horsehair bracelet: tutorial

As my regular readers know I love horseriding and have been riding the funniest little pony for three years. I love the little guy so much and for my last birthday my friend gave me a bracelet made out of his tail hair which she had had made by a woman in Holland.
Sadly it fell apart after having worn it constantly for three months and I really wanted another bracelet. My boyfriend and I did some research (neither of us had ever made jewelery before) and we came up with this easy way to make a horsehair bracelet:
Materials:

  • horse hair from either mane or tail, preferably same length
  • a silver clasp like the one shown in the pictures below
  • pliers
  • superglue
  • safety pin
  • a pair of scissors

Disclaimer: I know nothing about making jewelery and this is probably (definitely) not the neatest way but it works and is nice and quick and easy.
We start off with a suitable amount of horsehair (depending on how wide you want the bracelet to be and how thick the horses hair is). I like my bracelets small and my pony’s tail hair is very thick so I only really need a couple of hairs.
Make a knot and put a safety pin through. This amount of hair is enough for two braids and 4-6 bracelets by the way:

Now we can fasten the safety pin on a pillow or somewhere comfortable and can start braiding:

Braid until you have more than enough of braid to go around your arm (I always do the full length of the hairs and I can get 2-3 bracelets out of one strand of hairs).

Now we need to secure the ends so we can cut the bracelet to the right length. To do this, put a couple of drops of superglue on the braid where you want the bracelet to start and end. You’ll have to wrap it around your wrist to see how long it needs to be. Let the glue dry and repeat.
When the two coats of glue are dry you can cut the two ends of the braid and the braid won’t come undone.

We need a clasp where we can lay the end parts of the braid into the end part of the clasp and then squeeze that part shut with the pliers into a tube.

When you don’t have pliers (like us) look for a pair of household scissors that may do the job as well.

After squeezing the ends of the clasp shut with the braid in them all that remains is to secure that the braid can’t be pulled out again by daily wear. Give a couple of drops of superglue on the top of the tubes and the glue will be sucked into the tube.

Let the glue dry completely and put on and admire your bracelet!


I personally can never be bothered to take it off and having to put it on again, so I just wear it constantly. So far it has survived several months of constant wear and daily showering and seems to be very durable. Besides being very unobtrusive jewelery I just love having a part of my pony with me always!

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94 thoughts on “horsehair bracelet: tutorial

  1. sandra

    TidyTipsy: thanks for the idea! My sweet old horse died 2 yrs. ago and I saved some tail hair to remember him by and have been hoping to make a bracelet, etc. with it, but having one made was cost prohibitive. I’m hoping my bracelet comes out nearly as nice as yours! It will be nice to have a part of my beloved boy with me. thanks again!

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    1. tidytipsy

      Sandra, I’m glad my tutorial helped you out and I am sure your bracelet will turn out wonderful! So sorry you lost your horse, I couldn’t imagine losing my pony right now!
      Do let me know if you made the bracelet :)

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    2. Erinn

      Sandra, I’m so sorry for your lost, i cant think of losing my horse. i hope this bracelet will help you through your grief of your lost. i hope this works out foe you. :)

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    3. Jenifer

      Horse loss sucks majorly. I quit riding and gave away my horse to a great loving farm to keep him happy. He LOVED jumping, as did I, but you could just feel and see the determination and love on his face of what surrounded him. I was selfish to give him and riding up but I was young and in a hard stage of life… My boy wouldnt have been able to take me much further anyway…. he could jump 5 foot (and higher im sure) but his ankles said otherwise…. turns out, after a bit of hacking a light ground work 3-4 times a week(once I gave him away) turned out to be too much after a year. (we had no idea he had so rapidly decreased with his condition.) He tore a ligament in his back leg abd broke a bone in his ankle…. clearly setting us up for the worst, even though he wasnt mine anymore… of course he still was :( … my mom and dad and trainer forbid me from seeing him ever again unti he pass on. they pushed for the idea of a happier image for the end for me… So i requested lockes of tail hairs immediately for safekeeping, jewelry, etc. long months later my parents surprised me with a beautiful bracelet. handmade and with his name on a hang off pendant….

