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We all at some point will want a memento from a horse we love, or sometimes just want a beautiful piece of jewelry that is a good conversation starter. You can spend a ton of money to have a piece of jewelry, a key chain or a fly whisk made…or you can spend a little time and a few dollars and make one yourself. Not only is it fun, it’s a therapeutic process when you are mourning the loss of a horse.
I’ll be splitting this DYI up into two parts (as you can stop before doing the second part and have something that is equally as beautiful). You can see the second part here.
1. Thoroughly cleaned horse tail hair (no conditioner) rubber banded together. Cut the hair from the tip of the dock (the upper hairs won’t generally be long enough). If the horse is still living, you can grab a small amount hidden at the end of the dock that will not be noticeable if you cut it.
2. A thread that matches the hair color (doesn’t need to be exact). Use a thicker thread, not a fine embroidery thread).
4. Super glue (I like the mini’s since there’s less waste).
4. A pair of scissors and tape
1. Gather hair and rubber band it. Clean hair well, but don’t use conditioner (will make the hair too slick). Allow hair to dry thoroughly (a few days) to prevent mold.
2. Separate long hairs from short or broken ones and create a bundle of hairs small enough to go in jewelry clasp. Remember you will be wrapping the hair with thread, so you will need to take the hair width into account as well, so make the bundle a little smaller than will fit in the jewelry end. Aim for about 3/4 or 7/8 the width of the clasp hole.
3. Wrap the thread around the hair bundle towards the root end and tie off thread after wrapping 4 or 5 times.
4. Super glue thread to stick to hair. Don’t make glue too thick or it won’t fit in the clasp. Let the glue dry before proceeding.
5. Secure end with tape and braid as you want (several braid types work beautifully for bracelets).
6. Braid to desired length. Tips are to measure to your arm as you go (or a ruler if you have an inches measurement for a gift for someone). Continue to braid about 1 inch further than you want the bracelet to be and then wrap the hair with thread at the appropriate measurement for the arm (not at the end of the braiding). This will keep the braid from loosening as you’re’ tying the knot and messing up your bracelet. Tie off the thread to secure.
7. Super glue the thread again to secure the thread to the hair. Let it dry.
8. Trim both ends of the hair as close to the thread wraps as possible to prepare to attach to jewelry ends. Make sure your bracelet ends fit in the jewelry ends. If they don’t, try trimming the thread with scissors until they fit. If you used too much hair and there is no way the braid will go in, you’ll have to scrap the project and try again or buy new hardware (so be really careful on step 2).
9. Put a small amount of super glue in each jewelry end. Fit each end of the bracelet into each end of the jewelry clasp. Push firmly or twist to ensure that it is in as far as it will go. Leave ends unattached and let the glue dry with the bracelet laying flat. Let it dry for a good day before wearing to prevent breaking it quickly.
10. You’re done! If you want a plain braided band. Wear your new jewelry with pride.
If you want to bead your bracelet, stay tuned to the next blog. Don’t hesitate to play with multiple horse tails to get color variations and experiment to make your bracelet as beautiful as you like.
If you aren’t interested in doing the work yourself, but still want a beautiful horse hair design, please check out Spirit Horse Designs for some stunning (and perfectly made) options!