Loop Braid
I personally wanted to braid my own cord for this necklace, I love the look and feel of the square braid. This is best learned from videos if not exclusively. I learned by watching and practicing from SFHandyman's great Instructable: Multi Strand Finger Loop Braiding What I have pictured is the square braid, I then wrapped threading around the loop ends to keep the braid together as in the 3rd photo.
If this seems too complex or time consuming feel free to skip this step and use the cording of your choice.
I opted to purchase a necklace clasp and loop as shown in the last picture.
Step 7: Combining the Pendant and the Necklace
Now it's time to combine these two pieces into one cool necklace!
This could be done a couple of different ways, I decided to use white cotton threading wrapped in between the bones and over the necklace cording to attach the two. This halts any movement between the pendant and the necklace. I preferred it to be sturdy rather than dangling from the necklace.
Place cording behind the bones and over the wooden brace. Tie cotton threading onto the pendant, then lift and wrap over the cording going in between the first two bones. Continue wrapping tightly until you've wrapped the threading between every pair of bones. Tie off as you please, I used a simple square knot. Cut off the excess and your necklace will be complete!