      Sonny Eclipse<3 may you rest in peace and please forgive me for every regret that now fills my mind.

      My bracelet will forever attach my horse and I in a way no other horse can.

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    4. McKenzie

      I can understand what you have gone through, I just lost the horse i had rode since i was 8 months old. Granted I am just 15 but it still hurts.

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  2. brandy

    I just want to tell you, I do make jewelry and have been looking high and low for an easy way to do this and boy this seems really easy and seems like it will work. the only thing i am going to try different is put some beads of some kind on there as extra decoration…dress it up a bit! thanks for the tutorial!

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  3. janell

    thanks so much for posting this. I just recently had to put a beloved horse to sleep and saw a horsehair braclet in the rods magazine for 250 …. I am very grateful for you posting this and will be relieved to be able to take a part of him with me wherever i go…..think ill do a practice one first ….im not crafty :)

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    1. tidytipsy

      So sorry you had to put your horse down! I couldn’t imagine losing my pony.It’s really easy but better do a practice one first nevertheless :) It will be a great keepsake for you :) I’d love to see your bracelet when it’s finished!

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  4. allyson pena

    Would like to know where to buy sterling silver end caps for horsehair bracelets but am having a hard time finding. Any suggestions as where I can buy?

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    1. Cindi

      What you are looking for is called jewelry “findings”. Rio Grande is an excellent place to find what you need-it’s where I bought mine. I tried to find someone to do this and the cost is prohibitive so I did it myself. Not easy, but I got it done.

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  5. Pingback: How to make a horsehair bracelet??

  6. chloe kirkbride

    where do you get your endings from there really nice and can not find the same ones anyway and even any at all! i cant wait to try it but really need the endings first or is there any other way of doing this?

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    1. tidytipsy

      Chloe, I bought mine at a local craft store but you could ask at a jeweller’s place if they make it up for you if you provide the horse hair braid. Another option would be to glue the ends together carefully (if there are any stray strands the will prick you, as horse hair is so thick and sturdy).

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  7. chloe kirkbride

    I will have another look around for them what is the name of all the ends of your bracelet? As in the ends on the horse hair and also the clip? thanks.

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    1. tidytipsy

      To be honest I don’t really know what they’re called in English, since it’s not my first language. Sorry I can’t be more helpful here :/

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  8. Casey

    Wow! I have been looking all day online trying to find instructions on how to make these, but every one I have looked at was way too complicated for me right now! This seems ALOT easier! Thanks soo much! :)

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  9. Patty Brigance

    Thankyou for the help. I lost my ole horse at the age of 44 years old. he’d been in my family since he was 14 years old. I saved his tail and had been wanting a bracelet but they were way to expensive for me since I’m raising my 4 year old grandson.
    with your instructions I am going to try and make one. thank you so much.

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    1. tidytipsy

      Patty, I’m so sorry you lost your horse. He reached a great age! Thank you for your comment, wishing you and your grandson all the best!

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  10. rachel

    do any of the hairs stick out? my friend made me a thicker one similar to this and some of the shorter hairs stick out and are really itchy

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    1. tidytipsy

      Rachel, you should use tail hairs that are long enough. It takes a while but I picked out the hairs for this one by one. It pays off though, just like you said the short hairs are pretty itchy :)

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  11. Tonya

    Regarding ends sticking out….I pick every hair out by hand also. They all have to be long enough to go in findings on each end. I make these and sale them on my Facebook.

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  12. Janja

    Is there a way to make it without putting glue all over it? So it keeps the natural feel of the horse hair? And in not, which glues are ok to use?

