How to Make a Macrame Bracelet
Learn how to create friendship bracelets and more with this DIY macrame bracelet tutorial.
Learn how to make a macrame bracelet with beads using hemp or other cording by following this easy step-by-step tutorial. This nostalgic craft is a great activity for adults and kids alike. By the time you get this technique down, you'll be able to create beaded bracelets with no problem at all! If you're more of a visual learner, check out our How to Macrame video tutorial below to learn from jewelry-making guru, Candie Cooper.
With all of the time we now spend indoors, there's no time like the present to revisit the idea of friendship jewelry. Easy DIY bracelets like this one make great no-contact gifts to send to all of your friends and family to let them know you're thinking about them. Customize your macrame bracelet with beads (shown in the tutorial below) or let the your beautiful knot work stand on its own. Either way, the recipient is sure to appreciate the effort that went into their snazzy new accessory!
How to Make a Macrame Bracelet
Here's what you'll need:
- 100" 61-200 1mm hemp cord
- 5-8 23-286 Glass Roller Beads (or any beads with at least a 2mm hole)
- 1 Pony bead (or any 10mm bead with about a 3mm hole)
- Scissors or clippers
- Tape (masking tape works well)
- A clipboard makes your project portable
How much cord do you need to make a macrame bracelet?
A general guide to estimate cord length for macramé projects is to start with about 10 times the finished length of the project.
For example: This project is about 8 inches long. We estimated another 2 inches for knots, so our base measurement is 10 inches. 10 inches x 10 = 100 inches total cord needed. Since we're using a double central (filler) cord, double the base measurement (2 x 10 inches) to give us a 20 inch center (filler) cord. Also needed is a 10-inch piece for the adjustable clasp. This leaves 70 inches-- plenty for the remaining (knotting) cord.
Pro Tip: The more knots in a project, the more cord used. The more beads used, the less cord needed.
1. Cut cord into the following pieces:
One 10 inch piece
One 20 inch piece
This leaves a remaining piece about 70 inches
2. Connect cords.
- Find centers of the 20 inch and 70 inch pieces of cord. Place the 2 centers (or loops) of each cord on top of one another and leave all 4 ends dangling free.
- Find center of the 10 inch piece of cord.
- String the centers (loops) of the 2 cords into the the center of the 10 inch piece. Bring all 4 loose ends back through the center loops and pull tight. This knot is a half hitch.
- Make sure cording is even and all ends still match up.
3. Anchor the project.
This helps keep track of what step to do next, and secures the project in place. A clip board works well and allows for movement and storage of an unfinished piece. Secure the 10 inch piece of cord under the clip and let the long pieces of cording dangle. Tape the short pieces at the bottom of the board. Taping the whole project to a table will do the same thing as a clipboard, but is not as convenient if you want to move your project.
This bracelet uses one basic knot: the Half Knot. The long (Knotting) piece of cord on the right side will be Cord A, the 2 short (Filler) ones in the middle will be Cords B, and the long (Knotting) piece on the left side will be Cord C.
- Start with Cord A and bring behind Cords B, forming a loop with the A cord (about the size of a 50 cent piece) out to the right side.
- Now bring Cord C behind the long length of A (now on the left side) and over Cords B. Pull through the loop of Cord A.
- Pull tight.
Pro Tip: The tighter the cord is pulled, the smaller the knot will be. Find the desired size and pull at that tightness through the whole project for consistency.
- Repeat step 4, but start on the left side instead of the right.
5. Alternate sides (one knot starting from the left, the next knot starting from the right) for approx. 20 knots. Be sure it is an even number of knots. Pull knots fairly snug.
Pro Tip: Keep track of which side you are working on. After a knot is pulled tight, notice that the side to be worked on next is the side with the cord facing forward, not the cord facing the back.
6. Add Beads
- Slide a bead over the Cords B (the fillers). Push up close to the last knot but don’t bunch up the knots. If bead is difficult sliding over cord, try twisting bead as it is pushed on.
- Go around the beads with Cords A and C. Then make a knot as usuall, with Cord A. (starting on the right side, assuming your last knot before adding the bead started on the left)
- Push knot up to the bottom of the bead.
- Add 3 more knots (left, right, left).
- Add at least 2 more beads the same way (adding 4 knots after each bead). When you add your third bead, test the length (on your wrist or ankle). Does it go about half way around? If yes, then this is the middle - only add 2 more beads. If no, then you can continue adding beads (with 4 knots after each bead). If you add more than 8 beads, you bead pattern will probably be off-center. Don't worry if it seems like the project might not be long enough. That piece of cord hanging back at the beginning makes this project any desired length between 6 inches and 12 inches.
7. After adding your last bead, make about another 20 knots (the same number you made at the beginning).
8. Make the clasp.
- After design is finished, slide the 10mm pony bead onto all 4 cords. Pull snug and tie a knot. This bead will go through a loop made on the opposite side.
- Trim cords and apply a drop of glue to secure the knot.
- Measure bracelet on wrist (or anklet on ankle) to find the desired length needed.
- On the opposite side of the bracelet (the 10 inch length of cording) tie a knot at desired length. About ¾ of an inch past that knot, tie another knot.
- Trim excess cord and apply a drop of glue to secure the knots.
VIDEO: How to Macramé
5 Macramé Bracelet Patterns to Try
Now that you've learned how to make a macrame bracelet, challenge yourself to try out some of our favorite macrame bracelet patterns (both with or without beads) to give as a gift or keep for yourself! Each one is unique but no less prettier than the last.
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Jan 03, 2014
Excellent, used this pattern to make toys for my birds, they love them!!
Annie and my artif acts
Mar 29, 2013
Very nicely done tutorial. It had exactly what I needed for the project I wanted to work on. As I am making my bracelets for charity I needed a good tutorial!
Feb 08, 2012
Please be advised that the knot used in "How to Macrame a Bracelet" is incorrectly named as a Half Knot. It is a Square Knot, which allows the piece to lay flat. A Half Knot is done by repeating the first part of a Square Knot over and over, which results in a bracelet that twists.
Feb 08, 2012
Finaly a patter with beads! Love it.
Apr 24, 2011
It's so great to find macrame patterns again--I did a lot of it in the late 70's, but have somehow misplaced all my little booklets! Thanks for this very nice-looking pattern--I'll make it soon!
Apr 24, 2010
easy to follow instructions and illustrations, fun projects and makes cute bracelets
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