It’s no secret that I love making things with tiny knots. This method for making a macrame bracelet is a lot of fun because it uses rings to hold the ends and a hidden hem on the back to finish the strands. It’s a pretty piece of jewelry that’s easy to wear with lots of looks, and could be made in an endless range of colors to match anything.
– perle cotton N° 8
– 15mm rings (black)
– jewelry chain
– jump rings
– jewelry clasp
– cork panels
– measuring tape
– jewelry pliers
– fray check/seam sealer/clear fabric glue
I used 7 colors of perle cotton – ecru (looks almost white in the photos), light beige (738), rust (919), red (321), green (8), navy (823), black (310). You can also find perle cotton in skeins, usually in more colors. If you’re making tons of stuff (like me) and sometimes shopping in indie needlework shops (like me) you’ll find the exact supplies here, but if you’re mostly going to big box type craft stores you’ll still be able to find what I used, it will just look a little different. And, like everything, you can use whatever you want to and just treat what I did as guidelines!
Start with 1 of the rings and 2 strands of each color of perle cotton. I knot tightly and made each strand 36″/1 yard/just under 1 meter, but it might be smart to add a little extra. If I did it again I would cut my strands at least 40″/a full meter.
Pick an order for your colors and tie each to the ring with a lark’s head knot.
I decided I liked the side without the little cross strand better, so I used that.
Pin the ring down as best you can and split the strands in half.
Starting with the strand at the far left – bring it to center, and work a double half hitch knot with each strand on that side over it. (The Knotted Flower Pendant uses a lot of techniques similar to this project.)
Let that strand join the strands to the right.
Now do the same thing with the strand farthest right.
Repeat this until you’ve worked 4 rows on each side.
Now just work the strands at the left.
Now work all of the strands from right to left.
Work all the strands from left to right, but this time the strand at the far left is the one that you use to make knots (as opposed to knotting around it before.)
When all of those strands have been knotted again, split them in half and set the left side strands aside.
Knot from right to left with half of the strands.
This is now the opposite of how it started, so now add 4 rows from center to outside. Start with the strand on the left side of center, carry it across the right side strands and knot over it. Let it join the strands on the right side.
Now pick up the strand just to the right of the center point and knot over it with the left side strands.
For symmetry you should do add 4 rows here. I’m all about asymmetry lately so I added a few extra rows. Make sure you leave enough thread to work the hem on the back.
Add the ring on this side – pull the pair of threads at the right side through the ring from back to front.
Flip the bracelet over.
Tie the strands together around themselves with a square knot as shown. Physics might try to throw you a practical joke here where the ring magically jumps out of the knot. (It will make sense when you’re doing this step.) If that happens just try again until you get it – this is the only knot where that can happen.
Flip it back so that the front is up, pull the next pair through from back to front.
Slide the right side strand through next to the first pair you tied.
Flip it over and tie it. From here to the end tie the knots loosely enough that you can re-adjust them later.
Repeat until all of the strands are tied around the ring.
It might look a little rough, just adjust the strands so they settle in the right order and are evenly tight.
When everything looks good flip it over and knot a hem on the back. Do it the same as when you started the bracelet except skip the double half hitch with the first strand on the first row. In my case I brought that green strand to center to knot over it, but I didn’t tie the double half hitch with the other green strand from it’s pair. This is to help the hem tuck behind the bracelet front.
I felt pretty good about a 4 row hem so that’s where I stopped. Saturate the edge with fray check / seam sealer / clear fabric glue and let it dry completely.
Trim the tails.
Use the chain, jump rings, and clasp to finish up your bracelet.