DIY Hemp Bracelet Tutorial

Ok fun fans! For those of you who have a hard time calling yourself “crafty,” but would still like to participate in a “craft” THIS ONE’S FOR YOU!

I’ve created a tutorial for a very simple bracelet. You can make as many as you’d like, or keep it simple with just one! Obviously I made five…plus a matching one for Ginger. I have a life I swear! I just seem to keep choosing crafts over sleep.

Here are some pictures of the finished product.

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Oh you wanted me to model them for you? Ok.

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hemp model

Now hold your horses, not only have I provided you with a static picture step-by-step tutorial, I went ahead and made Eric help me do a video tutorial as well. You can watch the video tutorial, its thorough and explains all the materials needed and whatnot, or you can use the pictures/written directions. But you can’t use both. KIDDING. Use me any way you’d like.

Yes, I am a TOTAL dork. But I’m old enough now to know I can’t change that.

If you’re at work, can’t spare 15 MINUTES on a video (Eric only has patience for one take, I’ll try to be quicker next time!) or prefer the scan-and-craft method, here you go!


Materials and supplies:

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1. Hemp, twine or cord
I prefer hemp, both for its Mary Jane smell and texture. The colored bracelets were made using dyed hemp twine (found at Joann’s) the light pink bracelet was made using a leather cord. This worked really well, but one package of leather cord made only one bracelet. Here’s a close-up of that light pink leather cord.

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2. Beads
You can use any beads you like! I wanted bling so I went for gold. Just make sure that the hole in your bead is large enough to fit your hemp or twine through.

3. A clasp
I prefer a “lobster clasp.” Again, make sure the hole on the clasp is large enough to accommodate your hemp or cord.

4. Scissors

STEP 1: Measure two pieces of hemp

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If you are making a bracelet, measure around your wrist and then add 3-4 inches. Then DOUBLE this length. That is your short piece of hemp. For your long piece of hemp cut a piece that is 3X the FULL length of the short piece.

STEP 2. Tie your two pieces of hemp together

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This will act as the other side of the clasp for your bracelet. Fold both of your hemp pieces in half. Tie a square knot at the top of your bracelet, leaving about 1/4 to 1/2″ of loop at the top. When you tie your knot pair one short piece with one long piece on each side. If you’d like you can use a chopstick or a pencil to tie your hemp on. This will make the perfect loop!

STEP 3: Make the Macrame Braid!

a. Arrange your hemp so that the two short pieces are centered between the two long pieces. You can anchor it to something if you’d like with tape or a safety pin. 

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b. We will be starting on the right, but it doesn’t matter which side you start on! Bring your LONG RIGHT piece and make a “P” shape OVER the two center cords. At all times try to keep your center cords from twisting. Otherwise things will get sloppy!

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c. Next, take your LONG LEFT piece and make a “4” bringing the string over the end of the LONG RIGHT piece, and over the two center cords. 

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d. Bring your LONG LEFT piece up through the center of the “P.” The LONG LEFT piece will travel ON TOP of the center cords, but come up through the “P” from the back. 

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e. Pull both LONG PIECES snugly to make your braid. This is the basic braid. Keep those center cords flat! You want to pull the braid tight. Don’t get all crazy and pull it TOO tight. Just tight enough so that everything is snug. Use the same tension on each of your braids and things will stay nice and even.

To make your next braid, START ON THE LEFT SIDE. So you will make a “4” first, then a “P” then bring your RIGHT LONG PIECE up through the “4.” If you do not alternate sides your braid will do a spiral. This is a different braid. You’re welcome to do that one if you’d like! I like the flat braid a bit better with beads though.

Here is what a few braids will look like!

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It can be hard to keep track of which side you’re on so here’s a trick! Do you see that TINY LITTLE LOOP on the braid? 


That loop indicates which side you will start on! So because that loop is on the right in this picture, my next braid will begin with a “P.”

STEP 4: Add a bead

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Obviously you can make any design you like. But I like to get started with about 1.5″ to 2″ of braiding, then begin to add my beads. Add your bead to one of your center cords. It doesn’t matter which one. Pull the bead up snug against the braid. Ideally your bead would fit over BOTH center cords, but mine didn’t. If your beads have large enough holes pull both through the bead. If, like me, your beads are smaller, just keep the extra center cord BEHIND the bead. Like this:

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It might want to twist, but YOU’RE THE BOSS! Just finagle it back there.

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Then do a braid (use that loop to determine which side to start on) around the bead. I did two braids between each bead. But again, that’s a matter of taste! However, I did find that if I tried to add more than one or two beads at once, they became hard to braid around.

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Here’s what it will look like after a few beads! (If you’re having trouble with this step I go more in depth in the video)

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Keep adding beads/braiding until the bracelet is the length you’d like. (This one is for my baby Gigi, so it’s TINY!) This is a trick I use (highly scientific) to keep things even each side.

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STEP 5: Tie on your lobster clasp and trim the ends

You can add the clasp to any strand you like. I add mine to a center one. As you can see I didn’t leave NEARLY enough to really get a good tie. Don’t be like me. 