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      1. yellow buddie

        ok and is there also a way to make it with out a clasp, some times the clasp can make it look cheasy and/or cheap…

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  13. yellow buddie

    thanks but are there any other cool braids to do than the standard, origanal braid… i want my freinds to look at it and be amazed with how cool it looks!!!!!!!

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    1. Mandy

      There are many books on Amazon that show a whole array of braids. you also may want to look into hitching horse hair. A little more complicated but well worth the effort! The results are beautiful! I myself love the simple braid! Tidytipsy gave the best tutorial I’ve seen yet!

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      1. Kristina

        Thanks Mandy :) I myself have only once tried a more complicated braiding technique and it didn’t work as well as the simple one. Horse hair is very thick, a bit like thick nylon thread to work with…it doesn’t really like to be bent, so it’s much harder to work with than, say, embroidery floss.

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  14. photography4cats

    Thank you so much for making this wonderful tutorial, complete with pictures. My favorite pony, who I have been riding for 3 and a half years, just got sold yesterday. I got a lock of hair from her mane and tail, but have not been able to braid it very successfully. I plan on trying it today (right after I stop at the craft store for a clasp that will work). Thank you.

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    1. Kristina

      I’m so sorry your pony got sold! It’s always so sad when that happens (we’ve had some ponies sold at our barn as well lately). I hope your bracelet worked out great and is a lovely reminder of her.

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  15. Jessica

    Thank you so much! I just lost my reining horse today. The pictures make it look easy enough. My Mom cut off his whole beautiful tail and his mane. I cant bare to make this now but in time I will.

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    1. Kristina

      Jessica, I’m so sorry you lost your horse!! I hope that in time you’ll be able to make the bracelet and have a great memory.

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  16. Kenna

    I have looked everywhere for them amazon,hobby lobby,everywhere pretty much hard to find I guess I would be really thankful if you could tell me which store or which stores you recommend to get them from thx!

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  17. Lizzie

    What you are looking for is “Foldover Cord Ends” , Then you need a clasp (The one on this is called a Lobster clasp), and a jump ring to attatch the clasp to the cord end x

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  18. Kristina

    Thanks Lizzie and Photography4cats! Kenna, I hope these comments helped you find them. I’m in Germany, so my local craft shop won’t help you much!

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  19. Kit Bartle

    thank you so much, I really want to make one for each of my grand children from their ponies, we kept some tailhairs from our beloved horse and now I can keep him with me always

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    1. Kristina

      Kit, look a few comments above, lots of comments have suggestions where to purchase the clasps. I bought mine locally in a craft store.

