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Tips & Techniques

Get tips and techniques to become a better beader at Lima Beads.


Simple Knotted Leather Cord Bracelet

About this Tip:

Here's a basic bracelet type: knotting beads into leather cord. It can be dressy or rustic depending on the charms you choose. Learn a few tips on how to make this classic piece.

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Simple Knotted Leather Cord Bracelet


The products featured in this tip are listed below.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
Make your measurements & pick your beads!

Important Bracelet Measurements
Tying an overhand knot requires 4" of leather (the knot consumes 1", the other 3" lend cord to tie)
Creating the looped end with an overhand knot requires 8"

I usually want 2.5'-3' to use for my wrist and so that's about what I've cut for this project.
Step 2:
Attach the closing button (ours has a shank/loop on the back). We're using a leather loop and button as the clasp for this bracelet. String on the button and then tie it in with an overhand knot. (This requires about 8" of leather, from one end of your cord). When tightening the knot, be sure to pull the knot down to the desired place to tighten rather than pulling opposite ends of the cord-- this stress could cause our natural leather cord to snap :-(

We'll be using the overhand knot throughout this project. It's kind of the same sort of knot you'd use when starting to tie your shoelaces. Also known (to me) as a pretzel knot.
Step 3:
String the beads you've chosen! If you run into some "tough cookies" it may be the result of the bead's hole tapering at one end or another. This can make things a little challenging, but just calmly pull that bead down the cord-- straight and consistent. Also, I often cut the end of my leather cord on an extreme bias (diagonal) so it can act almost like a needle's point when stringing. After each bead, tie on an overhand knot to secure the bead in place (remember about pulling the knot down the string-- not just pulling opposite ends tight!). Not only does knotting each bead secure the bead and keep it from rubbing on other the beads, but it also acts to show off the pretty leather that you found!
Step 4:
Tie the closing loop end. After you've confirmed the size to your wrist, form the closing loop. Again, we're using the overhand knot and it will take about 8" or so of cord to make this. Before you tighten the knot completely, make sure that the looped end is going to fit the clasp button, then secure the knot. Snip off the ends on a bit of a bias, and there you have it! (Or, don't snip off the ends and add some embellishments, examples listed below).

Optional embellishments:
On the looped end, I took the extra cord (tail) and tied a little piece of silk ribbon in with an overhand knot. Gave it a little extra interest and the color tied in well with the silver and gunmetal pieces and the leather itself.

On the button end, I took one more of those little TierraCast spiral spacers and tied it in with that simple overhand knot.

Additional Images:

Designs using this Technique:

Buy Products from this Technique

16" strand
½ strand (loose)

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Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. NY Bella
    NY Bella says:

    Thank you for another great tutorial! You make it seem so easy! I’ll have to try this technique for sure!

  2. CreationsbyJoEtsycom
    CreationsbyJoEtsycom says:

    I have made several of these and they are selling before I can finish them! The beautiful Gaea ceramic beads are a real eye catcher and people just love them! Thank you for a great tutorial!

  3. No Photo
    Mily S says:

    Love it, a great idea and looks easy to do. Invite me to be more creative.

  4. No Photo
    Altered Artist says:

    I couldn’t resist some of the bundles but had no idea at the time what I was going to do with them. Thank you so much for a quick way to use them in a wonderful fashion. I know what I’ll be doing with at least one of the bundles.

  5. No Photo
    Sage S says:

    Creativity Unlimited how much are you selling these bracelets for?? As they are expensive to make. What are people willing to pay for them? Thx!! I live this tutorial and want to make one!

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