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With a short piece and long piece on each side (like you did in the beginning) tie a square knot around your clasp. Then trim off the ends! (If, like me, you run out of center cord, just do your best. I tied my knot using mostly the otter pieces. Not ideal, or as secure, but it works!) Then trim the ends.

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Here’s the finished bracelet.


And the cutest model alive. 

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Matchy mommy-daughter…

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I’m not trying to look mysterious in that photo, it’s just hard to hold that baby still, smile, and not get hair in my lip gloss. Oh the trials of a crafty MOM!

Ok! I hope that you are inspired to get crafty! I love you all, and let me know if you have any questions or if I need to clarify anything! And as always, I would freaking love to see some pictures! Why will you never share your pictures?! SHARE WITH ME PEOPLE! 




  1. Heather

    SUCH a great video tutorial! Cole and I loved it SO much! One of my favorite parts was when you smelled the hemp. Oh, and your photos are perfect! Good job!

  2. Rachel

    That's great, thanks for sharing. I used to know how to do a lot of braiding and knot techniques but I feel I left them all behind.

  3. Megan

    Your nails look so pretty, and I heart Ginger.

  4. mandy dominici

    You are so pretty! Now I have a video to watch whenever I miss you and can't come down to Provo, which is at least once a week!

  5. We Three Zweigs

    I LOVE this!!!

  6. Alison

    thank you thank you thank you! now i want to see bracelets on ALL of you…

  7. Danielle

    I have no idea where I found your blog and I think this is the only comment I've made in the last year. You're stuff is genius.

  8. Alison

    Danielle! Thank you! I'm so glad you came out of the shadows to comment! Please come again! xo

  9. Luz e. Howse

    These are my favorite kind of bracelets to make. Once you learn the technique, you can whip them out fast. Great vid.

  10. Melissa Bothwell-Inglis

    for serious.. whenever I want a laugh, I come here! Thanks for your super in depth post.. and video.. wowsers.. such dedication to the hemp bracelet! ;o) Just had to say I noticed in the video that we have the same wood bangle bracelet – so we can be, like, friendship bangle bracelet sisters! (I find my wrist smells like a wet dog whenever I take it off.. is that just me?..shoot). muah!

  11. Jessica Dahlquist

    Your nails look purdy.

  12. jendar

    I love these bracelets!!! I had one just like these ones and lost it today and I was so sad about it. so I guess I will have to make one, except that I am terrible at making things! so wish me luck.

  13. Francesca

    I absolutely love this tutorial! It was extremely easy to follow. :] I do have a question, however. I don’t particularly care for using clasps on bracelets such as this one. What other way could you suggest to end the bracelet without using a clasp?

  14. Melissa

    I adore colored hemp! Did you use a thicker hemp for your bracelet?!

    1. No it’s the same I think! The colored hemp is thinner than the natural stuff!

  15. Great tutorial. I like the method of using tape. I find it’s handy to use a titled board with a nail at the top. ;D

  16. Karen

    Thanks so much Alison. I am a grade 2 teacher and we are having camp day for one of the final days of school. I remember, like you when I was little going to camp and making these wonderful bracelets in an array of fun colours. Camp hats, hat pins, fake fire, songs, skits, hot dogs,roasted marshmallows and now our hemp bracelets to complete the day. Thanks for the help from Mrs. sheppard’s Grade 2 Class!!

    1. oh that makes my day!! thank you!

  17. Jenna

    Thank you SO much for the tutorial! Its been really rainy these past couple of days so I was looking for a new bracelet pattern to try to keep me occupied. And I found it! I watched the tutorial AND read it so I was double clarified. I’m going upstairs right now to get my hemp to try this! You are inspiring. Thanks a bunch!
    P.S. I know that I am going to start a new trend at school 🙂

    1. oh awesome! I’m so glad! and thanks about my baby i think so too! 🙂

  18. Jenna

    Also, you have a beautiful baby!

  19. Ashley

    One thing I have found that works for smaller beads that don’t fit on the hemp twine is use fishing line for your center strings. Its clear and less noticeable plus it opens up your options for beads you can use 🙂

  20. Jen

    You are too cute! Thx for posting. I needed a quick refresher and this was perfect!

  21. jenifer

    If the p ‘s on the right, the loop is on the left. If the loop is on the left, the P is on the right.

    And that is the “p” theory for you.
    Your welcome 🙂

  22. i like it.. great job.. 🙂 :)

  23. Awesome tutorial, gorgeous!
    !this bracelet is so beautiful! great job.. i like it..:)
    leather more information</a

  24. lacey

    Very nicely done. I just had a babe and I’m going to make these for us. I just needed a refresher since mommy still has some baby brain going on..

  25. Luchie

    You made it super easy. Now, I am making a necklace for my daughter. Thanks. Awesome!

  26. Shanice

    It is gorgeous! In the process of making some now with the new supplies I got. I only ask that you make a printer friendly version? I would love to take this with me on my travels! Lovely work/ photography 🙂

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