How to Make a Hemp Cross Necklace

By Jane Smith

Hemp jewelry is attractive and good for the environment. Thin hemp twine is best for bracelets, necklaces and lanyards. Hemp has historically been used for cloth, thread, rope, and the making of sacking. It is light, easily worked and takes bright dyes well. Hemp's association with the drug culture had all but eradicated it in commercial use until the sixties and seventies. Hemp grows in wet, warm conditions, so it makes a good cash crop alternative for monsoon prone areas. It combines well with crayfish, catfish or shrimp farming, as the growing hemp plants provide cover for the fingerlings.

Measure eight strands of 3 mm hemp twine 24 inches long. Lay strands next to one another so that none overlap. Measure 12 inches from one end. This is your center point. Run a short piece of hemp twine under all the strands and tie it in a tight square knot. Trim ends of the piece of twine up to the knot. Use a "T" pin to fasten the knot to a macrame board, with the 12" ends hanging down from the pin.

Separate the strands so that none are crossed or overlapped. Take four strands from the right and four from the left. Make four square knots down the eight middle strands to make the top of your cross.

Take the right four strands and lay them flat so that none are crossed, perpendicular to the square knots you just made. Repeat the same with the left four strands. Using the top and bottom strands of the right side, make square knots to the right, over the center two strands. Do the same on the left. Wrap the last half inch of each arm of your cross hangman's noose style.

Return to the eight center strands. Use the left two strands and the right two strands to make square knots to the end of the middle four. Wrap the last half inch of the cross hangman's noose style. Trim the ends so that no more than 1/2 inch of loose hemp twine extends past the nooses. This makes your cross pendant. The pendant will hang from the necklace you will make next.

Using four strands of 3 mm hemp twine, measure three times the desired length of your necklace. Find the center and use a quarter inch gold or silver "o" ring to attach your hemp cross. Use a "T" pin to keep it in place while you finish the necklace.

Tie square knots beginning at the cross and working to the end of the four strands on the right, then do the same on the left. Attach necklace closures to each end of your necklace, or make a large knot on the left end and a loop on the right for a natural closure.