Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hearts and Flowers - a tutorial for you!

The weather is finally starting to get warmer here, the tulips are starting to bloom in the garden, and I'm finding myself making more bracelets. I do find that my jewellery designs have seasons - earrings and pendants more in the winter, bracelets in the warmer weather as shorter sleeved tops show them off better! This is a tutorial I wrote for my blog, and I thought you might like to see it too. It uses one of my embossed heart connectors with colouful micro-macrame - if you still think of macrame as being something that should be left firmly in the 1970s with potted plant hangers and spooky owl hangings then you obviously haven't seen the beautiful knotted work that designers such as Malin de Koning and Rebecca Anderson have been producing! You can tie macrame knots with ribbons, silks, cords, wool, leather as well as good old string, but my favourite is C-Lon, a nylon cord that is just under 0.5mm in diameter. I love it because it comes in an amazing range of colours that don't fade and it's easy to work with. The first few knots that you tie with it may slip a little, but this slipping disappears as you continue working and each knot is held firmly in place by the next.

So, you will need the following:

You will also need round nosed pliers, nylon jaw pliers, wire cutters, scissors and either clear glue or nail varnish to secure the last few knots on each side of the bracelet.

Click on any of the pictures to see a large view of them in a slideshow.

1. Use your fingers or nylon jaw pliers to curve the heart slightly. Turn a wrapped loop in 0.6mm wire and thread this through one of the holes in the heart. Thread a bead onto the wire and turn another wrapped loop. Repeat for the other two holes. Use wrapped loops to attach another bead so that it links the two beads at the top of the heart together as shown.

2. Wrap the cord around your wrist and cut this length off the reel. Cut another length that is 8 times longer than the first. Hold an end of both pieces together and fold them to find the middle of the shorter piece. You will now have three short lengths and one longer one, much longer than you really need but it's better than having too little left at the end! Tuck the fold at the middle through a wrapped loop and pull the ends of the cords through the fold to tie a Lark's Head knot.

3. The three shorter cords are your filler cords, and the longer one (the working cord) will be knotted around them with a Half-Hitch knot. To start pass the working cord over the filler cords....

4. .....and then tuck it underneath and through the loop formed.

 5. Showing you the Half-Hitch again from a different angle! Tuck the working cord over and around the other three and back up through the loop formed and pull the knot tight. Try to keep an even tension - like knitting, this will come with practice!

6. You can see that the knots have started to spiral around the filler cords. They will spiral in the direction that the cord is pointing as it comes through the loop. If you make a mistake and tie the knot in the wrong direction C-Lon is easy to undo. Keep going until your knots reach to the mid-point underneath your wrist as you hold the bracelet in place. Don't cut the cords yet!

7. Cut the same lengths of cord as you did for the first side of the bracelet. This time start the Half-Hitch knot with the working cord tucked underneath the filler cords and then back down through the loop.

8. This will make the spiral turn in the opposite direction, a nice (but optional) touch for the two opposite sides of the bracelet.

 9. Finish knotting when both sides of the bracelet are about the same length.

10. Thread the clasp onto all four cords at one end of the bracelet. You may wish to trim the longer cord so it's the same length as the other three to make the rest of the knots easier to tie.You will be tying a Square knot around the end of the spiral to hold the clasp in place. A Square knot is just a double knot that you use to tie your shoe laces but with something else (in this case the spiral) in the middle of the knot, and is knotted in two halves.

11.  Divide the cords into pairs. Pass the left pair over the spiral and under the right pair of working cords. Pass the right pair under the spiral and up through the loop formed on the left (over the left cords) and pull tight. Hopefully the lines and labels make that easier to follow!

12. To tie the second half of the knot, pass the left pair under the spiral and over the right pair of working cords. Pass the right pair over the spiral and down through the loop formed on the left (under the left cords) and pull tight. Repeat the last two steps with the ring at the other end of the bracelet. Glue the knots and trim them when dry.

And there you have it!

I do hope that you enjoy making this bracelet, or your own version of it. Please do let me know if you post pictures of this or anything else that you make with one of my tutorials as I'd love to link to them! The bracelet would work equally well with any of the beautiful bracelet connectors and focals that you can see below.

Left to right: Ceramic Curved Textured Bracelet Bar by Bohulley Beads
Ocean Tea Bracelet Focal by Starry Road Studio

And if you'd like to learn more macrame techniques I'm currently having a short birthday sale in my Daisychain Extra shop until midnight tonight (I finally hit the big 4-0 on Tuesday!), and that includes 15% off my "Macramé, Art Beads and Wire" ebook with 6 lovely tutorials for bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Just use "BIRTHDAY" at checkout! One of the projects shows you another way of using the beautiful focal made by Karen Totten (Starry Road Studio) shown above.


  1. Beautiful, I so adore Blue and Copper together

  2. You totally reminded me of all the times I made these with the older girl scouts I worked with. I loved using floss to make those pretty weaves.


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