How to make a knot bracelet or cool bracelet inspired by Free People macrame? Did nobody ask ever but I’ll tell you anyway because I have been on another macrame binge. This one is pretty easy because it mostly involves square knots. For those of you who don’t know what a square knot bracelet is, it’s basically tied a string around a center string or grouping of strings the way you tie a shoe. A square knot are two of those tied knots but you alternate which string goes on top first. I’m also showing that in my video.
I saw this bracelet for the first time on Free People’s website about 2.5 years ago and then I saw it in person at a store in Austin Texas two years ago and have been wanting to make it ever since. I actually started last summer at the beach but never had time to finish it. Right now being stuck at home was the perfect time to make this fringe and knot bracelet and I really love how it turned out. If you don’t want to wear a bracelet this big then please still check out the tutorial because it can also be used as a decorating accessory on a planter, bottle, candle or even table lamp. I’m showing you photos of it all the way at the bottom of the tutorial.
Here is the original photo from the Free People website where the bracelet was about $90 if I remember correctly.
How to make a knot bracelet inspired by Free People macrame
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Materials needed for the bracelet
- black 4mm macrame cord
- ivory 4mm macrame cord
- measuring tape
- clothing pins or small spring clamps
- fabric stiffener
- wax cord or you can just use macrame cord instead as well
- clear strong craft glue
- tooth picks
Instructions for how to make a knot bracelet
Make sure that you also watch my video to see how the bracelet was made. (Use the triangle on the image to turn on video. If you are on a cellphone or other device, turn it horizontal for better viewing or head to my YouTube channel.)
Making the knotted and fringed part of the bracelet
I made a bracelet where I didn’t split the macrame cord but ended up liking the thinner string better. So that is the version I’m sharing with you today.
Split a 120 inch of black macrame cord in half as shown below. It will most likely be a bit long in the end but better safe than sorry.
Then you have two 120 inch pieces. The one will be used for the knotting of the bracelet and the other we will use now to measure around your wrist. I have really thin and tiny wrists so it is pointless for me to tell you how long the actual bracelet piece should be. To be safe add about 20 inches to the measurement of the wrist and cut a piece of that length off of the other 120-inch long piece.
Take that piece and tape it to a hard surface. I also knotted the ends of all the separated macrame strings to stop them from fraying.
Cut the ivory macrame cord into 4 inch pieces. I needed about 25 of them but this again depends on how big your wrist is. You can just cut more as you go too.
Start with your first knot about 10-12 inches from the start because you will need a long piece to be able to add a tassel to in the end.
Fold the left side of the string over the center string.
Loop the ride side behind the left and center string as shown in the below photo.
Pull everything tight for the first knot.
Then start with the right string folded over the center string and loop the left string behind, just the opposite as you did before.
Before pulling everything tight you add a piece of the 4-inch macrame yarn to the loop. You don’t have to hold it in place the way I did in the photo but to me that made it easier when I pulled the knot tight.
Then you have to repeat the same knots again. Fold the left string over and loop the right behind. You can see it a little better in my video I hope.
When I tie the square knot I keep saying in my head “left over middle string ” and “right over middle string with fringe piece in”. If I don’t do that, I get confused and can’t remember which I folded over last…haha.
Below is another image from another blog post of mine where I show the square knot with two colors but instead of one center string, I have two. You get the point though, right? If you don’t alternate the left over and the right over, the knot will go in a spiral around the center string which is used for hanging planters a lot of times.
Keep on going with the square knots and added fringe until you reached the length of your wrist circumference.
At the end of the fringe part, you can finish the square knot off with another square knot and glue the way I’m showing you in the sliding square knots further down or I used the small wax cord to end it with the gathering-knot method. I’m not even sure why I decided to go that route. I just like the look I guess but it is preferential.
Start by making a U-shaped loop at the top and wrap the cord around firmly, over and over again, from top to bottom.
Then stick the cord through the remaining loop that is sticking out and pull at the bottom string until the loop and top string disappear under the wrapped around string.
Trim the remaining ends.
Next, open up and unravel all the fringe as shown in the video. I forgot to take a photo of that part. Sorry! When they are all opened comb them out straight and trim them to the desired length of maybe 2 inches or whatever you’d like.
Adding the adjustable closure of the bracelet
You need to make the bracelet adjustable with the sliding square knots that I mentioned above.
Cross the bracelet ends the way I’m showing below.
Then repeat what you just did at the beginning of the bracelet with the square knots but this time over the two bracelet end pieces. My string piece was about 15 inches long.
I tied about 3 square knots and was happy with the results and could easily slip the bracelet over my wrist and tighten it.
To finish it, I tied a single normal knot not over the center string because you want to avoid getting glue on the center string. This would result in not being able to slide the closure.
Add some glue with the tip of a toothpick to the knot.
Make sure the knot is securely pulled tight over the glue and trim the ends. You might want to clamp the knot if needed.
Adding the tassel detail to the knotted bracelet
I love making tassels and in this case, they are the perfect detail again for this bracelet.
I added a knot to the two strings where I wanted the tassel to start. It is about 1.5 inches down from the fringe part.
I unraveled three pieces of 5-inch ivory macrame yarn that I precut for each tassel. Tie the unraveled pieces to the end as shown below.
Make sure you tie a double knot and pull it very tight.
I added some more glue to this part to make sure the tassel wouldn’t open up.
And trimmed the ends but not too short.
Fold the ivory macrame yarn in half and comb it nicely.
Now you have to finish the tassel with the gathering-knot method again the way I showed you above. If you don’t have wax cord then you can just open another piece of macrame string to get a thinner piece of yarn. I love the wax cord though for this project and many others.
At the end trim the tassels to the same height.
Stiffening the fringe
Spray the trimmed and combed fringe thoroughly with the fabric stiffener.
The fringe has a tendency to keep curling into the shape of the twisted macrame cord that it was previously in. So after you sprayed the stiffener on into the fringe keep brushing repeatedly until it stops curling. Sometimes it is very stubborn and you have to weigh it down a bit with something. After everything dried, I kept repeating this step several times until the fringe had the texture of a stiff bristle brush. I think you could even use a watered-down version of ploycrylic on the fringe to make it even stiffer but that is totally preferential. I have tried it on a separate tassel and it definitely works as well.
Keep trimming the fringe as needed.
And here is the finished bracelet:
My daughter modeling the bracelet
It came pretty close to the original piece, right?
It all doesn’t end here though because you can make this same piece without the sliding square not so it remains in the shape of a garland and just tie it over a planter, lamp or candle. I love that look as well. You don’t need to really stiffen the fringe for this if you don’t want to.
Look how cute this little faux plant looks with the planter skirt.
Also, check out my other beginner macrame garland tutorial.
In my next tutorial, I want to show you how I made matching fringe earrings to go with the bracelet. If we can finally go out again, I will wear the set together. I can’t wait!
The great thing is that this knotted bracelet didn’t cost me a thing. I had all the materials on hand already. Actually, you can make all my macrame tutorials with the same simple supplies. check them all out below: