Sometimes, when you are creating a new piece of jewelry from a design in your head, the first version looks nice… but then, weeks later, you think of a design that would be even better. That’s exactly what happened with this chain and macrame knot bracelet. I liked the way it turned out, but after wearing it for a couple of weeks I decided that I wanted to see more of the bright silver chain.
I experimented with different knot spacing until I came up with the alternating version on the right, and I ended up loving both versions! So feel free to play with the spacing and the number of knots on yours–or use hemp, ribbon, or different leather cording–to create your own unique look.
- Large link chain bracelet*
- Suede cord in your choice of color–approximately 8.5 times the length of your chain for the fully knotted version on the left, 7 times the length of your chain for the alternating knot version on the right
*I used this silver plated steel twist chain necklace, and shortened it. If you go this route, you will also need a 6mm Split Ring and Jewelry pliers–I used long nose pliers. A jump ring finger tool is optional, but very helpful when working with sturdy steel chain.
Note: If you’re starting out with an existing large chain bracelet, skip down past the next image. This section explains how to shorten the necklace and attach a split ring to turn it into a bracelet.
Starting with the lobster clasp, I wrapped the necklace around my wrist to determine the desired bracelet length. I then used the jump ring finger tool and jewelry pliers to open the next link on the necklace and detach the excess chain. (The extra chain can be used for a separate project, like this braided wrap bracelet. I had to add a target for the lobster clasp back onto the end of my newly created bracelet, and I like to use split rings for this because they are more secure. There are special split ring pliers to help you with these, but I generally just use regular pliers to open them and attach them to the chain:
To start your bracelet, thread your suede cording through the chain link closest to the lobster clasp so the middle of the cord is in the middle of that link. I used my first and middle fingers on my left hand to hold the clasp, and my thumb and ring finger to hold one half of the suede cord against the third link and keep it from slipping, as I made my first knots with my right hand. After the first 3 knots, you should be able to release your off hand because the cording will be secure.
To begin, thread the cord down through the first link as shown below:
Before you pull the cord tight, take the end of the cord and thread it toward you, between the chain and the loop that you just created:
When you pull it tight, your first knot will look like this:
Easy, huh? This is literally the only knot that you will need to create this bracelet! I used 3 knots per link, and just kept going down the side of the bracelet. Make sure that you don’t pull the knots between each link too tight–you want to leave the bracelet some room to move. This photo shows how it will look as you go on the fully knotted version:
Feel free to skip every other link, or vary the number of knots per chain link to get the look you want. I recommend leaving the last large link free of knots to give you a little more “play” in the chain. This will make the bracelet easier to put on and take off.
Then start on the other side, following the same knot pattern: Down through the link, then up between the link and the cord loop:
Once you get to the end of the second side, you just have two loose ends to literally tie up! Since I used suede cording, tying them together into a very tight double knot is all I needed:
If you feel better using some adhesive in the middle of the knot as you tie it, you can. Then just cut off any remaining suede cording, and your new bracelet is ready to wear!
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Content Manager for ConsumerCrafts by day, enthusiastic trash picker, gardener and DIY crafter by night! Most of my projects are inspired by my love of vintage jewelry – or the challenge of finding creative new uses for materials.
When I grow up, I want to be MacGuyver.