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Leather Knotting

JEWELRY MAKING TUTORIAL: NO TOOLS NEEDED LEATHER KNOTTED WOOD NECKLACE

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to create the perfect fall or simple holiday necklace with only two materials: wood beads and leather cord. Easy for beginners or experts, no tools needed, totally customizable. 

WHAT IS A KNOTTED LEATHER NECKLACE?

A knotted leather necklace is a beginner friendly, practice oriented technique and style involving creating literal knots between beads to create a structured necklace design. Knotting is both the method of connection for the necklace as well as a particular aesthetic that the necklace takes on.

WHAT TYPE OF LEATHER DO I USE?

To create a knotted leather necklace, you'll want to use round leather cord, not soft deer skin or other types of suede straps. Our leather cord has a polyurethane coating that makes stringing and knotting easy. 

WHAT TYPE OF BEADS DO I USE?

Since we're using leather cord for this technique, you'll want to stick with larger beads that have larger poles. Large-holed bone rondelles, large-holed pearls, and larger wood rounds are safe choices! If using a thinner knotting material, you can use smaller beads, but for this specific technique, stick with the big beads! 

WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED TO MAKE A KNOTTED LEATHER NECKLACE?

For leather knotting, you don't need any tools! We suggest using Super New Glue and having scissors or cutters handy, but the actual knotting will be done just with your hands.
 

STEP BY STEP NO TOOLS NEEDED LEATHER KNOTTED WOOD NECKLACE: 

STEP 1: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS

For the metallic necklace shown, we're using our Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold 12mm Wood Rounds Strands and our 1.5mm Denim Coated Leather Cord. We used approximately 42 12mm wood rounds, 14 of each color, and 5 22mm Cream Bone Rondelles to create a 27" necklace. We used a 19mm Brushed Gold Lobster Claw Clasp to finish the necklace.

For the shorter plum necklace shown, we used approximately 30 12mm Plum Wood Rounds and a 1mm Navy Coated Leather Cord to create an 18.5" necklace. We used a 35mm Distressed Gold Toggle Clasp to finish off this necklace.

A 12mm wood rounds strand is approximately 36 beads. Leather cord is sold by units of 6 or 15 feet. 

STEP 2: START THE NECKLACE

Once you've decided on your design or color scheme, it's time to begin! Watch a slo-mo video tutorial below that shows how to begin your knotted leather necklace. If using a lobster claw clasp like in the metallic necklace shown, no jump ring is necessary and you can use the loop we will create to attach the clasp to. If adding a two piece closure like shown in the plum necklace, string one of your pieces within the loop you create.

STEP 3: KNOT THE NECKLACE

Repeat the knotting process shown above for each of the beads in your design. This leather is pretty forgiving, so before you tighten your knot you can untie it and try again if you need to. Remember, practice makes perfect!  
Create each knot by looping the cord around your finger twice, and then pulling the cord through the knot, and then shimmying the knot down to be snugly against the bead that came before it.
 

 

STEP 4: ATTACH YOUR CLASP

By the time you're ready to attach a clasp, you'll be a knotting pro. The length of your final piece is up to you, but as mentioned, the metallic necklace is 27 inches while the plum necklace is only 18.5 inches long. This technique suits shorter and longer necklaces. 

 

Attach the clasp in the same manner you began the necklace, creating a looped knot. However, this time, make a much smaller loop that you string the clasp on. This helps secure it in place and gives a more put together overall look. 

STEP 5: SECURE, GLUE, SNIP

At this point, you should have a completed necklace, and extra material hanging off both ends of the necklace. Check to make sure the knots on either end are secure by giving them a gentle tug. 

Next, take your Super New Glue and lightly dab a small bit of glue on each side. This helps your necklace be even more secure!

Wait a moment for the glue to dry, and carefully snip off your extra leather cord. We trimmed the leather about 2-3mm from the knot, so it is not noticeable. 

That's it! Your necklace is complete! Good job!