Sunday, May 23, 2010


For a while now, I've been wanting to craft some hand-knotted/beaded lanyards on which to wear my credentials to work. There's a great site called BooJee Beads where I could buy some really cool handmade lanyards, but I think it would be a lot more satisfying (and a lot less expensive) to make them myself.

So I finally got my thoughts organized and found a great site - - with free macramé instructions and patterns, including detailed instructions for how to craft jewelry and related items out of small cords (like 1 mm hemp or embroidery floss), which is the size I had in mind for making my lanyards.

I first wanted to make a lanyard with a spiral pattern. This page at Free-Macrame-Patterns has simple, detailed instructions for how to create the spiral effect. I wasn't able to find embroidery floss at Walmart to begin my project, so I settled for 1 mm hemp, which is probably a lot easier to work with because it's less slippery than the floss, so it holds the knots much better.

Step 1: Mount two cords to a ring or holding cord. This will give you four strands to work with. Using the two outside cords as your working cords, tie the first half of a square knot (i.e., a half knot).

Step 2: Repeat the half knot over and over. Make sure you tie each of the knots exactly the same way. The cords will twist to form an attractive spiral chain.

Here's a photo of my first work in progress. I started with blue and yellow strands.

And here's the finished lanyard:

Here's the second lanyard: