Using Chinese Cord to Make Macrame Jewellery

Chinese Cord Jewellery

Using Chinese cord for bracelets

Macramé is big business these days. The popularity of ‘Shamballa’ bracelets in particular has encouraged many avid jewellery makers to pick up their Chinese cord and get knotting.

You may be surprised to learn that the art of Macramé isn’t new. In fact, it is an ancient craft which is believed to have originated amongst 13th century Arabian weavers. In the past it has been used to create decorative fringes, hammocks and belts and gained popularity once again during the Victorian era, where it was used to make rich trimmings. The art seemed to die down for quite some time but is now back once again and being using to create wall hangings, clothes, home decorations and best of all jewellery!

In a nut shell, Macramé is an art of decorative knotting. There is a range of different knots to be used such as the ‘lark’s head knot’ and the ‘square knot’ and it is from these basic knots that many different patterns and variations can be achieved.

Lark's Head Knot

A novice to the art of knotting, I decided to explore this ancient art with a little help from the book ‘Micro Macramé Jewellery’ by Suzen Millodot.

You can use all sorts of materials to create Macramé jewellery but I decided to start with Superlon Bead cord and Chinese cord. We do however sell heavy Macramé bead cord on our website which is designed for jewellery making. Both will work well, so it really depends on what look you prefer.

To start with you need a surface that you can secure your creation down upon.  The best thing for this is a foam or corked styled board and some pins, we sell a number of boards and specially designed pins for you to choose from and for this this particular project I have used the Beadsmith Macrame board.


Firstly I thought I would have a play around with one of the most basic knots; the square knot. I followed the instructions and diagrams in the book and once I felt comfortable with the pattern I added some beads into my design to create a more interesting piece. I felt this was a good knotting style for a bracelet, so that’s what my design became.

Square Knot

For my next attempt I tried the spiral knot and using the book as inspiration, created a pair of earrings.  I chose a palette of Autumnal shades such as reds, oranges and browns to coincide with the season and hopefully inspire you all.

I am definitely a fan of Macramé already; there seem to be so many possibilities as to what you could make and it is possible to cater for all tastes whether you prefer delicate designs or chunky creations.  Using this book for guidance will help your confidence grow quickly. Once you are familiar with the basics of Macramé knotting, we have several more project books on our website to choose from.

Lynn Whiteside In-House Designer

Lynn Whiteside
In-House Designer

All in all, this is a fun craft for all ages.  Whether you want to create cute friendship bracelets as gifts or complex beaded necklaces to wear as statement pieces I would say give it a go!


Beadsmith Macrame Board 11.5 X 15.5 Inches


Miyuki 6/0 Seed Beads Mix – Wheatberry – 10g
Beadsmith Superlon Bead Cord Tex210 – Copper – 70m
Fishhook Earwire – Antique Copper Plated
14mm Hammered Heart Bead – Antique Copper Plated


Miyuki 6/0 Seed Beads – Ivory Pearl Ceylon – 10g
1.5mm Shamballa/Chinese Knotting Nylon Cord – Red
14mm Trigger/Lobster Clasp Catch – Black Plated
Extension Chain with Tear Drop – Black Plated
13mm Ribbon Clamps – Black Plated
5mm Thin Jump Rings (0.8mm) – Black Plated – 100pk

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