Hi everyone, welcome to my first tutorial. Hopefully, it will be simple and clear for everyone to understand but if it isn’t or you have any questions please let me know…
So, this tutorial is for a simple macrame bracelet and I will be taking you through all the steps you need to make and finish one of these bracelets. The great thing about these is that you can use (pretty much) any material you like and you don’t need any special tools. Here we go…
The Set Up
First of all you will need to cut your threading material to the correct size. You can use anything you like to make these bracelets. Here are some ideas:
- Satin cord (great for beginners)
- Hemp cord, s-lon cord, any type of jewellery making cord you like really,
- Embroidery thread (also great for beginners)
- Stripes of fabric
There are a few examples of different materials at the end. Here I am using satin cord. This is great for beginners as it looks really good, it is easy to knot as it is so smooth and most importantly it is easy to undo if you make a mistake! Once you have decided on a cord then you will need to cut four strands:
- 2 strands which are approx 50cm, these will be the inner core of the bracelet (or ‘lazy’ strands if you are feeling technical!)
- 2 strands which are approx 125cm, these will be on the outside (also known as the ‘working’ strands)
Once you have your strands tie them in a knot at the top. I have used different colours here to make it easier to see how to do the knotting but you can use whatever you want!
Now you have to fix the strands to something to stop everything from moving about and make it easier to make the knots. There are a couple of ways to do this:
The simplest way is to tape the ends down onto a table. You can also tape them to your leg/trousers. This is great for when you are sat watching the TV! If you are feeling fancy you can buy macrame boards. These are foam boards with slots around the edges which allow to you keep your threads in place while you work. You can also DIY one of these from cardboard. Here, my two shorter strands are green. These go in the middle and are taped at the bottom. The two longer strands go either side and are left loose for knotting.
You are now ready to start knotting!
Basic Macrame Knots
- Place the left hand cord over the middle strands, this should look like a (probably misshapen!) number 4
- Bring the right hand cord over it
- The right hand cord now goes under the middle strands
- The same cord is now bought through the hole formed by the left hand strand
- Pull each cord to the sides to tighten
- You have now made the first knot!
To carry on the next bit is just the opposite of the first…
- Place the right hand cord over the middle strands, this should look like a (probably misshapen!) backwards number 4
- Bring the left hand cord over it
- The left hand cord now goes under the middle strands
- The same cord is now bought through the hole formed by the right hand strand
- Pull each cord to the sides to tighten
- That is it!
Carry on repeating these two knots until you have the bracelet length you want. Bracelet sizes are usually 16.5cm for a small, 18cm for average and 20cm for a large womens size but the fantastic thing about making your own is that you can make it exactly the length you want!
Once you have knotted to the length you want you need to tie a knot to stop everything from coming undone and prepare for finishing!
At this point you could just tie the bracelet around your wrist using the ends of the strand. If you want less faff trying to get it on and off – this is how you do an adjustable fastening…
So this uses the same knots as you did for the main part of the bracelet; it is just the start and end that is different.
- Tape the ends of the bracelet down as shown in the photo below
- Place piece of cord (about 30cm) underneath all these strands
- You can then do about three sets of the knots described above
- You need to tie the ends of the cord together to stop it from coming undone
- I would highly recommend dabbing glue or some clear nail varnish on the knot to make sure it doesn’t come undone
- Trim the ends
- Tie a knots in the ends of the cords to stop the bracelet coming apart if you open it really far (believe me I speak from experience! :-S)
And you are done! Although it may seem like a lot of steps once you have learnt the basic knots these work up really really quickly. Here are a few photos to show you want other cords look like when macramed (I hope this is a word!). The first is one made from strips of fabric, the second is wool, the third is embroidery thread (these make a super delicate and pretty bracelet and is really easy to work with). The last one is made by making three macrame strands and them plaiting them together.
The next tutorial in this series will be the spiral macrame bracelet and I will also show you how to incorporate beads into your bracelets. Let me know if you have any questions or if you made your own macrame bracelet and send me photos if you did!