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How to make beaded dog leads

Updated April 13, 2018

Creating your own beaded leash or lead can be a rewarding craft project sure to delight your pampered pup. Braided from nylon strands, which come in a variety of colours and have a wonderful sheen, this project sparkles and lustres. With the addition of beads to a simple four-strand braid, the luxury that will exude from your pooch's presence is sure to make every dog at the park pant with envy.

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  1. Knot four strands of your nylon cord together. Leave at least 1 inch of excess, unbraided nylon above the knot.

  2. Lay the knot under a moist towel. Apply low heat with a clothing iron to seal the knot, melting the nylon fibres together.

  3. Lay the strands flat. The strand on the left is numbered one, the next are two and three, and the strand on the right is four.

  4. Clamp the knot down to a steady surface with the bulldog clip to keep your tension even as you are knotting. You may also temporarily sew the knotted end to some sort of furniture, such as the arm of a couch or chair.

  5. Pass strand four over strand three. They have now changed places.

  6. Lay strand one over strands two and three (formerly four).

  7. Continue steps four and five until you reach a point where you want to place a bead.

  8. Slide the bead onto any one of the strands, and continue braiding. The branding will secure the bead into the braid.

  9. Place as many beads as you like. Repeat these motions until your lead is as long as you desire. Standard leads are usually 6 feet or under. Braid an extra foot to account for the handle that you will create later.

  10. Tie off the braid with another knot. Seal the knot with an iron to ensure the strands fuse together.

  11. Slide the snaphook over unbraided strands of nylon, just below the knot.

  12. Thread one strand at a time into a tapestry needle, weaving it into the end of the braid. Do this for each strand. Weave approximately 1 inch of excess into the nylon braid. Cut any excess and seal the portion of the braid with the woven strips with an iron for security.

  13. Unclamp the top of your braid. Thread an individual strand of the unbraided nylon into a tapestry needle, and weave it into the braid under the knot, as you did for the last step. Do this for each strand, and seal with light heat from an iron.

  14. To create a handle, create a loop from the top section of the nylon braid. Use a bowline knot to secure the braid, ensuring the knot is secure. You can leave this knot unsealed for later adjustment.

  15. Tip

    If your dog is a heavy puller, use a needle and thread to secure the beads to a pre-fabricated leash.


    Exercise caution when using an iron to seal the nylon. Do not use the iron without a moist towel, because the nylon can blacken and burn, or even catch fire.

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Things You'll Need

  • Nylon rope or strands
  • Clothes iron
  • Moist towel
  • Beads
  • Bulldog clamp
  • Needle and thread (optional)
  • Steady surface
  • Snaphook
  • Tapestry needle

About the Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello

Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.

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