Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Braided horsehair jewelry: My first attempt

A little while back I saw a keychain in a horse catalog made of braided horse hair. What a great idea, but why would you want just any horse's hair when you could have your own? I'd also seen a braided horsehair bracelet at my local tack shop once a while back, and I really liked that idea, so I started looking for information on how to make braided horsehair jewelry.

Today Panama's tail was still nice and clean from his bath yesterday, so I decided to snip off a little from the backside, where it's not visible. (Finding some white to cut off was tricky, because it's still growing out, and therefore I didn't want to cut too much or where it's too obvious. But I love his two-color mane and tail, so there has to be some white in whatever I make.)

I brought the hair home and immediately started looking for information on braided horsehair jewelry. I found quite a few sites where you can send in your horse's hair and someone will make a bracelet, necklace, or whatever else you want out of it. I liked this one best, because of all the information, because of how much more personal it seemed, and because the prices are so much better than the others. Some actually charge you more if you want to send in your own horse's hair. What's that all about??

Of course, not having $65 (let alone $100 or $150 for some of the other sites), I decided I need to figure out how to make these myself. Of course, I have to be sure I can do it, because Panama only has so much hair to give! But I am good at braiding, so I don't think it should be too difficult.

One thing I did decide is that I liked the rounder braids that many websites used for their bracelets, instead of the traditional three-strand braids like the one at my local tack store. So I looked it up and found this video giving instructions on how to do a four-strand box braid. I practiced on some yarn first, and then decided to go ahead and make a keychain out of a little bit of Panama's hair.

braided horsehair keychain

This is my first attempt, and therefore the no-frills version: no beading or any other ornaments, just braided horsehair tied off with same kind of rubber band I use in his mane and tail when I braid it.

braided horsehair keychain

As you can probably guess by how skinny the braid is, I still have plenty left. I wanted to practice, but I also wanted to make sure I had enough leftover for a bracelet, once I figure out how to do the end caps and clasps.

What do you think? Should I attempt the bracelet, too?



At August 19, 2009 at 10:48 PM, Blogger Reddunappy said...

Oh yes, I love horse hair jewlery! I have a large chunk of Emmas tail hair that I want to do something with, she pulled it out by getting it caught on the water bucket handle in her stall.

At August 21, 2009 at 10:02 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Braiding it wasn't too difficult, Pam -- the trick was keeping it all smooth. I haven't yet been to the bead store to find out how to attach end caps to the ends of the braid, but I'll let you know what I find out when I go!


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