Handmade Jewelry Using Macrame: Creative Knotted Designs

Handmade Jewelry Using Macrame: Creative Knotted Designs


Macrame jewelry has made a major comeback as a boho-chic trend. The handmade style involves using various knots and creative weaving techniques with cotton cord or nylon rope. From chunky statement necklaces to delicate bracelets, the possibilities for macrame jewelry designs are endless.

Learning a few basic knots is all you need to start making your own macrame fashion accessories. This guide covers everything from key supplies and knots to weaving patterns and project inspiration to help you DIY beautiful knotted jewelry.

What is Macrame?

Macrame is a form of textile that uses knotting techniques rather than weaving or knitting. Historically, sailors made macrame from scrap ropes to create useful items or decorative objects to trade at destinations.

In modern macrame, cotton cord or nylon rope is knotted and looped to form patterns. Macrame can be used to make wall hangings, plant holders, jewelry, and more decorative pieces. It experienced a resurgence in the 1970s bohemian era.

For jewelry, macrame techniques lend themselves well to chunky, organic-looking statement pieces that incorporate various cords and focal beads. The handmade quality fits right in with boho style.

Benefits of Macrame Jewelry

Why choose macrame for your next DIY jewelry project? Here are some of the advantages of this tactile craft:

Textured Look

Knots and woven cords create visual interest and a natural feel. The pieces nicely complement bohemian, earthy styles.

Custom Designs

You can create completely unique patterns and shapes simply by varying your knots and materials.

Cord Variety

Macrame works well with many types of rope and cords like cotton, jute, hemp, nylon, and more, each creating a distinct look.

Incorporates Beads

Intersperse focal beads and pendants throughout the knots and woven sections. Mixing materials adds diversity.

Beginner Friendly

You only need to learn a handful of basic knots to start designing macrame jewelry as a newbie.

Quick Technique

Once you know the knots, macrame jewelry can come together faster than techniques like bead stringing.

Essential Supplies for Macrame Jewelry Making

Part of the appeal of macrame is that you don’t need an extensive supply stash to get started. Here is a look at the basic essentials:


The most important supply is your choice of cordage. Natural fiber cords like cotton work well for beginners. Try different sizes and materials.

Tape or Clips

Use clips or masking tape to help secure cords to a flat surface while you work.


Incorporate focal beads, gemstones, or found objects between knotted sections. Get creative!


You’ll need a good pair of scissors suited for cutting cord and rope cleanly.

Measuring Tape

Measure out cord lengths accurately to ensure proper sizing and symmetry in your designs.

Jump Rings/Crimps

Jump rings allow you to attach clasps and hooks to the ends of knotted pieces. Crimp beads finish cord ends.

Optional Extras

Consider beads, needle and thread for embellishing, masking tape, etc. based on your projects.

Key Knots and Techniques for Macrame Jewelry

The foundation of macrame is mastering a few versatile knots. Here are the most important ones to know:

Overhand Knot

This simple knot forms the basis of many macrame patterns. Make a loop, pass the working end through the loop, then pull tight.

Square Knot

One of the most commonly used knots. Right cord over left then under. Left cord over right then under.

Half Hitch Knot

Pass the cord over itself and pull through the loop to create a tight knot against the previous knot.

Spiral Knots

Repeated half hitches in alternating directions form spiral shapes. Change cord angles to form curves.

Alternating Square Knots

A square knot followed by its mirror image makes a box-like shape. Build rows for woven textures.

Gathering Knots

Placed periodically, these knots cinch in fabric for ruching effects. Create dramatic textures.

Lark’s Head Knot

Used to anchor cords. Make a loop, pass through a ring or loop, then tighten around the base object.

Weaving Patterns for Macrame Jewelry

Once you understand basic knots, putting them together in creative ways is where the real fun begins! Here are some go-to weaving techniques:

Single Cord

Use a single cord and tie a sequence of symmetrical knots. Alternate half hitches and square knots work well.

Vertical Stripes

Work rows of alternating square knots in different color cords for clean vertical stripe effects.

Diagonal Stripes

Change the knot directions to create diagonal patterns. Work from bottom left to top right.

Ladder Stitch

Tie a series of half hitch knots with each row spaced further apart for a ladder effect.

Zig Zag Stitching

Make a path of cords going diagonally up and down to fill in a zig zag shape with knots.

Spiral Closure

Leave cord tails long and use half hitches to spiral the cords together. Knot tightly for a tapered finish.

Loose Woven Net

Use overhand knots at intersections of warp and weft cords to create an open, net-like texture.

Inspiring Jewelry Projects Using Macrame

Looking for ideas to try out your new macrame skills? Here are some beautiful and interesting ways to implement knotting techniques into jewelry:

Macrame Necklaces

Long macrame necklaces withVarious knots and focal beads have a chunky bohemian look. Go for symmetry or intentionally uneven patterns.

Macrame Bracelets

Use thinner cords like hemp for dainty knotted bracelets. Incorporate clasps and charms. Layering several together adds visual interest.

Macrame Lariats

Make a long pendant section with loose, dramatic knots. Leave long tails to act as the necklace cords that tie behind the neck.

Macrame Headbands

Knot cord strips with metal rings at both ends so the band can slide onto the head. Decorative knots add hippie chic style.

Macrame Animal Jewelry

Use square and spiral knots to form 3D animal shapes like bunnies, crabs, or turtles. Add eyes and other embellishments.

Macrame Hoop Earrings

Tie cords to hoop earring frames in creative patterns. Combine knots with chain fringe or beads for eclectic texture.

Macrame Tassel Pendant

Make a statement by stringing beads on several cords gathered into a knotted tassel pendant. Finish with a macrame bail for hanging.

Tips for Improving Your Macrame Jewelry Skills

As with any new technique, macrame jewelry making has a learning curve. Use these tips to hone your skills:


With just a few knots and cords, macrame techniques allow you to create completely handmade bohemian jewelry designs. The knotting possibilities are endless, making it a great way to express your own style.

Macrame results in pieces with unique textures full of character. The organically imperfect look comes from the hand-tied knots. Feel free to embrace asymmetry and imperfections.

Learning this tactile jewelry making craft opens up a world of DIY possibilities. A grasp of basic knots is all you need to start designing. From lariats to hoop earrings, macrame takes your jewelry to new boho heights.

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