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  20. Serenity

    Hello. Thank you for your well-written and beautifully illustrated tutorial. I have three locks of hair of horses that were a big part of life and that will forever remain in my heart. The first one is from the very first horse my parents bought me, a quarter pony mare, Breezy, that passed away in the winter of 2005 when I was off thousands of miles away at university. I was unable to come home at the time due to being in the middle of classes and I did not have the money to do so neither . She was 31 and just laid down one winter day and wouldn’t get back up and well, you know the rest of the story… I had cut a lock of her tail off a few years back and kept it, so I have left much. The second lock I have is off a horse that my best friend’s parent’s owned that I would ride when I would go down to her house, which was quite frequently. Flash, a palomino that had white spots on one side of his rump. He was eventually sold when us kids stopped coming around and as just being a friend of the family, I had no say in the matter and I actually did not hear about it until several months later and I was not happy about ‘who’ he and the other two horses that were on the property were sold to and let’s just say I feel in my heart they are no longer alive anymore. They were sold to a third party buyer. Because I had lost contact with my friend and her parents for a couple years and stuff and I felt if I had kept better in touch, I could have influenced their selling decision and maybe ‘my’ horse and the other two would be alive still today. They weren’t really horse people and I really was the only one who did anything with those horses and they were mostly pasture ornaments. I still have a lot of issues and grief with that to this day but I have and always will love them as my seconds parents because they were always there when I needed when my real parents weren’t. The third horse I have a lock of hair from is a huge gentleman. a black TB/Clydesdale cross named Thunder that I had the privilege to ride when I was at at university for a year-long equine science program. What a treat! This gelding was a massive horse that stood 16hh and he was a great ride! Sadly, I may no longer be able to ride any longer for I sustained a major back injury over a month ago and my doctor has declared me permanently disabled. Much to my dismay, I have been advised to not ride anymore for one wrong jolt aside or over a fall and I risk being paralyzed permanently. But, I would risk riding one last time to never ride again.
    I will be making this bracelets. This is a wonderful, wonderful way to memorialize a beloved horse that has passed, or even one that is still with you, for that matter. Granted, there are other mainstream businesses out there that do this, but I would imagine that most of them are cost prohibitive, at least to me and I think that one that you made here is just as nice, if not nicer, as the ones I have seen and I really don’t want mine all decked out in jewels or silver or gold. I am a plain girl and I like my jewellery and my clothing to reflect that as well. I am by no means flashy nor do I wish to stand out in the crowd. I do hope my bracelets turn out like yours those. I am a crafty person, but there is always room for improvement though.
    Btw, I follow your blog and I am an avid reader of yours and other, and I invite you to follow mine if you wish to do so. And that goes for others who read this posting as well. It is not just on one topic, it is a plethora of different topics and it also coincides with my vlog on my YouTube channel. Also, I would love to talk with you and exchange ideas on photography on how to make your pictures come out professional looking and how to take good shots and blogging tips and stuff if you are interested to teach a willing student ;) Thank you!
    Thank you and happy blogging! :)

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    1. Kristina

      Thanks so much for sharing your story! 31 is a really advanced age, I’m sure your mare lived a happy and full life. So sorry about the other ponies! It’s always hard when horses get sold, but knowing they didn’t go to a good place must be awful :( I hope your bracelets come out just the way you hope and give you a lot of joy and fond memories!
      I’m so sorry about your back injury! Did you get it from riding? I know a couple of people who had bad falls but only one who was permanently disabled because of it. It’s always a risk, but I’m sorry your back problems seem to be permanent :(
      I’ll go have a look at your blog right now. If you’ve any concrete questions about photography and such, I’ll be happy to help :) I can’t really teach or advise on a bigger basis right now unfortunately…juggling a full time job plus the photography business plus keeping this blog updated plus “real” life with a couple family troubles etc…let’s just say I always wish there were more than 24 hours in a day ;)

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      1. Serenity

        Hi Kristina. I know, right- I do wish there was more than 24 hours in a day lol. As for my back injury, I took a nasty slip and fall in the bath tub. Yes, something as simple as that so I always tell people now be careful getting in and out of the tub lol. My sister in law is taking me to the local craft store this afternoon get the clasps for the bracelets. I will do a blog about it after I make them and mention you and post photos and you may come and look if you like. Ask for the photography questions, I just am wondering, I see people post these pictures, like yours, and they all come out looking beautiful and perfect and the people are just everyday people but they look like models and I look at my pictures and they look crappy and I look crappy and I am a beautiful girl and I just want to know what is the secret. That’s all. lol And how do you get followers and traffic to your blog? I do hope your family problems get better. Will be praying for you, dear. Thanks for taking the time to write me back and answering my questions. I really do appreciate it :)

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        1. Kristina

          Oh, such bad luck with the fall, I’m sorry! My dad jumped of a playground building in the 1980’s (not even high at all) and broke his leg in several pieces and had to spent 6 months in the hospital…sometimes it’s the silly little accidents that cause the most damage.
          As for photography and followers…I don’t do anything special to get blog followers, but I’ve had this blog since 2009 and it just happens. I’m a photographer so it’d be bad if my photos weren’t good (not that they’re as good as I’d like them to be ;) ). There’s lots of resources on learning how to use a camera online and free. I always suggest you start with the photography section on The Pioneer Woman, she has giood tutorials.

