Beach Memories Braided Bracelet

  • 01 of 09

    Seashell Braid Bracelet

    Braided shell bracelet
    Two braided shell bracelets. Lisa Yang

     I love a stack of simple bracelets that incorporate favorite finds from my vacation. This bracelet is great for summer or anytime you want to be reminded of the beach. It uses several colors of Nylon cord braided around a slide of cowrie shell. 

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  • 02 of 09

    Braided Cord Bracelet Materials

    Braided shell bracelet materials
    Braided shell bracelet materials. Lisa Yang

     For my casual seaside bracelet, I am using C-Lon Nylon bead cord, .5mm diameter. C-Lon is a bonded nylon cord that comes in a variety of sizes and colors. It is perfect for a variety of beading and braiding projects including kumihimo, micro-macrame, crochet or working with size 8 seed beads or larger. There are many similar types of beading cords that will work including S-Lon, Conso, Mastex or Tuff Cord.

    The shells I am using are slices of cowrie shells. These are easy to find in sourvenir...MORE shops or online and they are interesting from either the front or back.  

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  • 03 of 09

    Prepare the Bracelet Cords

    Braded cord bracelet with shell
    Fold cords in half and insert through center of shell. Lisa Yang

     I am using C-Lon cord in beige, black and gray.  Cut 2 pieces of each color of cord, each about 14 inches in length for a total of six pieces of cord. Make two groups of cords with three pieces of cord in each.

    One thing that can be difficult is the amount of curl in the cords when they are removed from the spool.  I find the cords more likely to tangle when they are all curled right off the spool.  A couple of solutions I have found are to iron the cord lightly on low with a clothes iron....MORE  Another option is to use a hair straightener on low or when it has just started heating up.  A couple of zips over the group of cords on a low temperature setting is all it takes to make them perfectly straight.

    Fold the cords in half and insert into the center of the cowrie shell.  You will find that one end of the shell typically has a wider opening than the other, Insert the cords in this side and slide them over to the other side.

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  • 04 of 09

    Attach the cords with a Lark's Head Knot

    Braided shell bracelet DIY
    Pull cords evenly to tighten the Lark's Head Knot. Lisa Yang

     A simple and pretty way to secure the cords is with a lark's head knot. Pull the folded side of the cords far enough through the shell so you can slip the ends of the cord through the loop.  Pull the cords through the loop and pull with even pressure to secure.

    In order to make it nice and neat, be sure to tug lightly on each individual cord end after you have tightened the lark's head knot.  It will help to tighten the knot and make the cords lay more evenly.

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  • 05 of 09

    Attach the Second Group of Cords

    Braided shell bracelet tutorial
    Attach the second set of cords using a Lark's Head knot. Lisa Yang

     Attach the second group of the same way. Make sure you insert the loop of cords in the same direction you did the first time.  I like to put the cords through the front of the shell, but you can decide which way looks best to you.

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  • 06 of 09

    Prepare to Braid the Cords

    Separate cords to braid them
    Separate cords to braid them. Lisa Yang

    I find it is easiest to make an even braid if the cords are held firmly in place. For me, it is convenient to place the side of cords that I am not working with under a strong clip. You can use a binder clip against a book or a clipboard like I am using. 

    Separate the cords by color into three groups of two cords each. Make a braid in the same way that you would braid hair. I do it by bringing the right outside cord over the top of the middle thread, moving it to the middle. Then I take the left...MORE outside cord and move it over the center cord, making it the new middle cord.  I continue by bringing the right cord over to the left and left outter most cord to the right until I have about 3 to 3.5 inches of braid.

    When you have reached the desired length, make an overhand knot with the cords.

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  • 07 of 09

    Repeat Braiding on the Other Side

    Braided shell bracelet
    Braid one side of the bracelet and then the other. Lisa Yang

     Unclip your bracelet and turn it so you can braid the other side.  Repeat until it is the same length as the first side.  Tie an overhand knot to secure the braid.

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  • 08 of 09

    Tying a Knot with Multiple Cords

    Shell Bead Bracelet Tutorial
    Add knots to keep the braid in place. Lisa Yang

    One thing that can be difficult is tying an even overhand knot when you are working with multiple cords. I find it is much easier if I tape the cords together evenly so I can work with the group as if they are a single cord.

    If you use a less tacky tape like painters tape, it will be strong enough to hold the cords together but will not leave a sticky residue on the cords.

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  • 09 of 09

    Cowrie Shell Bracelet

    Braided shell bracelet with fold over cord ends: tutorial
    Fold over cord ends are an easy way to end this bracelet. Lisa Yang

     Once you have made the knots that hold the braid in place, you can tie on your bracelet.  

    If you prefer to have a clasp on your bracelet, you can use fold over cord ends like this donut bead bracelet. When you use a clasp, you might also like to add a bead dangle as a counterweight to keep the bracelet clasp hidden on the bottom of your wrist.

    Another option to close your bracelet is to add a macrame slide which will hold the cords in place and allow you to loosen and tighten the bracelet.