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Looped Cord Necklace

I love lots of glitter and flash as much as the next girl, but I also have a soft spot for carefully crafted, minimal pieces of jewelry. I recently had literally 20 minutes to attempt trying on an entire Cos shop on a business trip and, as I ran by the accessories, I drooled over their striking yet minimal statement necklaces. Unfortunately in the few minutes I had, snap decisions had to be made and I regretted walking away from this piece. Plus, let’s face it, the Euro is not so kind on the exchange. Here’s my spin on the one (plastic tube necklace) that got away.

By: Tracy

I purchased the cord and closure, which was well under $20; the other supplies I had on hand. It took me under 2 hours, with perfecting and drying time included. To make your own version you will need the following:

  • scissors, invisible tape (or masking tape, just nothing too super sticky), and super glue (I’m currently obsessed with this Gorilla Glue). I don’t recommend hot glue as it won’t dry invisible like super glue and it can’t be as neatly, minimally applied.
  • a small magnetic closure.  I like how a simple closure is very clean and minimal, but you could use a bit longer cord if you just want to tie it on.
  • embroidery floss, just less than one skein. You can match your colour to your necklace material (much more forgiving) or use a contrasting colour like I did.
  • approximately 30′ of cord.  I used black parachute cord, but you could use plastic cord, the kind your kids may have lying around for good ol’ friendship bracelets. You won’t need the embroidery floss for that version but you will need extra cord for wrapping, I’d say about another 10′ or so.

braided cord necklace materials

1. To begin, cut part of the cord into two lengths: one 8′ piece and one 16′. One end is generally finished so that it doesn’t fray, but for working you can just use a bit of tape to keep yours together.

braided cord necklace step 1

2. Next, fold the 8′ and the 16′ piece in thirds; you can cut the looped ends, but I just folded mine over to reduce fraying. To make things easier, loop some tape around the longer length approximately every 4 inches or so. This will keep the pieces together as you loop the cord. To make removing the tape quick, try not to get the sticky part of the tape stuck to itself, and leave a little folded-over tab at the end so you can peel the tape off without any trouble. You can do the same to the smaller piece if you like, as well.

braided cord necklace step 2

3. Lay the shorter length down on a flat working surface.  This will be the main part of the necklace, and the longer one will be looped.  To start, form your first knot from a basic loop by folding your longer piece in half and tucking it under at about the centre of the shorter main piece.  Don’t worry if it’s not exactly halfway as you’ll be able to adjust things later.  Bring the two ends of the long piece up and over the shorter main one and tuck under the looped end like this:

braided cord necklace step 3

Carefully pull the loose ends until you see this knot form. Don’t pull it too tight, but again, you’ll be able to adjust later on.

braided cord necklace step 3b

4. To form the second knot, take one end of the longer piece and form a loop as shown below; bring the end over and under the smaller piece (red arrow) and then loop back through towards you (yellow arrow).

braided cord necklace step 4Pull the end until you see the knot form – it will be basically the opposite of the first knot. Again, don’t worry about making it perfect, you’ll be able to shape things later on.

braided cord necklace step 4b

5. For the third knot,  you’ll do the opposite.  Start by passing the longer piece under the main piece (red arrow) and then bring the end up and back through the loop away from you.  Pull the long end until you see the knot form.

braided cord necklace step 5

 

braided cord necklace step 5b

6. Form the next knot as you did the second, then the third, and so on until you can’t form another knot.  Now you can do the same for the other side: over, down, back through and up.

braided cord necklace step 6

7. Continue until you run out of cord.  You can carefully pull the shorter piece to centre the knots over it if you’ve moved off-centre. When the sides are even, it should look like this – you will have 12 knots (or so) including the first centre knot.

braided cord necklace step 7

8. Shape the knots a bit by carefully adjusting the loops until they are approximately even, and adjust the short piece as needed. When you’re happy, secure the shorter piece to the longer looped piece with a couple loops of tape just above the final knots. You can now carefully peel the tape in the knotted loops off; if anything is stuck, you can use a small pair of scissors to pick the tape away and tear it. Trim just above your taped knot ends and glue all 6 pieces of cord together near the cut end of the looped piece. Hold together a few seconds to secure.

braided cord necklace step 8a

9. From your remaining cord, cut a piece about 1.5′ long. When the glued pieces are secure, layer your 1.5′ piece on and glue in place, the end placed as shown:

braided cord necklace step 9

Wait a few seconds until secure, and then apply a bit of glue around the ends.  Begin wrapping the cord tightly around, being sure to press into the glue as you go.  When you reach the top of the exposed ends, apply a bit more glue and then loop a knot around to secure.

braided cord necklace step 9b

braided cord necklace step 9c

10. Remove any bits of tape and glue the remaining loose 4 ends together.  When they are dry, trim down so the ends are even.

braided cord necklace step 1011. If you are using a closure like this, loop some embroidery floss through (about 5′ or so) and glue in place near the ends.

braided cord necklace step 11

Once that glue is secure, apply a bit more glue and begin wrapping as you did with the chunkier cord, being careful to line up the yarn in a neat wrap.  I’ll admit I fiddled around with this but I managed to make a neat wrap thanks to some well-timed and well-placed glue.  Wrap up to the closure, back down a bit and then glue the ends in place to secure.

braided cord necklace step 11b

You can carefully adjust the looped knots as needed and when your glue is thoroughly dry, enjoy your new necklace! I for one will appreciate it’s lightness – heavy bling can really load a girl down. A day’s break and then back to my chunky beads!

braided cord necklace final

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