Twisted Leads

I’ve been asked how I make my lead ropes many times. It’s simple, really, but kind of hard to explain.

LeadRopes_Striped

There are two different ways I’ve done this.
The first is to take a length of string/floss/whatever, cut twice as long as the length you want it to be. If you wanted a ten-inch lead, for example, cut the threads to 20 inches, with a few extra inches to spare. They do “shrink” somewhat when twisted, so it’s always better to have too much than not enough.

LeadRopes_01

Anchor one end, (I found it easiest to tie the end around a bead and shut in a drawer) then start twisting the entire length, until it’s nice and tight.
Slip a jump ring, or clasp, or whatever you’re using on the free end, then, keeping everything tight, fold the entire length in half.

LeadRopes_02

Let go of the folded end and the thread will twist itself together.

LeadRopes_03

It will most likely look like this, but that can be fixed by pulling on each end a bit until it behaves. I actually don’t like this method much because it can leave kinks in the twist and is much more difficult to control.

LeadRopes_04

The second way is to slip your thread in the jump ring/clasp first, then fold the entire length in half. Secure the ring and take a bunch of thread in each hand.

LeadRopes_05

Start twisting each bunch in one direction. I usually go to the right. Once the twists are nice and tight…

LeadRopes_06

…start twisting them together, but in the opposite direction. (in this case, to the left) The thread will twist itself together and hold pretty well. It’s easier to twist short bits at a time rather than trying to do the whole thing at once.

LeadRopes_07

Once it’s as long as you’d like, knot the end and trim off the excess.

LeadRopes_08

There you have it!

28 thoughts on “Twisted Leads

      1. Is it alright if I use the picture you have at the top? (Just asking before I decide to use it.) Also,I will link this webpage with the picture. 🙂

  1. I’ve never tried either so, I can’t wait to give both versions a try.
    Thanks, Nichelle, for another great tutorial!

    1. I find them at craft stores in the jewelry section – they’re called lobster claw clasps and can be found in different sizes and colors. 🙂

    1. I’m not sure if there are clasps out there small enough for Schleich models. I would go with a hook fashioned from wire instead, unless you’re ok with having larger clasps. I think the ones I use are 6mm. 🙂

    2. I just use the smallest ones I can get and they look ok
      Another option for Schleich is the hook part of a hook and eye clasp

  2. This is an awesome way to make these, I had been looking for ways to make them and then I finally found this. The only problem I had, was that I was making a bunch and then they stopped twisting! That was awhile ago and I haven’t tried again, so I don’t know if I started doing something wrong, or if I just did it too many times!

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