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As promised, here’s the second part of my DIY Horsehair Bracelets (you can check out the first part here). I love the plain bracelets, however it can be nice to add in a little color sometimes. With bracelets I have made, I tend to select the colors based on the show colors of the rider or the barn colors. The most recent bracelets I made were for the owners and the primary rider of the pony Smokey we lost at our barn late last year. I was glad to make some mementos for them to have always using the colors they associated with that pony. If you can sew on a button or mend something, these directions should make sense (and the beading will be pretty easy for you). If you get really quick at this it will only take about 30 minutes to bead one bracelet, but the first go can be a little slower so be prepared to give it a good chunk of time. Most importantly have fun!
1. Your previously made bracelet.
2. A few long sturdy strands of the horses hair. (2 or so per bracelet).
4. Fine beading needles (these are very tiny). A normal needle is too big for seed beads.
6. Super glue (I like the mini’s since there’s less waste).
1. Take 2 long and sturdy tail hairs and thread both together in to beading needle (this will be tricky…and if you have bad eyes might be impossible without magnification). Once both are in, pull through a few inches like you would thread. Slick down the hairs with your fingers and pull to the end and tie the two pieces together about 1″ from the end (opposite end from the needle) and “combine the two strands into one.”
2. To start threading into the bracelet, push the needle up through the back of the bracelet at a split in the braid (at the first cross of braid strands from the clasp) and pull through (but leave a bit where you can see the knotted end clearly (usually a 1/2″ is fine, or 1″). Push the needle back through the front of the bracelet a few hair strands over (not at the exact same point in the braid). Be careful to be near the initial thread, but not to go back through the same hole or your thread will just be unattached again. Put the needle end through the two strands right below the knot and pull through tight. This will “lock” the thread to the bracelet. Your needle and thread should be sticking out of the back of the bracelet now.
3. Thread the needle back through to the front of the bracelet and prepare to bead.
4. Flip to the back side of the bracelet and super glue the knot and “locked” thread on the back of the bracelet. Beware not to use too much as it will quickly soak through the hair and make the hair unbending.
5. Thread 2-6 seed beads onto your needle and push down the thread toward the bracelet. The number will depend on how big your bracelet is. You want it to fit nicely in each diagonal braid pass. Use your best judgement.
6. Follow the shape of the diagonal of the braid to find the spot to pull the needle through to sew on the beads. Push the needle through to the back and pull tight. Look at the front of your braid and see where you need to pull the needle through next to follow the beading pattern. This should be pretty easy to figure out, but basically you skip to the next same spot in the braid pattern to ensure your beads are following that pattern. Push the needle from the back of the bracelet to the front again and load up your beads. Continue this step until you are at the end of your bracelet.
7. Once you bead to the end and the needle is on the back side of the bracelet, weave the needle front to back a couple of times moving over a few hairs to secure the end of the beading. I usually pass the needle back up under the previous passes on the back of the bracelet to “lock” it a bit.
8. Tie off as securely and close to the bracelet as you can using an overhand knot (x2). Pass the needle back up under the knot again to lock it down more.
9. Super glue this knot as you did in step 4.
10. Let all glue dry.
11. Trim off ends of hair as close to glued knots as you can get.
Your beaded bracelet is done!
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!