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  21. Kayla

    I love this, I make my own as well basically like this. Do you have any trouble with the hair fraying at all or even getting random little fly aways? Did you wash the hair before hand and/or put anything in it to keep it smooth?

    Thank you,
    Kayla

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  22. Kayla

    Did you put anything such as hair product into the hair to keep it from fraying or getting fly aways? How did you wash it?

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  23. Becki Preston

    Thank you for posting this. I had to have my beloved horse put down 2 1/2 months ago and saved part of his tail to have a bracelet made. I have been searching for just the right company to do this without luck. Now, I’ll just be able to do it myself! That way I know it is what I want. Thank you!

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  24. Kristina

    Thanks everyone!
    @Kayla, I just washed it with normal shampoo and soap, nothing fancy :)
    @Danielle, local craft shop, but I’m sure there must be online resources
    @Marla, that sounds great, do you have a photo somewhere? I’d love to see it!

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  25. Deborah

    Thanks so much for the tutorial . I rescued a horse yrs ago and a lovely family adopted her. She was their first horse, for their daughter, and she evented her. She was champion and high point earner for the whole show. She was put down a yr ago from old age and I want to make a bracelet out of the tail hair for her for Christmas.
    I have researched “end caps” on line and ordered two that are 10 mm. They are beautiful but have no idea if they will be too large. Will find out. It is rather difficult to find end caps, clasps and beads plus I want to put a charm with the horses name.
    I am experimenting making a bracelet with my own horses hair ( and will keep that for myself), plus I want to make some for other horsey friends.
    So, thanks so much. Where in Germany do you live? We had a German exhange student who was a really good rider.
    Thanks again.

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    1. Kristina

      That’s a wonderful story Debbie and the bracelet will be a great memory of your horse! I live near Dusseldorf/Cologne so pretty much in the middle of Germany :)

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    2. Kristy

      Do you have the website that you ordered them from? I’m still having problems finding the end caps bigger than 4mm

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  26. Michelle

    I am really excited to make a bracelet for my little 9 year old horse lover!!! We are 2 years into the adventure of riding for her and she is hooked!!! She has one mare inparticular that she rides all the time so I am going to make one of these bracelets from her tail!! So excited, and I think this will make a perfect stocking gift for Christmas!!!

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  27. Christy

    Question about securing the ends and gluing-do you just put the glue behind the knot all the way around the braid, let dry and cut? I guess I’m not quite sure how the middle hairs in the braid will stay stuck together if we are gluing just the outside braid hairs?

    Thanks for awesome tutorial though!!!

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    1. Kristina

      Christy, I made a pretty thin braid and also there is always space between the individual hairs with horse hair so the glue will seep through it!

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  28. Anne

    hi, how do I know what interior diameter of the end cap to buy? I want to make a thicker bracelet than this possible. 2mm or what?
    many thanks, good instructions!

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    1. Kristina

      Anne, it depends on how thick your braid is :) I would suggest making the braid first and then looking for the right clasps

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  29. Diana

    Hi! thank for the tutorial it is a great idea to keep a part of your horse alway with you, even though they are not longer on earth. I made my bracelet a long ago but i’m kind of getting worried because its starting to discolor , I try not to get in the shower with it but I dont know what else to do or use.. do you know a way or maybe a product that i could use to protect it?

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  30. Sugar

    Hello.
    I recently trimmed my pony’s tail…

    I have about a foot of horse-hair laying on my balcony. It is washed and all, just needs counting and brushing.

    I was wondering if you counted the strands of the mane and the diameter of the clasp.

    I was thinking, since I want the bracelet to be a 4-strand round braid I would need something 3 to 5 times bigger than the one you used in this example.

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    1. Kristina

      Hi Sharon, bought mine locally but if you look through the comments here lots of people have made suggestions on where to buy them :)

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    1. Kristina

      Hi, bought mine locally but if you look through the comments here lots of people have made suggestions on where to buy them :)

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