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Porcupine Quill-style Bracelet

Long before Aboriginal peoples traded with Europeans for glass beads, some First Nations used porcupine quills dyed in various colours for decoration. Quills were used to decorate a variety of objects, such as moccasins, boxes, clothing and accessories. Today, First Nations are still carrying on this ancient art.


  • Beads*
  • String, coloured wool or leather
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

* You will need round beads as well as long narrow beads (which are a similar shape to real porcupine quills); you can also use any shape of beads and create your own patterns.


Materials needed for porcupine quill-style bracelet.   Step 1. Cut a piece of cord (leather, wool or string) approximately 50 cm (20 inches) long. Thread both ends of cord through a single round bead.

Step 2. Push a pencil through the cord's loop to keep the cord from being pulled through the bead. You should now have two cords trailing from the bead, which will form the two strands of your bracelet.   Step 3. Thread a porcupine-quill-shaped bead onto each cord.

Step 4. Thread three round beads onto each cord.   Step 5. Continue this pattern (one porcupine bead, three round beads) until your bracelet is long enough to fit around your wrist. End by threading both cords through two round beads.

Step 6. Take pencil out of loop at the other end. Thread one cord through the loop.   Step 7. Tie the two ends of your bracelet together with a double knot and trim with scissors.

Your bracelet is ready to wear!

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