How to Tie a Slide Knot to Make an Adjustable Bracelet
One of the most common questions we get at the front counter is, “How do you tie sliding knots to make an adjustable necklace or bracelet?” This type of closure is quick, inexpensive and super easy to wear. Men, in particular, seem to like sliding knots — which is awesome, considering the huge explosion in the men’s jewelry market. This tutorial is for a bracelet. For a necklace, add at least another 12 inches to the starting leather piece.
You will need:
2.5 feet of thin (1-2mm) leather
1 TierraCast floater bead (or large hole bead of your choice)
3×3 mm crimps (optional)
5 mm crimp covers (optional)
Place sterling silver floater bead on leather, approximately in the center of the strand.
Form a bracelet sized circle with the leather. You will have a lot of leather left on either size of the bracelet form.
Pinch the leather between your thumb and forefinger. With one leather “tail,” make three wraps around the bracelet form, like tunnels with the bracelet leather passing through.
Carefully pull your finger out of the “tunnels”, supporting the loops so they don’t collapse.
Bring the end of the tail around to the beginning of the wraps, and pull the end through all three tunnels. Be careful to support the three wraps, so they do not collapse into one another.
Adjust tension until all three tunnels lay flat against the bracelet form. It might take a bit of wiggling around , loosening and re-tightening to get it quite right. Don’t give up. Once the wraps all lay together nicely, this forms the first slide knot.
The first knot is shown below left.
Repeat all steps on the opposite side of the bracelet form, to make the second slide knot. Now, you have some choices. You can glue the OUTSIDE of the slide knots carefully with GS Hypo glue. (Don’t let the glue get inside the knots, or the knots will attach to the inner leather and won’t slide.) Once the glue is completely dry, cut off the excess leather. You also have the option of crimping the end. To do it this way, follow the next few steps.
Check and make sure both knots slide easily. Once you are completely happy with the placement of the slide knots, place a 3×3 crimp on one tail as close to the knot as possible and crimp closed. Cut leather off at the edge of the crimp. Repeat on the other tail. The crimps stop the knots from loosening.
For an additional decorative element, add 5mm crimp covers to the closed crimps. Gently tap the crimp cover with a needle nose pliers, coming from different directions to ease the crimp cover closed.
The finished bracelet is shown below right.