You can braid or weave gimp, a thin plastic string, to make a number of different craft projects. Short key chains or zipper pulls are ideal projects if you're just learning to work with gimp. If you're very familiar with the plastic lace, you can make bracelets or necklaces, complete with beads woven into the string.
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The Basic Stitch
Before you can begin to make any crafts with gimp, you need to know the common stitches. The box or square stitch is the basic gimp stitch. It's made by weaving together two strands of gimp, usually in two contrasting colours. Start the box stitch by crisscrossing the two strands to form a plus sign. Lift the horizontal strands so that they cross over the vertical strands, then weave the vertical strands up and under the two horizontal strands. Pull tightly and you should have a small checkerboard. This is the first stitch. Continue to fold the strands and weave up and under to make more stitches.
Key Chains and Zipper Pulls
Key chains or zipper pulls are very simple to make, as you only need a few feet of gimp. Typically, 1 foot of gimp equals 1 inch of the finished project. Make the box stitch until the key chain or pull is the length you want. A zipper pull should be around an inch or so long while a key chain should be at least 2-inches long. Finish the craft by tucking the ends of the gimp into the final stitch and pulling tightly. Trim the remaining strands to about 1/2 to 1 inch in length. Thread either a key ring or a lanyard hook through the loop on the starting end of the project. Either attach to a zipper or thread keys through the ring.
Make a bracelet using the box stitch or a necklace with the same stitch. To tie the bracelet into a circle, loosen the loop on the starting end using a sharp object such as a safety pin. Thread the contrasting colour strand of gimp on the opposite end of the bracelet through the loop so that the bracelet is in the shape of a circle. Pull the other strands through the loop and draw tightly, then trim any excess gimp. As you stitch, you can thread pony beads through the strands of gimp to add a decorative touch.
Combine the processes for making a key chain bracelet to make a holder for a water bottle or other canister. Stitch a bracelet that fits snugly around the middle of a water bottle. Make two, 6-inch long key chains as well. Connect the key chains to the bracelet, spaced equally apart, using a lanyard hook. Slide the craft onto the water bottle. Join the loose ends of the key chain together at the top and connect them with a key ring.
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