How to Make a Waxed Irish Linen & Sterling Silver Bracelet

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I’m back from the Bahamas, I’m freezing again and it was time to get back in the studio!  Atlantis on Paradise Island is a really fun place and my family and I had a great time but it is amazing how much I miss my jewelry making when I am away from it for more than a few days.

I had just barely started a new waxed Irish linen bracelet before I left.  I had come up with the idea in my mind to incorporate silver chain fluidly with the linen cord but I had not worked out exactly how I was going to do it.  At 6am this morning, I popped out of bed, made my coffee and down to the studio I went.   This is the end result.  I really like the combination of the sterling silver chain intertwined with the waxed Irish linen.

Materials

◊   I used 7 ply waxed linen thread in walnut brown.  I like the little extra heft it gives compared to a 4 ply linen cord.

◊   Sterling silver chain.  Any open airy link will work for this look.  Probably no bigger than an 8 – 10 mm link size.  You need about 6″ of it.  You will double it over.

◊   Sterling Silver S hook – small about 3/4″ including jump ring.

◊   Silver plated barrel beads – holes have to be big enough to accommodate a single strand of the cording.

◊   Larger, big hole silver bead. Mine is a non sterling one with a flower motif from Michaels.

◊   Any silver charm.  I used a dragonfly to go along with the flower on the large hole bead.

Technique

Here is the general technique I used to make this bracelet.  To help those of you who like to watch and learn (like me) in early January I will be doing a few videos to show exactly how I make bracelets from the waxed Irish Linen.  Leave your best email address by clicking on the enter email box to the top right so you can get an update when the short videos tutorials are available.

1.   Cut two strands of the linen cord.  One strand needs to be twice as long as the single piece so you can fold it in half.   Line the folded loop end up with the end of the other cord.   Tie all the cords in one knot close to the fold with the final loop being no bigger than 1/2 “.  You will have a little tail in the loop.  You can cut this off.

Side Note: The great thing about the waxed linen is how easy the knots are to make and strong they are.  However, you need to carefully plan the placement of your knots because once they are tied – they are there to stay.

2.  Slip a silver barrel bead on the middle strand, let it float in the middle and then tie a knot with all three strands about 3/4″ away from your original loop.

3.  Slip on a second barrel bead right on top of the knot you made and knot it again so the bead is right in the knot.  This will give a nice chunky effect.

4.  Knot all three strands once next to the beaded knot –  without a bead.

5.  Repeat step three again next to the plain knot.

6.  Make a single knot again next to the last beaded knot.  Take your chain and fold it in half.  Take a loop from the folded end of the chain and slip the linen cord through and knot it again.  This anchors the one side of the chain.

7.  Separate the three strands of the cording and randomly weave it through the doubled over chain.  Stretch out your bracelet relatively flat.

8.  Tie a knot in the other end of the chain making sure to grab a loop from both ends of the  chain.    I knotted my two end loops separately near eachother.

9.  Make another single knot next to the knotted end loops of the chain and slip your large barrel bead over it.  The knot sort of holds it in place.

10.  Take your silver S hook with jump ring attached and slip the linen cord through the jump ring and knot it twice.  Cut off your excess cord.  I then decided to decorate the loop end and lifted a piece of the cording in the knot and added the butterfly charm.  That’s it!

This results in about a 7″ bracelet from the end of the S hook to the end of the loop.

For more information about waxed Irish linen for making bracelets,  refer to this other informative post on my blog:  http://wp.me/p19X3q-d

Now talk to me! Do you like this bracelet?  Do you think you can make one using these instructions?  Any more questions/comments just click “leave a comment” and I promise to get back to you!  : )



14 Comments

  1. Nice tutorial! I’ve only used waxed linen in the bracelet I learned to make in Stephanie Sersich’s class — would be interesting to try it in other ways since I have a ton of spools of this stuff in a rainbow of colors!!!

    • Thanks Lori! I checked out your blog and it is really fun! I will be adding it to my list!

  2. I love waxed linen and your bracelet is a lovely lovely lovely (did I say lovely?) way to use it! Yes, I think I would make this bracelet. Thanks for sharing!

    Cindy

    • Thanks, Thanks, Thanks! You are welcome Cindy.

  3. Hi Cindy,
    You got me started!!! Thank you!
    I am very interested in learning more techniques using waxed linen to make bracelets. Especially like the 2 in the top of your heading photo using small silver beads. (The grey far left one and also the turquois one far right) Surprisingly I haven’t found much on the net. Do you have any resources you could pass on to me?
    Thank you in advance!!
    Cindy H.

    • Hi Cindy.
      You are welcome. I am thrilled!

      I will be putting more up on making the sparkly type bracelets you are talking about. I am going to shoot some video footage soon – in early January. It is a braiding technique with the cording. Enter your email address in the email box to the top right of my page and you will get an update when it is done. -Tracy

  4. Where can I purchase 7 ply Irish linen thread?

    • Hi Michele.

      Funny you should ask, I am in the midst of putting up a store and providing inventory. Right now, I buy it from Royalwood in 100-150 yard spools. I have 10 yard inventory to sell if you are interested in smaller than 100 yard quantities. I have black, walnut brown, chocolate, slate gray and teal in the 7 ply. 7 ply is sort of hard to find. The colors I have right now can be found on my site in the picture about the waxed linen thread, and in the header, etc. 10 yards of 7 ply would be $6.00. I can ship it through usps for $2.00. Let me know if you want any of those colors and I will send you a Pay Pal link since the store in not functional yet. Happy to help! Tracy

  5. Do I like it?? I LOVE it. I would love to make one of these. So fun and funky, would make an awesome anklet for summer!!

    I am more of a visual learner so I would probably screw up your instructions but will definitely give them a try!!

  6. Thanks for the inspiration, I found this last night and ended up modifying it a bit using fairy silk ribbon, some boro teardrop beads I have not found a home for and a silver hill tribe daisy button and used some crimp hook and eye ends…so it definitely went a different way, but I am really please with it. I just folded the fairy ribbon in 3 and used the loop on one end, and strung the beads on the open end, I ended up with another loop on the final end. I only used 5 knots in the end, but the size of the fairy ribbon makes a perfect size bracelet after you tie the knots. Very exited now to figure what beads I haven’t found homes for will go with this idea! Thanks

  7. hi. i stumbled upon this page and hope can help me. i have been searching for 7 ply 1mm brown waxed linen cord for a year. it’s impossible to find for some reason, bead stores either order the wrong mm, ply or color. this bracelet pictured looks identical to the original waxed linen cord on my necklace that needs re-cording. will please help me connect with resources to buy a 50 or 100 spool of this? thank you thank you thank you! 🙂

    • Hi Anne.

      I get most of my linen thread from http://www.royalwoodltd.com They have one of the best selection of plys and colors. They only sell by the spool – which is 100 – 140 yards each depending on the ply you purchase. You are right, I used 7 ply I used for the bracelet in the post in that picture and yes 7 ply is harder to find and most beading stores probably do not sell as it is a little thick to go through many standard bead holes and it is more expensive than the more common 4 ply. Hope that helps! – Tracy

  8. Aloha Tracy!
    I LOVE your website AND the bracelets of course. I have a question for you… What kind / type of bead did you use in 6-7-8 bracelets. There’s several brown beads, then a silver bead then the bead in question followed by another silver bead. At your earliest convenience, please reply
    Thank you.
    Warm Regards,
    Liz

    • Thanks Liz. I had to think about what you meant by 6-7-8 for a minute. Don’t worry… didn’t take me too long to catch on. : ) Those are riverstone beads. You will be happy to know they are inexpensive and easy to find if you Google them.

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