Shamballa bracelets are all the rage at the moment, so we have devised the following step by step instructions to enable you to make your own Shamballa bracelet. We also stock the beads & cords too in our shop
You will need:
Approx 2m of cotton cord, hemp, rat tail, nylon cord – any thicker cord that can be knotted.
7 Shamballa beads (you can use more or less depending on your preferences)
A tapestry needle, glue or (if using thread like nylon cord that will melt) a lighter or thread zapper
Cut 2 x 40cm lengths of cord & set one aside for later (this will be used for the sliding clasp). Using bulldog clips or tape secure both ends of one of the 45cm lengths to a flat rigid surface such as a book or table. You will form your bracelet along this cord so make sure you have left at least 7cm at each end for finishing, this cord will be referred to as the ‘central’ cord. You will need to thread beads onto this thread, so however you choose to secure it make sure that the lower end of the cord can be ‘unsecured’ easily in order to thread the beads. Take the longest piece of thread that you will have left over after cutting the smaller lengths & place this centrally underneath the central cord. You are now ready to start knotting.
Tip: Coat the tip of your central cord with nail varnish or glue to stiffen the end & stop it from fraying whilst threading your beads. You will thread the beads from the bottom so coat the bottom tip…& obviously allow it to dry before you begin
Take the thread on the right hand side & pass it over the centre cord & then under the cord on the left hand side.
Take the cord on the left & pass it under the centre cord & up through the loop on the right that was created in step 1 & pull tight to create the first half of your knot.
Now we need to do exactly the same thing but the opposite way around. So starting with the left hand cord pass it over the centre & under the right hand cord.
Pass the right thread under the centre, over the left & up through the left hand loop.
You have now formed your first complete knot! Repeat as many times as you like alternating between left & right, before adding your first bead. 1 – 5 knots between each bead is the normal spacing for Shamballa style bracelets but you can do as many or as few as you like, the bracelet in these instructions has 3 knots between each bead. Make sure the central cord does not twist or the finished bracelet will not sit straight.
Tip: If you forget which side you have just done then you can tell by looking at the last knot, the thread will come out of the underside of the knot on one side & out through the top on the other. The cord that comes out of the top will be the one you need to start with for the next knot.
Once you have completed your first knots, slide the first bead on. With the bead in place create your next knot as above. The thread will wrap itself around the outside of the bead.
Now repeat until you have added all of your beads. Don’t worry too much about the length, once the clasp has been added the bracelet will be adjustable.
Now to get rid of those ends that are left over…I think the neatest finish comes from tucking these back in using a tapestry needle. However this can be tricky, you will probably need to use pliers to pull the needle through which will possibly result in broken or bent needles and/or sore fingers, but it does, in my opinion, give a better finish. The other much simpler option is to tie a reef knot, add a drop of glue & trim the excess. Some cords such as rat tail or nylon cord will not glue very well & tend to just soak it up, these are best finished by melting the cord with a thread zapper or a lighter, please take care when doing this. Trim any excess leaving around 5mm of cord, apply heat to the end until it starts to melt & quickly flatten the end of cord with a heatproof part of the lighter or thread zapper.
Now we just need to make the sliding clasp. Make the bracelet into a circle & temporarily tie the two threads together to hold them in place.
Tip: It can be difficult to knot the clasp without the cord moving around & having the knots twisting. I usually bulldog clip the bracelet back onto the top of my flat board at this point which helps to keep it steadier although can be a little tricky.
Using the 40cm length set aside earlier, centre this under the cords & begin knotting in the same way as earlier. Continue until you are happy with the length of the clasp & finish the ends as described in step 6. If you are using glue to finish the clasp make sure you don’t get any on the central cords or you will glue the clasp in place!
Now add the beads you chose for the ends by simply tying an overhand knot to keep them on. You can tie a knot either side to stop them moving around.
You will now have a finished Shamballa bracelet. You can also use two threads as the central thread, but keep in mind that the beads will need to have holes large enough to accommodate double the amount of thread. The cost of Shamballa beads can add up rather quickly, feel free to experiment with different beads, the possibilities are endless! Stardust beads are being used a lot to pad out Shamballa beads & add almost as much sparkle! You can use more or less than 7 beads if you prefer and/or adjust the number of knots between each bead.
This style of knotting bracelets is known as Macrame. It has been around since the 13th century & was a big fad in the 60′s. If you enjoy making Shamballa bracelets you may like to look further into Macrame as there are many different knots you can try.
I hope you have found the above helpful, you can print or email these instructions using the links below